The Free PPs
TheFreePPs is covering the 2021-2022 Fair Grounds meet which begins Thursday, November 25 with the Thanksgiving Classic. First race post is at 1:00 PM ET for the nine race opening day card from New Orleans.

    Breeders’ Cup Classic

    Santa Anita Track Configuration Illustration thefreepps.com

    Saturday, November 6, 2021

    Purse: $6,000,000
    Grade: 1
    Distance: 1 1/4 Miles (1m 2f)
    Age: 3+

    Updated October 12, 2021

    Breeders’ Cup Classic rankings are listed in order by a consensus of opinion of “43 leading Thoroughbred racing media, horseplayers and members of the Breeders’ Cup Racing Directors/Secretaries Panel.” If interested, you can view the list of voting members here.

    If you have an opinion about the rankings, Wiz Capper’s analysis or your own, leave a comment and tell us who you like.

    Rank Horse HRN Odds
    1 Essential Quality 9-2
    2020 BC Juvenile winner and Eclipse Award champion 2-year-old male. He’s 8 for 9 in trips to the winner’s circle. 4th in the Derby only made him stronger as he raced wide and finished evenly behind front-running but still undeclared winner Medina Spirit. Going West will be unfamiliar territory. But he’s a MONSTER…and if he wins this there won’t be anything left to prove at 4.
    2 Knicks Go 7-2
    2021 Whitney winner returned to make it 3 in a row in the Lukas Classic last time out. His 2 and 3YO seasons were uninspiring. Ended his 4YO campaign as the BC Dirt Mile winner at Keeneland and he came ready to run at 5. Speed is his game. Goes West for the first time and it’s a different scene than he’s accustomed to. Plus the competition will be fierce from his stablemate EQ.
    3 Hot Rod Charlie 10-1
    A fan favorite in the Kentucky Derby off his front-running victory in the Louisiana Derby, he was another who chased Medina Spirit around the track, holding on to finish ahead of the wide running EQ. Started career at Del Mar as an also ran in three starts before reaching tde winner’s circle for the first time at Santa Anita in his next out. SoCal is homebase for him but his best performances have been as a visiting player.
    4 Medina Spirit 10-1
    The controversy continues surrounding his failed post-race drug test after winning the Kentucky Derby for troubled trainer Bob Baffert. Will start the Classic on a two-race win streak and after coasting home last time out against much weaker talent. No doubt he’ll be sent to the lead like he was in the Derby when facing EQ. Trainer troubles aside, he’ll have homefield advantage at a fair price.
    5 Maxfield 20-1
    CDI properties specialist was 3rd when he ventured West to run in the Santa Anita Handicap earlier this year. Following that he won two in a row at Churchill before being runner up in his next two on the NYRA circuit. Classy son of Street Sense will have his work cut out for him as a closer on a speed favoring track.
    6 Max Player 10-1
    Began career at Parx as a 2YO and showed enough talent to eventually take a crack at the Belmont in the crazy year that was 2020 where the third leg of the Triple Crown was run before the first. But so it was. And where he finished third. Moved to Asmussen before the first leg was run as the second, and finished 5th in the Derby. And a month later 5th in the Preakness. Since then he’s won his last two starts under Asmussen winning the Suburban and the Jockey Club Gold Cup to get him to this race. Good horses can win anywhere. He’s a good horse now.
    7 Art Collector 8-1
    Would not be denied in the Woodward going gate to wire over heavy favorite Maxfield. Same type of performance winning the Alydar at Saratoga three back. Was 8th in the Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Mile in 2020. He’s not fast enough to outrun the other speedsters.
    8 Mishriff (IRE) N/A
    If given the opportunity, he’ll make the field ranked 8th going into the Classic as the 2021 winner of the best race in the world for the year 2020. He’s a versatile grandson of 2008 Classic winner Raven’s Pass who was also trained by the legendary John Gosden. The ’08 Classic was held at Santa Anita when the European runners were gladly sent to contest America’s best over the bygone era of a synthetic surface that was an American experiment.
    9 Tripoli 28-1
    Turf to dirt move was the ticket after 8 consecutive tries on the lawn for son of one of America’s premier turf sires Kitten’s Joy. He’s now 2 of 3 on dirt and winner of the Del Mar’s prized feature event the 2021 TVG Pacific Classic. Not sure he’s experienced enough to take this.
    10 Dr. Post 40-1
    Not a “Win and You’re In” contender so he may not even go here. But he’s made the Top 10 rankings by virtue of back-to-back showings in the aforementioned Pacific Classic when favorite. And the Woodward last time out. Hard to see this guy taking home the trophy for Pletcher and company.

    Note: Early odds sourced from HorseRacingNation.com as they happen. Analysis is a preliminary look at the contenders. Bookmark this page and check back for Wiz Capper’s final take on the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Classic to be run Saturday, November 6, at Del Mar.

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