One look at the list of eleven horses in this classic event looks typical enough. But a deeper look by anyone who has any familiarity with this sport of kings will absolutely be floored by the level of competition in this year’s race. Here are a few observations:
Even the Breeder’s Cup rarely puts one shy of a dozen great names together like the ones listed. More than half have won over $900K. All have won a graded stakes race and most have won several. All have rated a 3 digit Beyers rating and some as high as 113 and over half scored 107 or higher.
The question that comes to mind when such a list is provided, “Who is minding the other tracks?” There are 4 of the country’s top 6 listed riders here and some names of past greats too!
Another Who’s Who with seven trainers having a win percentage over 20%. And if California wasn’t so darn far away there would be more top names going for the $750K prize money.
After spending way too much time analyzing this race. The surest thing I have realized is that I feel so guilty leaving out some of the best horses I have seen race in the last few years. Just take a look at the morning line odds in the above picture. How rare is it to see the favorite of any race at 4-1? And how often is it to see 7 of 11 entrants between 4-1 and 8-1?
Well, the first winner here is The Whitney Family, who for 84 years has been sponsoring this annual classic. Another winner is Saratoga Race Course who will pack’em to the rafters for this event. Still another winner is the sport of horse racing which is on the rise at some locales in a country suffering recession. And, of course, the winning horse who will be able to stay out of trouble and eventually find his way clear for a strong run down the stretch to the wire and collect a very hefty paycheck will be……… Oh, you’ll have to get The Track Philosopher’s picks to find that out.