Breeders Cup Classic Picks: How To Bet The Big Race

Saturday's free horse racing picks from handicapper Andrew Champagne comes to us from the Breeder's Cup Classic from Del Mar. He tells you the best picks to make here.
Andrew Champagne
Sat, November 6, 5:18 AM EDT

Breeders Cup Classic Picks: How To Bet The Big Race

The Breeders’ Cup Classic is the grand finale of horse racing’s year-end championship event. Some of the world’s most well-known horses will head postward late Saturday afternoon at Del Mar to compete for the winner’s share of a $6 million purse, and several of the entrants could also potentially clinch Horse of the Year honors with a victory.

#5 KNICKS GO is the likely favorite, and for good reason. Since going to the barn of Brad Cox prior to the 2020 campaign, the flashy gray has won seven of nine starts, including three Grade 1 races. He does try a mile and a quarter for the first time in this spot, but I think he’s the speed of the speed, and Del Mar tends to play kindly to horses of Knicks Go’s ilk.

With me backing the likely favorite, the question then becomes, how does one make money betting on the race? I’ll focus on two others to use Knicks Go with, and one of them is a well-known stablemate of his.

#4 ESSENTIAL QUALITY has won eight of nine career starts and has been training up to this race since a win in the Travers at Saratoga. That victory came at this distance, and he also has a win in the Belmont to his credit as well. Unlike Knicks Go and several others, he doesn’t need the lead in order to run well, and if several others go with his barn buddy, this son of Tapit could stand to benefit.

Another possible beneficiary, though, is a big, big price. #2 EXPRESS TRAIN hasn’t run all that well lately, but he’s had some tough racing luck in his last two outings. His form from earlier this season was fine, and while I’m not sold on him really wanting a mile and a quarter if they go absurdly fast early, this is one that could clunk up for a piece of the pie. If he does that at a big price, exacta and trifecta payoffs will likely be very nice (even if Knicks Go is involved).

THE PLAY

I’ll box all three runners in exactas and trifectas, but I’ll key Knicks Go pretty heavily. Additionally, Knicks Go will be a single on most of my multi-race exotics wagers, with Essential Quality existing as a saver on a few of them.

3 units: Exacta key box, 5 with 2,4

1 unit: Exacta box, 2,4,5

1 unit: Trifecta key, 5 with 2,4 with 2,4

1 unit: Trifecta box, 2,4,5

Andrew Champagne
AndrewChampagne
Andrew Champagne is a horse racing handicapper with a specialism in juveniles. One thing is for certain, Champagne gets the party started.
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