Game On Dude can make his case for Horse of the Year with a win in Saturday's Grade I Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park.
Bob Baffert's 5-year-old gelding set the pace and gamely held the place in this event last year. The razor sharp early-pressing type is 5-for-5 at Santa Anita and has struck twice at ten furlongs. Bejarano got to know him in the G1 Awesome Again last time and he is training well for this engagement. He is the solid 9-5 morning line favorite.
Fort Larned was impressive in the G1 Whitney and completed his preparations for this with a solid show finish in the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup. He drew post 4 and jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. might get aggressive early.
Flat Out repeated in the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup but is not the same horse away from Belmont Park and he has been plagued by foot problems.
Mucho Macho Man has been carefully managed this year. He has proven to be most effective up to nine furlongs and lost a below par renewal of the G1 Woodward when last seen at Saratoga on September 1.
Nonios was clearly second best behind Game On Dude in the local prep for this. The late developing 3-year-old rates a longshot look under Martin Pedroza.
Awesome Again show finisher Richard's Kid needs pace help and will try to get involved late.
G1 Santa Anita Handicap hero Ron the Greek threw in a rare clunker in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. He packs a nice late punch when on his game.
To Honor And Serve is dangerous when he feels like running. He was 7th from post 12 in this event last year and is probably slated for a similar finish.
Alpha won the G1 Travers at this distance but has yet to run a quality race outside of New York.
Pool Play, Brilliant Speed, and Handsome Mike complete the field.
|PP|| ||HORSE|| ||TRAINER|| ||JOCKEY|| ||ODDS|
|1|| ||POOL PLAY|| ||Mark Casse|| ||Miguel Mena|| ||30-1|
|2|| ||FLAT OUT|| ||Bill Mott|| ||Joel Rosario|| ||5-1|
|3|| ||ALPHA|| ||Kiaran McLaughlin|| ||Ramon Dominguez|| ||20-1|
|4|| ||FORT LARNED|| ||Ian Wilkes|| ||Brian Hernandez Jr.|| ||5-1|
|5|| ||GAME ON DUDE|| ||Bob Baffert|| ||Rafael Bejarano|| ||9-5|
|6|| ||BRILLIANT SPEED|| ||Tom Albertrani|| ||Junior Alvarado|| ||20-1|
|7|| ||HANDSOME MIKE|| ||Doug O'Neill|| ||Mario Gutierrez|| ||30-1|
|8|| ||NONIOS|| ||Jerry Hollendorfer|| ||Martin Pedroza|| ||20-1|
|9|| ||RICHARD'S KID|| ||Doug O'Neill|| ||Garrett Gomez|| ||12-1|
|10|| ||RON THE GREEK|| ||Bill Mott|| ||Jose Lezcano|| ||6-1|
|11|| ||MUCHO MACHO MAN|| ||Kathy Ritvo|| ||Mike Smith|| ||8-1|
|12|| ||TO HONOR AND SERVE|| ||Bill Mott|| ||John Velazquez|| ||8-1|