Breeders' Cup 2023: Picks, Predictions & Best Bets for Saturday, Nov 4

Following the scratch of Arcangelo, the Breeders' Cup Classic runs through the Bob Baffert-trained Arabian Knight. Is there a long shot worth playing instead? And how should the Pick 5 be approached? Robert Criscola takes a look.

Nov 4, 2023 • 15:03 ET • 4 min read
Bob Baffert horse racing Breeders' Cup
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Day 2 of the much-hyped 40th running of the Breeders' Cup happens today at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, CA. The Breeders' Cup Classic always stands out when diving into the Breeders' Cup odds, even in 2023 when it's not the last of the 14 events spread over two days.

The Classic instead runs as Race 9 on a 12-race program serving as the middle leg of the Late Pick 5, which offers the promise of a big payday. Let's take an in-depth look at the 1 1/4-mile Classic, where Arabian Knight is favored to win, and follow it up with our Pick 5 ticket that also contains the Breeders' Cup Distaff, Turf, Turf Sprint, and Sprint.

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Breeders' Cup Classic odds, prediction and best bet

  • Race: Santa Anita Race 9
  • Post time: 6:40 p.m. ET
  • TV: NBC
Post Horse Track odds DraftKings FanDuel bet365
1 Arcangelo [SCRATCHED] 7-2 N/A N/A N/A
2 Zandon 12-1 +1,200 +1,200 +1,400
3 White Abarrio 4-1 +400 +400 +400
4 Missed The Cut 30-1 +3,000 +3,000 +5,000
5 Derma Sotogake 20-1 +2,000 +2,000 +1,000
6 Saudi Crown 12-1 +1,200 +1,200 +800
7 Clapton 20-1 +2,000 +2,000 +3,300
8 Ushba Tesoro 4-1 +400 +400 +350
9 Senor Buscador 30-1 +3,000 +3,000 +5,000
10 Dreamlike 30-1 +3,000 +3,000 +3,300
11 Bright Future 10-1 +1,000 +1,000 +900
12 Arabian Knight 3-1 +300 +300 +250
13 Proxy 12-1 +1,200 +1,200 +1,400

Odds as of November 3, 2023.

No. 6 Saudi Crown (12-1) is my top choice off a solid win in the Grade I Pennsylvania Derby. It had been a long time coming after being narrowly denied in the Grade III Dwyer and the Grade II Jim Dandy. There's not a great deal of speed signed on at all, with only No. 12 Arabian Knight (3-1, morning-line favorite) figuring to press him.

Saudi Crown has built up stamina with a steady diet of six-furlong workouts for Brad Cox, who previously won the Classic in 2021 with Knicks Go. Florent Geroux has the call once more.

Arabian Knight is highly logical off his Grade I Pacific Classic win. He can clearly get the 10 furlongs, and trainer Bob Baffert may not have gotten to bottom of him yet as he 's raced just four times to date. Flavien Prat will be aboard once more.

No. 8 Ushba Tesoro (4-1) is imposing with a perfect 5-for-5 record on fast tracks, and a 6-for-6 record at today's trip. That includes his runaway score in the Dubai World Cup two starts ago.

Best bet: $2 exacta box 6/8/12, $1 exacta 8,12/6,8,12, $4 win 6 ($20)

Best Bet to win Breeders' Cup Classic

Not only is Saudi Crown representing great value at 12-1 (though he'll likely come down from that morning-line price due to the scratch of Arcangelo), but I think he's the most likely winner of the Classic due to the favorable pace scenario he figures to receive. Saudi Crown should be allowed to set a comfortable tempo with Arabian Knight doing the chasing from a wide post draw. 

Santa Anita's main track tends to favor speed on an average day, so the late closers could have their work cut out for them trying to reel in Saudi Crown in the stretch. The Brad Cox trainee is worth a win bet at 4-1 or higher.

Breeders' Cup Late Pick 5 odds, prediction and best bet

The Late Pick 5 at Santa Anita starts with Race 7, which is the Breeders' Cup Distaff. In order to keep this ticket affordable, I'll take a stand and single No. 4 Idiomatic (5-2, morning-line favorite) to start. Though I'm slightly concerned she'll get caught up in a pace duel, it's hard to knock her 7-for-8 record this year with two Grade I wins. The speed figures suggest she has the edge.

No. 9 Mostadaf (5-2, morning-line favorite) and No. 5 Auguste Rodin (3-1) are deserving favorites in the Breeders' Cup Turf shipping in from overseas, but I think the latter is far more dangerous considering his two Group I victories at the 1 1/2-mile trip. The former is 4: 0-1-0 at 1 1/2-miles, so I won't be using him in this sequence. No. 8 Up To The Mark (5-1) looks like a must-use off his dazzling comeback win in the Grade I Coolmore Turf Mile over the well-regarded Master of The Seas. He's never been this far but gives every indication he'll handle it. Finally, I'll add No. 13 War Like Goddess (12-1) off her romp in the Grade I Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont. She's 9: 7-1-1 all-time at the trip, with a third in this race last year.

I'll use Saudi Crown, Ushba Tesoro, and Arabian Knight in the Classic before moving on to the sprint races.

In the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, I'll go four-deep with last year's winner No. 3 Caravel (5-1), No. 5 Live In The Dream (9-2, morning-line favorite), No. 9 Roses for Debra (12-1), and No. 10 Motorious (5-1). Roses for Debra is my top pick at a price considering her 4: 4-0-0 record to start the year before a yielding-turf debacle at Parx last time out.

I'll close things out in the Breeders' Cup Sprint in fairly logical fashion with No. 2 Dr. Schivel (5-1), No. 7 Speed Boat Beach (3-1), and No. 8 Elite Power (9-5, morning-line favorite). Elite Power is the defending champ and a tempting single considering his only loss in four starts this year was to No. 9 Gunite (4-1) going one furlong further than this while spotting him six pounds. But he's beaten Gunite on two different occasions. 

Best bet for the 50 cent Pick 5: 4/5,8,13/6,8,12/3,5,9,10/2,7,8 ($54)

    Road to the Breeders' Cup Classic Schedule

    Race Date Track Result
    February Stakes* February 19 Tokyo Racecourse (Japan) Lemon Pop
    Kentucky Derby May 6 Churchill Downs Mage
    Preakness Stakes May 20 Pimlico National Treasure
    Belmont Stakes June 10 Belmont Park Arcangelo
    Metropolitan Handicap June 10 Belmont Park Cody's Wish
    Stephen Foster Stakes* July 1 Ellis Park West Will Power
    Haskell Stakes* July 22 Monmouth Park Geaux Rocket Ride
    Whitney Stakes* August 5 Saratoga White Abarrio
    Juddmonte International Stakes (turf)* August 23 York (UK) Mostahdaf
    Travers Stakes August 26 Saratoga Arcangelo
    Pacific Classic* September 2 Del Mar Arabian Knight
    Jockey Club Gold Cup* September 2 Saratoga Bright Future
    Pennsylvania Derby September 23 Parx Saudi Crown
    Awesome Again Stakes* September 30 Santa Anita Park Slow Down Andy
    Lukas Classic September 30 Churchill Downs Clapton

    *denotes "Win & You're In" race for Breeders' Cup Classic

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