Breeders' Cup Classic: Horses, predictions and trifecta pick

The 2020 Breeders' Cup Classic is often pivotal to determining the "Horse of the Year" honors and features a talented – and wide-open – field.

Posted: Nov 4, 2020 8:14 AM ET Updated: Nov 6, 2020 10:40 AM ET
Horses race in the 35th Breeders Cup Classic
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Horse racing betting fans will get to take a jaunt at this year's Longines Breeders' Cup Classic, which will hold a purse of $6 million dollars and be raced at the mile-and-a-quarter distance.

Along with the big purse and prestige of winning a race of this caliber, this one is often a pivotal race in helping to decide "Horse of the Year" honors. This wide-open field of 10 is set to go post-ward around 5:18 p.m. EST from Keeneland Racetrack in Lexington, Kentucky.

Our horse racing analyst Monique Vág previews the 2020 Breeders' Cup Classic odds and field horse-by-horse, giving her picks and predictions, including her favorite trifecta for the Saturday, November 7 race.

Breeders' Cup Classic 2020 Horses and Predictions 

1. Tacitus (Jockey: Jose Ortiz Jr.) - 20/1 odds

Your Kentucky Derby fourth-place finisher followed that effort up with a runner-up result in the Belmont Stakes. He's finished in the Top 3 in three straight races, including an absolute romp in the Grade 2 Suburban at Belmont Park—winning by over eight lengths.

He's going to be a big price at post, but he looks like the most logical longshot to outrace their odds and he is capable of hitting the board off many different types of trips. Look into giving this colt closer consideration to use underneath in your exotics.

2. Tiz the Law (Manuel Franco) - 3/1

Winning six of eight career races, this lightly-raced colt has impressed within the graded stakes ranks at age two, and now three. He romped in the Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes, winning those two by a combined nine lengths, and followed it up most recently by a runner-up finish to Authentic in the Kentucky Derby.

Saturday he draws a great post to execute a stalking trip—one that has been so successful for him in the past. If he's able to save some ground early on, expect to see that late powerful kick down the lane.

3. By My Standards (Gabriel Saez) - 10/1

This longshot is yet to record a Grade 1 victory, but he does have a runner up-finish to his name: in his most recent try at the Whitney Stakes, finishing second to Improbable. Another colt who is at his best when working out stalking trips, he draws a good post to potentially position himself with a good shot.

Only once through 12 starts has this colt finished off the board: the 2019 Kentucky Derby, when he raced over a sloppy track. He's been as consistent as any in here and could be someone to use at a big price to round out your exotic wagers.

4. Tom's D'Etat (Joel Rosario) - 6/1

This horse had his four-race winning streak snapped at the Whitney Stakes after stumbling out of the gate. The miscue at the beginning ultimately cost him the chance to race his ideal trip scenario, as he spotted the field more than five lengths early on. Pending a good break, he will be much closer this time around.

One of a few in here who last raced early August, this horse will be making his first start in over three months. Expecting him to win in this spot looks tough, however.


5. Title Ready (Corey Lanerie) - 30/1

A recent addition to the Dallas Stewart barn, since the claim this horse has logged a victory versus allowance company in early July and, most recently, a third-place effort in the Grade 2 Fayette, in which he was beaten only by a length.

On Saturday, this horse projects to be the longest shot on the board, and although he could benefit from a faster pace scenario and quicker early fractions, it would be a big shock to see this horse recording his first-ever stakes victory—or hitting the board at all.

6. Higher Power (Flavien Prat) - 20/1

His most recent victory came in August 2019 in the Pacific Classic at Del Mar, romping by over five lengths to pull off the 9/1 upset. Since then, his best effort has been a runner-up finish to Improbable, although the race was not close.

His ceiling is likely fourth or fifth, but this horse could benefit the most if there is a speed duel upfront. With his struggles since August of last year, and his lack of success within the stakes ranks, he's yet another longshot that won't be making my tickets.

7. Global Campaign (Javier Castellano) - 20/1

One of only two others in here entering off a victory in their most recent race: a forwardly-placed score leading every step of the way in the Woodward Handicap. This colt has been at his best when on or near the pace and with quite a few others projected to show some early speed, it appears unlikely he will be able to duplicate his front-running style.

Although he has won six of nine career races and enters on a two-race winning streak, this is by far the deepest field he's faced off against—expecting similar results does not appear likely.

8. Improbable (Irad Ortiz Jr.) - 5/2

Disappointed in the Triple Crown trail at three last year, but he really has turned it around at the age of four. He kicked 2020 off with a runner-up finish to Tom's D'Etat in the Oaklawn Mile and since then has logged three straight Grade 1-victories, all in dominant fashion.

He's gotten perfect trips in his recent races and caught Maximum Security on an off-day in the Awesome Again Stakes. Not taking anything away from how sharp he's been and how nicely he has matured into his four-year-old campaign, but I think the price will be too short to back. 

9. Authentic (John Velazquez) - 6/1 

Your 2020 Kentucky Derby winner followed that effort up by a runner-up finish at a short price in the Preakness Stakes, a race he lost by a neck to Swiss Skydiver. Despite the loss, he fought back very gamely in the deep stretch and it came right down to the wire to dictate the winner in the Preakness.

His early running style could be very productive in a field like this. Through seven career starts, he's never been more than a half-length off the early lead and, similarly to Maximum Security, wants to be up close early.

10. Maximum Security (Luis Saez) - 7/2

He's already a five-time Grade 1 winner (we all remember what victory six could have looked like with the Kentucky Derby disqualification) and has been the figure of consistency, only once finishing off the board through 13 career starts. Now he's making his fourth start under trainer Bob Baffert's care.

His most recent try in the Awesome Again was disappointing, finishing four-and-a-half-lengths behind Improbable, but a tough trip did not help his chances. He's a major player here and should offer a better than usual price, especially if too much weight is put on his most recent try.

2020 Breeders' Cup Classic Trifecta Pick 

1. Maximum Security

2. Tiz the Law

3. Improbable

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