California Chrome, the thoroughbred who took the country by storm two years ago by outpacing his pedigree and nearly capturing the Triple Crown, looks to pad his coffers as the sport’s all-time money earner as the favorite for the 33rd Breeders’ Cup Classic Saturday at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California.
Now five years old, the Lucky Pulpit colt stands as an overwhelming -125 favorite in the 12-contender deep field made up of some of the top thoroughbreds in the world. Travers Stakes winner Arrogate is well behind California Chrome at +400 odds, followed by Frosted at +500, according to the latest odds from Sportsbook.ag.
While his connections originally wanted to put him out to stud, California Chrome raced again in 2015 after almost ending the Triple Crown drought in 2014, claiming the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes before a fourth-place finish at the Belmont.
He raced only twice as a 4-year-old, placing second in both, but this year California Chrome’s won all six of his races (each at least 1 1/16-mile), including the Dubai World Cup in March. Altogether, trainer Art Sherman, and breeders Perry Martin and Steve Coburn, have earned $13.4 million off California Chrome.
And with $6 million on the line at the Breeders Cup, by far the biggest purse in the sport’s most prestigious race, California Chrome could further extend his record and improve his third-place showing from 2014.
However, the 1 1/4-mile race does include maybe some of the best competition California Chrome’s ever lined up against.
Frosted, the four-year-old trained by 2006 Classic winner Kiaran McLaughlin, went toe-to-toe Triple Crown winner American Pharoah twice and placed fourth in last year’s Derby and second at the Belmont. Sired by world-renowned stallion Tapit, Frosted did, however, fall to fifth in Dubai to California Chrome but he did pick up a one-mile victory at the Metropolitan Handicap in June and the Whitney Handicap in August.
Other top contenders include five-year gelding Melatonin (+1200), who’s won three of his last four races, and two of those took place at Santa Anita.
Originally, California Chrome would have faced this year’s Derby winner Nyquist, but following an Oct. 27 workout that resulted in a “puffy ankle,” he was pulled from the Classic over the weekend, BloodHorse reported.
Post Time: Saturday, Nov. 5 at 8:35 p.m. ET
Odds To Win 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic
California Chrome -125
Gun Runner +2000
Keen Ice +3000
Shaman Ghost +3000
War Story +6000
Win the Space +6000