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Breeder’s Cup Classic Betting Guide

If you want to bet on the premier horse racing event of the year, then you are in the right place. This article will teach you all you need to know about the Breeders’ Cup Classic including which horses are running and some helpful background information about them.

Breeders’ Cup Classic

The Breeders’ Cup Classic, sponsored by Longines, is considered by many to be the premier thoroughbred horse race of the year, with the largest purse at $6 million. The race features some of the most powerful stallions and colts in the world. It has a reputation for being incredibly difficult to predict due to the quality of the horses racing. A notable upset was in 1993, when French stallion Acangues won the race despite being the underdog.  He caused an upset at odds 133-1.

Del Mar Race Track

The Classic is played out on a 1 ¼ mile long track. This year it will be held at the Del Mar racetrack. The track opened in 1937, it was built by a partnership of legendary actors: Bing Crosby, Pat O’Brian, Gary Cooper, Joe E. Brown, Charles S. Howard and Olive Hardy. It can host a capacity of 44,000, the second largest horse racing track in the United States, and features both a turf track and a dirt track.

Breeders’ Cup Classic Regulations

Horses racing will be categorized by Weight for Age conditions. This form of handicap can usually be found in the top contests for thoroughbreds. The horses are distinguished by age, sex, race distance and month of the year, and given weights to make a more balanced competition.

The horses will be at least three years old, mainly colts or young stallions; however, there have been fillies and mares. In the 2009 race, mare Zenyatta had a perfect record of 13 wins out of her first 13 races. Her owners decided to put her in the Classic, against the males, and despite dropping back early on, Zenyatta pushed forward at the final strides to win.

"And she still went, believe it or not, well within herself. She was pricking her ears and galloped out. She didn't even take a breath after the race was over. It's just incredible."

She was the first and only female horse to win the Classic.

The Longines Classic Entries

Art Collector

Art Collector comes to this race after a disappointing eighth finish last year in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The 4 year old colt comes into this contest on a three win streak, under trainer Bill Mott, a 10 time Breeders’ Cup winner.

Before Mott, Art Collector was trained with Tom Drury, a specialist in preparing cup winning thoroughbreds. After 2019, at the age of 2, he was preparing for the 2020 season, but due to the pandemic he did not run in the Breeders’ Cup. In the later parts of 2020, the colt won the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, a grade 2 race, at Keeneland. With another win at the Runhappy Ellis Park Derby, he looked like a strong contender for the Kentucky Derby, but he did not enter due to a minor injury when he stepped on himself during training.

In 15 starts, Art Collector has 8 wins and was runner up once, with a total of $1.5 million earnings from his races.

Essential Quality

Essential Quality is the top ranked three year old colt of 2021 after his wins at Travers Stakes and Belmont Stakes. This champion thoroughbred finished in fourth place in the Kentucky Derby, and he will be looking to win his first Breeders’ Classic following his undefeated season last year when he won a Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

The colt is trained by 4 time Breeders’ Cup winner, and winner of the 2020 Eclipse Award for outstanding trainer, Brand Cox. Cox said of Essential Quality that he has an incredibly high work ethic, and does not seem to tire at all.

“He just kept going and going and you're like, 'Whoa, we did too much with him.' Then he walks off the track like he did nothing. He gave us a lot of confidence when we led him over there (to the race) the first time and he's continued to do so every time we've run him.”

Out of a total of 9 starts, this colt has won 8 races and racked up over $4 million in earnings.

Express Train

While Express Train has not won many of the big races, this colt has a sturdy track record of being in the top four places, only once has he came in at 6th place. He has won several grade 2 races in San Pasqual Stakes, Santa Anita and the San Diego Handicap, which was at Del Mar, the host for this year's Breeders’ Cup.

His trainer, John Shirreffs, is best known for training the aforementioned Zenyatta, and Giacomo, a horse that won the Kentucky Derby.

Out of 14 starts, Express Train has won 4 races, 4 runner up prizes and finished in third place three times. He has earned just under $700,000 in his career so far.

Hot Rod Charlie

Hot Rod Charlie broke onto the scene in last year's Breeder’s Cup, when he finished a close runner up to Essential Quality. If he won, he would have caused a massive upset, coming in at an odds of 94-1.

He started the season slowly, with his first three maiden runs going winless, but after a change of strategy, he won his first race in the Louisiana Derby at the Fairgrounds Race Course in New Orleans.

Out of his 11 starts, he has won 3 races, finished runner up twice, and achieved three third places. His total career earnings so far are just over $2 million.

Knicks Go

Knicks Go is slightly older than his competition, this will be the 5 year olds third Breeders’ Cup Championship. He did not do well in his first campaign as a three year old, but each year he has bounced back a stronger horse. After a huge victory at the Whitney Stakes, Knicks Go received an automatic berth at the Classic.

Out of 23 starts, he has won nine races, came second twice and third once, and has made over $5.5 million in his career.

Max Player

Max Player is the only horse to win all three Triple Crown races during 2020. He won his place in the Breeders’ Cup Classic after winning the “Win and You’re In” race at Belmont Park. He is trained by Steven M. Asmussen, who recently became the highest winning thoroughbred trainer in North America after winning his 9,446th race on the 7th August.

Max Player has a career 11 starts, with four wins, was runner up once and came in at third twice. He has racked up a total of $1.25 million in his career earnings.

Medina Spirit

Medina Spirit is a horse who was groomed to become a winner. While his sire and dam were not race horses, his grandsires were both thoroughbreds who enjoyed success in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Medina Spirit has lived up to his grandsires in winning the Kentucky Derby and he has also won the Awesome Again Stakes on the 3rd of October in Santa Anita, putting him in good form for the Classic.

In nine races, Medina Spirit has won five times, placed second three times and came in at third once. In his very recent success, he has earned over $2.5 million.

Stiletto Boy

While Medina Spirit stole the show at the last Awesome Again Stakes, colt Stiletto Boy won himself a berth to the Breeders’ Cup Classic by finishing in second place.

Stiletto Boy has had a tough start, he did not break into the top grades of thoroughbred racing until he won at Oaklawn Park, defeating Arkansas Derby Winner Super Stock.

Out of ten starts, he has won twice and placed second and third three times each. He has earnt over $300,000.


The winner of the TVG Pacific Classic, Tripoli is a horse who loves the dirt tracks. He has trouble with his consistency, and struggled after he went winless in eight consecutive races, but after his most recent win, he looks back to challenge for the Classic.

Out of 15 starts, Tripoli has won four times and has placed both second and third three times, earning him $830,000.

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