The biggest weekend in sports, at least for fans of championship racing, is here with the 35th running of the Breeders’ Cup taking place. The marquee event of the 14-race weekend extravaganza is the Breeders’ Cup Classic, which has a field of 14 horses racing for a prize pool of $6 million.
Accelerate came off as the morning line favorite at 5/2 odds and he’s lived up to his name with 19 top-3 finishes in 21 races. That’ll make any horse the favorite. Triple Crown winning trainer Bob Baffert has a pair of horses entered in the Classic and they’re next up on the odds board. West Coast is at 5/1 odds while McKinzie is at 6/1. Horses will run 1¼ miles on the dirt at historic Churchill Downs.
The Breeders’ Cup Classic will be run on Saturday, November 3, 2018 with post time set for 5:44 p.m. ET at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Catch the Breeders’ Cup Classic live on NBC.
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2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic Lineup
- 1.Horse: Thunder Snow / Jockey: Christophe Soumillon / Trainer : Saeed bin Suror / Odds: 12-1
- 2.Horse: Roaring Lion / Jockey: Oison Murphy / Trainer : John Gosden / Odds: 20-1
- 3.Horse: Catholic Boy / Jockey: Javier Castellano / Trainer : Jonathan Thomas / Odds: 8-1
- 4.Horse: Gunnevera / Jockey: Irad Ortiz, Jr. / Trainer : Antonio Sano / Odds: 20-1
- 5.Horse: Lone Sailor / Jockey: James Graham / Trainer : Tom Amoss / Odds: 30-1
- 6.Horse: McKinzie / Jockey: Mike Smith / Trainer : Bob Baffert / Odds: 6-1
- 7.Horse: West Coast / Jockey: John Velasquez / Trainer : Bob Baffert / Odds: 5-1
- 8.Horse: Pavel / Jockey: Mario Gutierrez / Trainer : Doug O’Neill / Odds: 20-1
- 9.Horse: Mendelssohn / Jockey: Ryan Moore / Trainer : Aidan O’Brien / Odds: 12-1
- 10.Horse: Yoshida / Jockey:Jose Ortiz / Jockey: Bill / Trainer : Mott / Odds: 10-1
- 11.Horse: Mind Your Biscuits / Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione / Trainer : Chad Summers / Odds: 6-1
- 12.Horse: Axelrod / Jockey: Joe Bravo / Trainer : Michael McCarthy / Odds: 30-1
- 13.Horse: Discreet Lover / Jockey: Manuel Franco / Trainer : Uriah St. Lewis / Odds: 20-1
- 14.Horse: Accelerate / Jockey: Joel Rosario / Trainer : John Sadler / Odds: 5-2
Based on his body of work, Accelerate is a deserving favorite on the morning line. The 5-year-old has 21 career starts and has finished outside the top-3 just twice - an amazing percentage in any book. Accelerate is coming off a win at the Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita with Joel Rosario in the saddle. He edged out Bob Baffert’s West Coast in that one. There’s plenty to like about Accelerate, who has five wins in six dirt races, four of them being Grade 1 races, and his only loss was by a neck
Trainer John Sadler has never won a Breeders’ Cup race and Accelerate has raced outside of California just once and never at Churchill Downs. While those are negatives, the fact that Accelerate has won nine times with five places and five shows in 21 career starts overshadows everything. With Triple Crown winner Justify retired, Accelerate might be the best active horse on the circuit.
West Coast showed that he’s more than capable of holding his own, finishing second to Accelerate his last time out after a six-month layoff. And just like the favorite, West Coast has spent a lot of time at the podium never finishing off the board in 12 career starts. He’s run only three races this year, so the colt should be fresh, and he gets the benefit of Hall of Fame jockey John Velasquez in the saddle for the first time.
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