Horse of the Year On the Line in Classic

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By Emily Shields

Horse of the Year is on the line in the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), a 1 ¼ mile race around the Keeneland oval for the best horses in North America.

3-1 Tiz the Law is one of the leading contenders, who has been somewhat lost in the shuffle with the three Bob Baffert runners on the outside. Tiz the Law’s only loss this year was the 2020 Kentucky Derby last out, running second as the favorite. Before that the son of Constitution had racked up wins in the Florida Derby (G1), Belmont Stakes (G1), and Travers Stakes (G1), as well as the Grade 3 Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park. Barclay Tagg trains the bay colt, who should be able to take back off the pace and make a strong run.

Drawn to his immediate outside is 10-1 By My Standards, winner of three Grade 2 races since March. In his lone Grade 1 try this year, the son of Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Goldencents was second in the Whitney behind Improbable, so he fits with this group. Bret Calhoun trains the $1.7 million earner, who will be ridden by Gabriel Saez.

Tom’s d’Etat is alongside. The seven-year-old Smart Strike son is two for three this year after ending the 2019 season with wins in the Grade 1 Clark at Churchill Downs and the Grade 2 Fayette over this track. His lone loss in the last year was when he stumbled badly in the Whitney and ran third as the favorite. Joel Rosario, who won yesterday’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), has the call.

The three Bob Baffert runners are Improbable, Authentic, and Maximum Security. Any of the three can win it. Improbable has won three straight Grade 1 events, including the 1 ¼ mile Hollywood Gold Cup and the Whitney over a few of these rivals. Authentic is the Kentucky Derby winner; the son of Into Mischief will go to the lead and try to fend off the rest. Maximum Security, who crossed the finish line first in the Kentucky Derby last year but was disqualified, has been nearly flawless in his career, and won the $20 million Saudi Cup in February.

$2.9 million earner Tacitus, 2019 Pacific Classic (G1) winner Higher Power, Woodward Handicap (G1) hero Global Campaign, and Title Ready, who has two wins on this track, complete the stellar field. Watch and wager with TVG for all of your 2020 Breeders’ Cup needs, such as how to bet the Breeders’ Cup online.

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