The Breeders’ Cup Classic is the richest race in North America and it unsurprisingly is expected to attract a top class field. The odds on the international Ante Post markets have been moving about over the past few weeks but after wins at the Grade I Whitney at Saratoga and following it up with beating stablemate Maximum Security in the Grade I Awesome Again, Improbable has settled in as the favorite over Belmont winner Tiz the Law.
Improbable has enjoyed a fantastic four-year-old season so far with victory in the Hollywood Gold Cup in addition to the two previously listed races. Only a second place to fellow expected Classic horse Tom’s d’Etat in the Oaklawn Mile has stopped the Bob Baffert trained colt from taking away a 100% record for the calendar year. In 2019 he took on the Dirt Mile at the Breeders’ Cup and came away with a fifth placed finish. He’s 7/2 in most places.
As for Tiz the Law, his season has been nothing but success if you take away a small race known as the Kentucky Derby. Going off as a 3/5 favorite, Barclay Tagg’s three-year-old found himself chasing Authentic down the back stretch and he was never able to take the lead.
Victories at the Florida Derby, Belmont Stakes and the Travers added to his Champagne win as a two-year-old meaning that like Improbable, the horse has four Grade I wins on his resume. Tiz the Law is 4/1 in most places and there is little doubt that he'll see plenty of action at that price.
Bob Baffert has the favorite but he also had the horse at the top of the betting a few weeks ago - this time however it was a different four-year-old. Maximum Security has endured quite the 18 months or so from being disqualified from the Kentucky Derby having crossed the line first, seeing his Saudi Cup win questioned over drug issues with regards to his trainer and now he’s getting used to Baffert’s way of things.
That defeat in the Awesome Again has seen his odds drift to 6/1 in most places but you can’t sleep on him. Our in-house handicapper is not a big Max fan so come Breeders’ Cup week, don’t expect him to be talking up the horse!
We are four horses in as we go down the list of top contenders according to the international Ante Post odds and we’ve yet to get to speak about the winner of the Kentucky Derby. Authentic surprised many when he outlasted Tiz the Law but the question marks aren’t far away.
This is another Baffert horse and the way in which he got Authentic ready for Churchill Downs is supremely impressive. Can’t be ruled out and the oddsmakers are struggling to price him up as a variety of odds are available from 5/1 to 8/1.
Seven-year-old Tom’s d’Etat was another horse who has seen the favorite tag around their neck in the recent past. A third-place finish after a terrible start in the Whitney where the horse stuttered out of the gate saw the odds drift but I’m not sure why. To still grab third despite being 10 lengths behind within the first 20 strides is quite the feat. Very much a contender and available at 8/1 in most places.
One more horse to note is Swiss Skydiver. The winner of the Preakness may go to Keeneland to take on the Classic although it seems likely that the Distaff would be the race where Kenny McPeek enters his superstar three-year-old filly. Like Authentic the odds are wildly different with 11/1 available as well as 5/1.
Charlatan had been priced up as a top three horse for several months but he won’t be shipped to Keeneland for the Breeders’ Cup following the injury that took him off the Derby prep scene in June.