To say that the defection of Beholder and Smooth Roller from the Breeders’ Cup Classic changed the complexion of the race is like saying that those Matthew McConaughey commercials for Lincoln are just “kinda” creepy.
What already figured to be a slow pace got even slower.
According to my speed rations, the pace of the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Classic is projected to be six lengths slower than normal, meaning a 48-second opening half-mile a distinct possibility. Obviously, this is a fortuitous situation for American Pharoah, who — at least on paper — is the only confirmed frontrunner in the field, à la this year’s Belmont Stakes.
There is also a mental factor at work here.
Frosted, who has enough speed to pressure the Triple Crown champ, is not likely to be sent after the furor that was created when Jose Lezcano took that tact in the Travers… and was crucified for it.
Personally, I still believe that Frosted represents great value in the Classic, but there’s no question that the race runs through American Pharoah.
– Derek Simon