The Breeders’ Cup Classic is the most valuable horse race run in the United States each year and takes place at Santa Anita on Saturday 1st November. Raven’s Pass became the first British winner of the race in 2008, the first time the Classic was run on a synthetic pro-ride surface. In 2009 Zenyatta became the first ever mare to win the race and she almost repeated the feat in 2010. The meeting returned to Santa Anita in 2012 for first time since Zenyatta’s win in 2009, however the surface had been changed back to dirt at the Californian track and Santa Anita’s dirt surface definitely suits American bred horses more than those bred in Europe.
Below we take a look at the trends for the past 10 years:
horses aged 4 or 5 have won 8 of last 10 from approximately 52.1% of total runners.
The two 3yo winners both posted a career high RPR in winning a grade/group 1 on their previous start and had finished in first 4 in a British Classic or a Triple Crown race.
No horse aged above 5 has ever won the race and all 4 horses aged 6+ to be placed in this had finished in first 5 the previous year (2 were returning winners, one had finished 4th & 6th in previous 2 Classics and other was 5th the previous year).
9 of 10 winners were sired by a stallion that raced in North America (exception was by Candy Stripes, who was bred in Kentucky but raced in France)
8 of 10 winners were sired by a graded winner in America (2 exceptions were by sires who were placed in grade/group 1 company)
Record of Awesome Again progeny: 1372797 (1-2-7)
There have been 4 female runners (1-1-4) in the race in the past 10 years. Azeri finished 5th in 2004, Zenyatta won it in 2009 & was 2nd in 2010 while Havre De Grace was 4th in 2011.
10 of 10 winners finished in first 3 in a grade 1 or 2 last time
7 of 10 winners won last time (3 exceptions finished 2nd or 3rd in Jockey Club Gold Cup last time)
7 of 10 winners (last 7) had their last run in the past 35 days (3 exceptions had won the Woodward Stakes or Whitney Handicap last time out)
9 of 10 winners posted an RPR of 118+ on last start (exception posted RPR of 125 on penultimate start)
7 of 10 winners finished in first 4 on all completed starts that season (10 winners completed 53 races that season prior to winning this, in only 4 of those runs were they out of the first 4)
9 of 10 winners had won over 1M 1F or 1M 2F (exception was the one British-trained winner, who had never run over further than a mile)
10 of 10 winners had won a grade/group 1 (exception had won two grade 2's)
5 of 10 winners had won at that year's BC track (4 others were having first start at the BC track)
Highest placed finisher to return: 330P45274 (0-3-9)
Whitney Handicap winner (Moreno): 21711 (3-1-5)
Jockey Club Gold Cup winner (Tonalist): 002144053 (1-2-9)
Preakness winner (California Chrome): 214 (1-1-3)
Suburban H'cap winner (Zivo): 10528 (1-1-5)
Awesome Again Stakes winner (Shared Belief): 75271 (1-1-5)
Travers Stakes winner (V. E. Day): 722464002 (0-3-9)
Gold Cup at Santa Anita winner (Majestic Harbor): 724 (0-1-3)
Pennsylvania Derby winner (Bayern): 9792 (0-1-4)
Belmont Stakes winner (Tonalist): 67436 (0-1-5)
Pacific Classic winner (Shared Belief): 030756 (0-1-6)
Haskell Invitational Handicap winner (Bayern): 64 (0-0-2)
Kentucky Derby (California Chrome): 49 (0-0-2)
5 of 10 winners ran in the Whitney Handicap, finishing 21113
4 of 10 winners (4 of last 5 on dirt) ran in Jockey Club Gold Cup last time, finishing 1223
3 of 10 winners ran in Stephen Foster H'cap, finishing 118
2 of 10 winners ran in the Woodward Stakes, finishing 11
2 of 10 winners ran in Challenger Stakes, finishing 41
2 of 10 winners ran in Skip Away Stakes, finishing 51
2 of 10 winners ran in previous season's Clark H'cap, finishing 11
Bill Mott (1-1-7) trained the winner in 2011 and the 3rd in 2012 (also won it in 1995 with Cigar).
Christophe Clement (0-1-2) has seen 2 of his 3 runners since 2000 get placed.
Dale Romans (0-1-3) & Bob Baffert (0-1-6) have each saddled 1 placed finisher.
Record of European-trained runners: 1-3-14 (only winner came on Pro-Ride, record on dirt is 0-1-8). Both European winners of the Classic came here at Santa Anita, in 1993 with Arcangues and in 2008 on Pro-Ride with Raven’s Pass.
9 of 10 winners came from first 5 in the betting & were priced 9/1 or lower
The 2011 winner Drosselmeyer at 20/1 has been the only big upset since 2004.
Favourites (1-3-10) have a very poor record in this recently, having gained only won 1 in the last 10 runnings, giving a level stakes loss of 6.75.
Based on trends from the past 10 years you are looking for a horse:
- Sired by a graded winner that raced in North America
- Aged 4 or 5
- Finished in first 4 in all starts in 2014
- Finished in first 2 in a grade 1 or 2 last time (ideally won)
- Posted an RPR of 118+ last time out
- Had last run 20 to 35 days ago (or won Woodward or Whitney last time)
- Previously won a grade/group 1
- Won over 1M 1F or 1M 2F
- Previously won a graded race at Santa Anita (or having first run here)
- Won the Woodward, Whitney, Stephen Foster and/or Clark H’cap
- Finished in first 3 in Jockey Club Gold Cup last time
- Trained in North America (ideally based in California)
- From the first 5 in the betting.