TVG Analyst: Scott Hazelton
The G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic brings together one of the most wide open renewals in recent history with a favorite, McKinzie that has a lot of questions to answer.
#6 ELATE has proven to be perfect at the 1 1/4 mile distance she will travel today as she takes on the boys. This plan to run the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro has been in the works for that last couple of seasons. She was forced to miss last year’s Breeders’ Cup but in the lead up to the Churchill championships trainer Bill Mott was always pointing her in the direction of the Classic. Also let’s face it, she’s caught a suspect field. Elate always has herself in a good position early on and you can always expect her to keep on coming late. She hasn’t finished out of the top 3 since the ’17 Breeders’ Cup Distaff, when she was 3 years old. It’s safe to say that she is faster and the pattern she has on the Ragozin Sheets suggest she getting better late in 2019. Mott has a huge chance to pick up his third Classic, this time with a mare, ten years after Zenyatta took the Classic at Santa Anita.
#11 CODE OF HONOR is another runner in the Classic who has proven that going the ten furlong distance will not be an issue. Also his sheet numbers suggest he continues to get better. His trainer Shug McGaughey is a master when it comes to getting a horse to peak at the Breeders’ Cup. Shug has trained nine Breeders’ Cup winners, but it’s been a bit of time. His last win was in 2005 with Pleasant Home in the Breeder’s Cup Distaff. This is a big chance to bring home a first BC Classic win and with it a 3 Year Old Male Eclipse Award in a division that has seen many ups and downs in ’19. Code of Honor though is on a clear upswing late in the season.
#8 McKINZIE for so much of 2019 looked like an unstoppable force in the Classic division which saw many of the main players of 2018 heading off to the breeding shed. Then the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes happened, which lead Bob Baffert to make a rider change. Moving away from Mike Smith, a man that was his go to big race rider for the last several seasons. Shocking? I think so. Was McKinzie supposed to win the Awesome Again and run down the inferior Mongolian Groom? Absolutely. Would he have if the Awesome Again was run at 1 1/4 Mile? No way. That’s what makes him so tough to endorse on top against this group. I just don’t see him lasting at this distance. His speed figures show he’s talented and we have seen it at shorter distances, making him a fading factor the last 1/8 of a mile.
#11 CODE OF HONOR
Money Back Special Pick: #11 CODE OF HONOR
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