By Richard Rosenblatt
With what appears to be one of the most wide-open fields in Breeders’ Cup Classic history, someone had to pick a morning-line favorite for the grand finale of the two-day, 14-race, $30 million BC World Championships at Santa Anita Park.
That chore went to Santa Anita oddsmaker Jon White, who made Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s McKinzie the 3-1 morning-line favorite in a field of 11 entered on Monday, including the mare Elate.
McKinzie has only two victories this year, including the Whitney Stakes (G1) at Saratoga, to go along with four second-place finishes, including the Awesome Again (G1) in his most recent race. The 4-year-old son of Street Sense drew the No. 8 post, and will be ridden for the first time by Joel Rosario.
Vino Rosso and Code of Honor, who finished 1-2 in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) but had the order reversed when Vino Rosso was disqualified for bumping Code of Honor, are the 4-1 co-second choices.
Vino Rosso has won at this track, shipping in from New York to take the Santa Anita Gold Cup in May.
Elate, the 5-year-old mare trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, is seeking to become the second female to win the Classic 10 years after Zenyatta pulled off the feat in dramatic fashion.
Baffert is looking for his fourth win in the Classic.
“I’m happy with him,’’ he said of McKinzie. “He’s doing as good can. I loved his work today. He looks like he’s really doing well and really, no excuses.”
With Baffert so optimistic, this horse may be tough to beat, but it still looks like it’s anybody’s race.
The longest shot in the field is 31, who drew the rail, at 30-1, but let’s not forget this 3-year-old is coming off a win at 31-1 in the Pennsylvania Derby (G1).
|Updated October 28, 2019. |
All odds are fixed odds prices.
|2||Seeking the Soul||20/1||+2000|
|4||War of Will||20/1||+2000|
|11||Code of Honor||4/1||+400|
Over the years while working at The Associated Press, Rich Rosenblatt became a familiar name to legions of the horse racing fans and industry insiders with his award-winning articles on horse racing and his stories from the backstretch.
In addition to being an astute observer of sports, Rosenblatt is the co-author of The All-American Chili Cookbook. His work has been seen in just about every publication in the world, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Time Magazine.