2021 Breeders’ Cup Classic Contenders, Odds and Post Position: Max Player

2021 Breeders’ Cup Classic Contenders, Odds and Post Position

In the days leading up to the 38th Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar in California, usracing.com is publishing profiles of the horses in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (Saturday, Nov. 6). Profiles will be updated followed the post-position draw on Monday, Nov. 1.

By Jenny Kellner

Max Player at the Suburban Stakes – Photo Courtesy of Chelsea Durand

Last two times out, Max Player proved he’s not a horse to be overlooked in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).

The 4-year-old son of Honor Code improved his profile big-time with victories in the Suburban (G2) and the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) – a pair of “Win and You’re In’’ Breeders’ Cup challenge races.

He didn’t beat top-flight competition in those races, but we know he’s a winner and one strong 4-year-old. In 2020, he was the only horse to compete in all three Triple Crown races (third in the Belmont, and fifth in both the Derby and the Preakness).

Trained by Steve Asmussen, who took over for Linda Rice after Max Player won the Withers (G3) late last year, the colt also was sent to Saudi Arabia and ran 11th in the $20 million Saudi Cup in February.

“He’s kind of a funny horse,” Asmussen’s New York-based assistant Toby Sheets said after the Suburban. “He always has more, but sometimes he doesn’t give it. He had a clear trip today and that helped so much. He finished well.”

Max Player has been working at Santa Anita, most recently covering 5 furlongs in 1:00.40 on Oct. 24.

Breeders’ Cup Classic Profile: Max Player

Post position: TBD

Odds: TBD

Jockey: Ricardo Santana, Jr.

Trainer: Steve Asmussen

Owners: George E. Hall, SportBLX Thoroughbreds Corp.

Career record: 11-4-1-2

Career earnings: $1,252,500

Top Equibase speed figure: 113

Pedigree: Honor Code-Fools In Love, by Not For Love

Color: Bay

Running style: Stalker/Front-runner

Betting advice: Looks like Max would need a strong start to stay with Knicks Go and maybe Medina Spirit in what’s expected to be a fast pace. If positioned for a run at the lead into the stretch, Asmussen’s colt could pull off a surprise. Don’t count him out, and seriously consider him at good odds to hit the board.

Notes: Steve Asmussen recently became the winningest thoroughbred trainer in North America when he notched win No. 9,446 on Aug. 7 … Max Player is from the first crop of Honor Code, the 2015 Eclipse Award winner as older dirt male champion who ran third in the Classic that year … Asmussen has sent out 61 starters in the Breeders’ Cup with seven winners – two in the Classic (Curlin in 2007 and Gun Runner in 2017); Mitole (2019 Sprint); My Miss Aurelia (2011 Juvenile Fillies); Regally Ready (2011 Turf Sprint); Tapizar (2021 Dirt Mile); and Untapable (2014 Distaff) … Santana has ridden in 21 races at the Breeders’ Cup with two winners, Fire at Will (2020 Juvenile Turf) and  Mitole (2019 Sprint).


2021 Breeders’ Cup Classic Odds

PP Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Tripoli 15-1 Irad Ortiz,Jr John Sadler
2 Express Train 20-1 Victor Espinoza John Shirreffs
3 Hot Rod Charlie 4-1 Flavien Prat Doug O’Neill
4 Essential Quality 3-1 Luis Saez Brad Cox
5 Knicks Go 5-2 Joel Rosario Brad Cox
6 Art Collector 8-1 Mike Smith William Mott
7 Stiletto Boy 30-1 Kent Desormeaux Ed Moger,Jr.
8 Medina Spirit 4-1 John Velazquez Bob Baffert
9 Max Player 8-1 Ricardo Santana, Jr. Steven Asmussen
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