Handicapping analysis of Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic (Race 11) [Breeders’ Cup]

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The Breeders’ Cup Classic is a 1 1/4 mile race for three-year-olds and up over the dirt. The purse is $5,000,000. This is race 11 on the program for Saturday’s Card. Post time is 7:00 p.m.

There are a lot of possibilities in this race, so it won’t be a huge surprise who wins except, maybe, Headache or Ice Box, who just doesn’t seem to be the same horse we saw fly down the track and nab place money in last year’s Kentucky Derby.

The morning line favorite is Uncle Mo, at 5-2. I think 1 ¼ miles, at this caliber, is asking too much for this three-year-old. After a four month layoff and recovery from a dangerous liver disease, Uncle Mo has made two starts. His last race prior to the layoff was nearly seven months ago. In my opinion, two races in seven months just isn’t enough to have him ready for this Classic. Todd Pletcher trains Uncle Mo for owner Mike Repole.

Uncle Mo will break from the 12 hole, which shouldn’t be a problem. He will need to sprint from the gate to get to the lead, but the question is, will he be able to hold onto it. If he were running in the mile, I’d have no problem backing him, but in this race, at a short price, I’ll try elsewhere.

Larry Jones has opted to run Havre de Grace in today’s Classic, as opposed to the Ladies Classic yesterday, which she would have likely had no problem winning at 1 1/8 miles. The Classic’s added distance may not be Havre de Grace’s best distance, but it’s doable. She’s finished second by a nose and a neck in two attempts at this distance. Larry Jones is excellent with fillies, so if he thinks she can win this, she can. She’s already proven that the boys this year are no competition for her. She beat them earlier this year when she won the Woodward by 1 ¼ lengths over Flat Out.

Flat Out appears to be an improving horse and ready for this race. He won the Jockey Club Gold Cup over Drosselmeyer and Stay Thirsty in his last start and earned a Brisnet speed figure of 111. He worked four furlongs in :46 on Sunday which was the fastest of 58 horses working that distance at Churchill that day. Charles “Scooter” Dickey trains and Alexi Solis will be in the irons.

If Game On Dude and jockey Chantal Sutherland win this race, it will be the first time a female jockey has ever won the Breeders’ Cup Classic and only the second time a female jockey has won any Breeders’ Cup race. Julie Krone being the sole female with a Breeders’ Cup win when she won the 2003 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies aboard Halfbridled.

I’m taking Flat Out and Havre de Grace and may throw Uncle Mo in at the bottom of some exotics. I’ll also throw in Ruler On Ice, the Belmont winner, who may be overlooked by the betting public today.

About Jessie Oswald
I'm a lifetime Louisville resident with a passion for horse racing. When I'm not working as an immigration paralegal or taking care of my family, I follow Thoroughbred racing and love to share the excitement and beauty of the sport with anyone willing to learn!
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