Kentucky Derby Winner Out of Breeders’ Cup Classic

November 2, 2023

The Breeders’ Cup Classic, one of the pinnacle events in horse racing, is facing a series of unexpected withdrawals that are reshaping the odds and dynamics of the race. This article delves into the details surrounding the high-profile absences, the current favorites, and the impact these changes are having on the upcoming race at Santa Anita Park.

Mage’s Misfortune: Kentucky Derby Winner Sidelined

Mage, who defied expectations by winning the Kentucky Derby at 15-1 odds, has unfortunately been struck down by illness and appetite loss, ruling him out of the Breeders’ Cup Classic. His journey post-Derby was marked by a third-place finish in the Preakness, a second-place finish in the Haskell, and a disappointing last place in the Travers on August 26. This turn of events has not only affected betting odds but also the racing strategies of the other contenders.

Geaux Rocket Ride’s Setback: Injury and Surgery Impact Classic Lineup

Another notable withdrawal is Geaux Rocket Ride, who sustained an injury during a workout session. The subsequent surgery on Sunday has led to the horse’s unfortunate exit from the Breeders’ Cup Classic. This development has further thinned the field and added to the unpredictability of the race. Sadly it was later reported that Geaux Rocket Ride did not recover from his surgery.

National Treasure to Run the Dirt Mile

The team behind National Treasure, the horse that emerged victorious in the Preakness, has opted to enter the contender in the $1 million Dirt Mile on Saturday. This choice reflects a calculated move, likely based on the horse’s aptitudes and the competitive outlook, resulting in National Treasure’s absence from the Breeders’ Cup Classic field.

Arcangelo’s Abrupt Retirement: Belmont and Travers Stakes Winner Bows Out

Arcangelo, the Belmont and Travers Stakes champion, is the latest casualty to afflict the 2023 Breeders’ Cup Classic lineup. Trainer Jenna Antonucci announced the horse’s withdrawal from the $6 million Classic due to an issue with his left hind foot, prompting an immediate retirement. This departure is particularly impactful, as Arcangelo was ranked No. 2 in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll and stood as the 7-2 second choice in the odds.

Adjusted Betting Landscape

With the withdrawal of significant contenders such as Mage, the betting landscape has seen considerable shifts. Kentucky sportsbook odds are now live and have changed a bit with Mage being sidelined with a fever along with a couple of other horses. Arabian Knight is the 3-1 morning line favorite for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic this weekend at Santa Anita Park in California. The Classic will be broadcast Saturday on NBC.

New Favorites Emerge: White Abarrio and Ushba Tesoro Take the Spotlight

With the absence of Arcangelo in the lineup, Whitney Stakes hero White Abarrio and Dubai World Cup winner Ushba Tesoro have stepped up as the co-second choices at 4-1. This alteration in the field means that bettors and enthusiasts will be keenly watching these two thoroughbreds, anticipating if they can seize the opportunity presented by the withdrawals of some of the top contenders.

The Breeders’ Cup Classic Stage: Santa Anita Park Prepares for the Spotlight

The 2023 Breeders’ Cup Classic, with a purse of $6 million, has drawn a 12-horse field to Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. The iconic venue is set to host the event on Saturday, with the stage perfectly set for a showdown that could see new legends emerge in the absence of some of the expected favorites.

Bob Baffert’s Home Advantage: A Trainer With a Storied History

Bob Baffert, a two-time Triple Crown-winning trainer with 17 wins in Triple Crown races and four Breeders’ Cup Classic victories, will have the home-track advantage at Santa Anita. His vast experience and intimate knowledge of the track could prove to be a significant edge for the horses under his tutelage.

Arabian Knight’s Favorable Odds: A New Favorite Emerges

Arabian Knight wins The Pacific Classic, Ernie Belmonte, Past the Wire
Arabian Knight wins The Pacific Classic, Ernie Belmonte, Past the Wire

Arabian Knight, with three wins in four career starts, has been propelled to the position of the 3-1 favorite in the 2023 Breeders’ Cup Classic odds. The withdrawals of Mage and Arcangelo have cleared the path for this talented horse to possibly clinch a victory at one of the most prestigious races in the equestrian calendar.

A Historic Event: The Breeders’ Cup Classic Legacy

Since its inception in 1984, the Breeders’ Cup Classic has cemented its place as one of the globe’s most prestigious horse races, attracting international contenders and being part of the grand slam of American horse racing. American Pharoah, trained by Bob Baffert, is the only horse to win all four races, achieving this historic feat in 2015. The 2023 event marks the 40th running of the Breeders’ Cup Classic and the 10th time Santa Anita Park has had the honor of hosting.

The Breeders’ Cup Classic is poised to be a thrilling event, despite the absence of some anticipated contenders. The reshaped field presents new opportunities for emerging favorites to claim glory and etch their names in the annals of horse racing history.

One of the best articles on the state of emergency of our industry. Hits the nail on the head. If we want to save racing we must band together and actively work to save it. If we want the industry to die...we can continue with what we're doing.

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