The biggest weekend in thoroughbred racing is just around the corner. The 2017 Breeders’ Cup touches down at Del Mar racetrack this Friday and Saturday, with 13 races featuring the best horses from around the world. Each race has a minimum million-dollar purse attached, but the focus will naturally be on Saturday’s main event: the $6-million Breeders' Cup Classic. Gun Runner is the 9/5 favorite at Bovada Racebook as we go to press, with Arrogate close behind at 2/1. NBC will have the coverage beginning at 8 PM ET.

This could indeed be a classic. It’s a rematch of the Grade 1 Dubai World Cup, where Arrogate (Bob Baffert, trainer; Mike Smith, jockey) balked out of the gate before surging from 20 lengths behind to beat Gun Runner (Steve Asmussen, trainer; Florent Geroux, jockey) by 2 1/4 lengths. However, Arrogate failed to win his next two races, both at Del Mar, while Gun Runner racked up three straight Grade 1 victories. Baffert gave Arrogate some extra time to rest before the Classic, and his workouts have been sharp, but is there something about the Del Mar track that’s not to his liking?

 

Four Classic Horses for Baffert

After Gun Runner and Arrogate, there are two quality second-tier contenders at 6/1 on the Breeder’s Cup horse racing odds list – and they’re both trained by Baffert. Collected (jockey: Martin Garcia) and West Coast (jockey: Javier Castellano) have enjoyed strong results of late; Collected even got the duke over Arrogate by a half-length at the Grade 1 Pacific Classic, as the 3/5 pre-race favorite couldn’t close the distance this time.

Baffert has one more horse in the Classic: Mubtaahij (jockey: Drayden Van Dyke), who’s available at 12/1 on the Breeders’ Cup odds board. This Irish-bred five-year-old has finished in the Top-4 in each of his last eight races, including first place at the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes on September 30. The switch to Van Dyke could be just what the doctor ordered for Mubtaahij. However, he’s winless in seven races at 1 1/4 miles, and he’s competing against the best of the best on Saturday.

Here’s the full 11-horse field for Saturday's Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar, in order of post position, with their odds at press time. Make sure to visit Bovada Racebook for the freshest Classic odds.

Post Position Horse Odds
1 Arrogate 2/1
2 War Decree 30/1
3 Win the Space 30/1
4 War Story 30/1
5 Gun Runner 9/5
6 Mubtaahij 12/1
7 Churchill 15/1
8 West Coast 6/1
9 Gunnevera 30/1
10 Pavel 20/1
11 Collected 6/1

 

*Odds as of November 2, 2017