The Breeders’ Cup Classic has finally arrived. I’ve been waiting for this day since the Kentucky Derby. This is the Race of the Year with the largest purse in North America on offer. A purse of $6,000,000 is on the line in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, so the stakes can’t get much higher than this race. It’s essentially an all-star race between the best horses of this year and into last year. Maximum Security has been running strong since 2019 and he might have something to say in the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday. We were expecting to see Swiss Skydiver as well, but she has been pointed to the Breeders’ Cup Distaff instead.
Along with the Breeders’ Cup Classic, there are 11 other stakes races. In other words, every race on the card is a stakes race. Nine of them are Breeders’ Cup races, so it’s a huge day not only because of the Classic. We have three picks to get to at Keeneland on Saturday. An early race and then a couple of later events, including the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Head below for our free Breeders’ Cup picks for November 7, 2020.
Race 1 – Perryville Stakes
Post Time: 10:15 a.m. EST
The day gets started early on Saturday at Keeneland. Race 1 is an early morning race for a $125,000 purse. The running of the Perryville Stakes will cover 6 furlongs on the main track. Seven horses are expected to participate in the short race, which I see possibly getting interesting between Bango and Nashville.
Bango is 4 for 10 in his career and coming off a recent win on September 27 at Churchill Downs. Before that win, Bango went winless in a couple of races after winning the $75,000 Mayers Electric Company Animal Kingdom Stakes (Black Type) by 2 ½ lengths. It was a clean effort by Bango, as he took over at the top of the stretch by a half length and didn’t look back.
Following that race, Bango was smoked in the $75,000 Tom Ridge Stakes (Black Type) for 6th on August 10. He also lost an allowance race on May 17, as Bango finished 8th in the $84,000 race. Bango was able to get back on the winning track in his most recent outing on September 27. He beat Wild Wes by 1 ½ lengths in an impressive showing.
Up in class Bango goes in an attempt to upset Nashville, who has been red-hot. Nashville seeks a hat-trick in only his third career race. He won as a first-time runner on September 2 at Saratoga by 11 ½ lengths over Democratic Values. Nashville followed up to win on October 10 to beat Sounion by 9 ¾ lengths.
For the $460,000 Nashville, the goal was to be aiming for much bigger races. Even this outing might be a bit too easy for him, but Nashville should take care of this field and complete the hat-trick and 3 for 3 start to his career.
Race 4 – Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint
Post Time: 12:02 p.m EST
Race 4 is one of the $1,000,000 races at Keeneland on Saturday. The Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (Gr. 1) is a big race with a few familiar names in it. Venetian Harbor, Serengeti Empress, and Gamine are all recognizable horses. I think this race will come down to Serengeti Empress and Gamine. As much as I like Venetian Harbor and what she’s done for me in the past, I think those two are going to be tough customers.
Serengeti Empress is 7 for 18 in her career, with her most recent win in the Ballerina Stakes (Gr. 1) on August 8. Serengeti Express won that $300,000 race by 1 length over Bellafina. After the second Grade 1 win of her career, she tried out another on September 5 at Churchill Downs in the $500,000 Derby City Distaff Stakes (Gr. 1). Serengeti Empress was close, but fell by a nose behind Bell’s the One as the betting favorite.
Gamine broke a track record in the $300,000 Acorn Stakes (Gr. 1) on June 20 in a blowout by 18 ¾ lengths. It wasn’t close, and then Gamine took home the $300,000 Test Stakes (Gr. 1) easily by 7 lengths. While Gamine was unable to beat Swiss Skydiver and Shedaresthedevil in the $1,250,000 Kentucky Oaks (Gr. 1), she is more than capable of getting back to her winning ways in this assignment. Gamine has looked really good in workouts recently, with times of 58.80 and 59.40 seconds at 5 furlongs. Look for Bob Baffert’s $1,800,000 filly to get the win here.
Race 12 – Breeders’ Cup Classic
Post Time: 5:18 p.m. EST
Distance:1 ¼ Miles
The grand finale at Keeneland is the biggest race of them all in North America, the Breeders’ Cup Classic comes with a $6,000,000 purse. You can find the biggest names in racing in this event, including Authentic, Maximum Security, Improbable, and Tiz the Law are all going to be running today. And there are others looking for an upset with a very likely chance like Tom d’Etat.
Tiz the Law, Improbable, and Tom’s D’Etat are on my shortlist in this event. Tiz the Law was the favorite to win the Kentucky Derby, but lost a duel against Authentic on September 5. He looked unbeatable on the track up to that point, as he mowed down the competition in three straight Grade 1 events. Including the Holy Bull Stakes (Gr. 3), Tiz the Law was on a four-race winning streak before losing to Authentic in the Derby.
In Tiz the Law’s most recent win, he beat Caracaro by 5 ½ lengths in the $1,000,000 Travers on August 8. That effort set up a lot of hype for Tiz the Law to win the Triple Crown after winning the Belmont Stakes in June. Authentic ended those dreams, though. Tiz the Law has been in good form in workouts, and is coming off a time of 59.20 seconds at 5 furlongs on Halloween.
Improbable is a fancy picking going into Saturday. This horse is 7 for 14 in his career and on fire recently. Improbable is a winner in three straight events, all of which were Grade 1 wins. Most recently, Improbably won the $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes over Maximum Security by 4 ½ lengths. He hit the burners at the ¾ pole and drove hard to go from 5th to a comfortable win. He is running in the form of his life and can’t be ignored.
A sneaky pick in the Breeders’ Cup Classic could be Tom’s d’Etat. Tom’s d’Etat is 11 for 19 in his career, and was on a four-race win streak before falling in the $750,000 Whitney Stakes (Gr. 1). Note that Tom’s d’Etat was the favorite in that race over Improbable and By My Standards. He was expected to win, but a bobble and stumble out of the gate early made it difficult for him to recover. Despite that, Tom’ d’Etat still finished only 2 ½ lengths behind the winner, Improbable.
In his most recent win, without the stumble, Tom’s d’Etat won the $500,000 Stephen Foster Stakes (Gr. 2) over By My Standards by 4 ¼ lengths. If Tom’s d’Etat ran that race against Improbable in the Whitney Stakes, there’s a good chance he wins there. The odds certainly look right on this horse. I’m going to take my chances on Tom’s d’Etat to steal this one in a bit of an upset over the more popular names.