The Breeders’ Cup celebrates its 40th running of the world championship thoroughbred races this weekend at Santa Anita Park, and a field of 13 will run in Saturday’s main event, the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic. These are the types of events that will be a focus around California sports betting circles once it becomes legal.
After Monday’s post position draw, Arabian Knight was installed as the 3-1 morning-line favorite, even though the Bob Baffert-trained 3-year-old drew the 12th gate. In his most recent race, the Sept. 2 FanDuel Racing Pacific Classic Stakes at Del Mar, the colt sired by Uncle Mo went wire-to-wire against older horses at 1-1/4 miles, the same distance as Saturday’s classic.
Baffert said he would have preferred a middle gate.
“You know, I don’t worry about anything that is not in my control,” he added. “I have won races out of horrible post positions I didn’t like, and I have lost from some good ones. At least I didn’t get the rail.”
The inside gate went to Arcangelo, the second choice at 7-2. Trained by Jena Antonucci, the 3-year-old ridgling has won four races in a row. That includes the Belmont Stakes and the Travers Stakes. However, Antonucci reported she had to pull a shoe off her horse over the weekend. Arcangelo has not trained since and could be scratched from the race.
Breeders’ Cup Classic Draw
One horse likely to draw bettors’ attention is Ushba Tesoro, a 7-year-old Japanese horse scheduled to make his U.S. debut on Saturday. The Noboru Takagi-trained horse has only raced three times this year, but he’s won all three – including the Dubai World Cup in March. Ushba Tesoro, the co-third choice at 4-1 on the morning line, has also won six straight dating back to last October and seven of his last eight. He will break from the eighth gate.
Also at 4-1 is White Abarrio, a 4-year-old colt who appears to be coming into form after winning the Whitney Stakes at Saratoga in August. The Richard Dutrow-trained horse got off to a good start in the 1-1/8-mile race staying right behind leader Giant Game before taking over down the stretch to win by 6-1/4 lengths in a field that included Cody’s Wish, last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile champion who had won nine of his last 10 starts up until that race.
A longshot to consider is Bright Future, listed at 10-1 on the morning line. The 4-year-old colt trained by Todd Pletcher is coming off a win in the Jockey Club Gold Cup in September at Saratoga. He ran right behind early leader Warrior Johnny before taking the lead at the one-mile mark and then held off a charging Proxy, who’s also entered in the Classic, by a nose in the 1-1/4-mile race.
Post time for Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic is set for 3:40 p.m. PT/6:40 p.m. ET. The race will air on NBC and stream on Peacock. Stay with BetCalifornia.com for all the latest news surrounding sports betting and for our expert reviews on the best California betting apps expected to come to the Sunshine State when they become legal.