HRN Original Blog:
Zipse At The Track

2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic Depth Chart

Mucho Macho Man Will Take Charge BC 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire - Alex Evers


1) Palace Malice - With wins in the Gulfstream Park Handicap, New Orleans Handicap, Westchester, and Met Mile, the 2013 Belmont winner has moved to the head of the class. Tardy BC break compromised his chances last year, but this year he should be ready to run his best, much like his sire, Curlin, did in 2007.

2) Will Take Charge - Only one win in five starts so far this year, but as the Foster reminded us, he really only starts going after they’ve run at least a mile. At nine furlongs he’s vulnerable, but at ten furlongs, he is a major threat. We all remember how ever so close he came to getting the job done in the Breeders’ Cup Classic at three.


3) Mucho Macho Man - The big six-year-old almost won in 2012, and he did win in 2013. Triple M has been excellent at Santa Anita, as well as at ten furlongs in his career. If he can get over his hind ankle issues sooner than later, there is good reason to believe he will be right back in the thick of things in the Classic once again. 





4) Game On Dude - The 2011 Breeders’ Cup Classic runner-up has disappointed in each of the last two editions of America’s richest race, but otherwise the tireless gelding continues to rack up the stakes wins. The Big Cap winner is the one to beat in Saturday’s Gold Cup at Santa Anita.



5) California Chrome - America’s glamour boy took the Triple Crown by storm all the way to the final furlong or two of the Belmont Stakes. Getting some R&R back home in California, he should be ready to go this fall with every chance to prove that he can compete with the best older horses in the nation.

6) Lea - Through February 9, this was the best horse in the country. Sparkling wins in the Hal’s Hope and Grade 1 Donn Handicap earned him that status, but physical setbacks have kept him away from the races since. Much like Cigar, Lea exploded for trainer Bill Mott after the turf to dirt switch.  Back in training at Saratoga, this is one talented horse that should not be forgotten on the road to November 1.

7) Moonshine Mullin - The headlines came pouring in … “Former Claimer Makes Good!” “Moonshine Served Warm in the Foster!” “Five in a Row for Mullin!” At the very least, he is a very good story that has spiced up racing’s mid-season. He might just be more than that, though. The former Jim Dandy runner-up has clearly put it all together, and is deserving of serious respect moving forward.

8) Last Gunfighter - The good news is he finished ahead of #1 on this list in last year’s Classic. The bad news is he has never proven that he can get the job done against a field this deep and talented. Having said that, his return race was brave, he likes the distance, and he really knows how to win. Further improvement this year puts him in the mix.

9) Tonalist - With many of the best three-year-olds from the Spring in need of time off, this one appears to be going decidedly in the other direction. He’s tactical, he’s lightly raced, and now he’s a classic winner. If he passes his summer exams at Saratoga, there’s no reason to believe he can’t graduate to older competition.

10) Fury Kapcori - A horse I’ve long expected big things from, Kapcori has really begun to put things together in 2014. I even believe he is better than his second place finish in the Californian would suggest. That belief will be put to the test big time versus the Dude and the rest in Saturday’s Gold Cup at Santa Anita. 



comments powered by Disqus

Older Comments about 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic Depth Chart...

Wonder if Shared Belief would be able to handle this group
  • RayS · If he can stay healthy, I think he's the best horse in training right now.If he can win the Los Al Derby as easily as all his other races, he definatley is a contender. Hopefully he can run on dirt as well as on poly. · 1239 days ago
I like the list. Will be fun to work with it - too bad they all can't win.
Im a moonshine moulin fan as well after Palac malice
More than likely 60% will not make the race for 1 reason or another.
can't argue with the of now it looks like Palace Malice is definitely the top handicap long as Will Take Charge doesn't wear himself out on a busy campaign thus far and Lea coming back healthy, they look like the top 3 but do like the development of Moonshine Mullin, curious to see how California Chrome comes back as well as Shared Belief.
Not a bad list!! I personally don't think they will all be there still come race time, but that is a good bunch of horses so far!!
This is just another list of horses, not in any order!! If it were Tonalist and Chrome would be on top!!
Danza was sent to "the farm" because of weight loss and a non-specified skin disorder. Who knows when he'll be back if he's not even working.
Vodkak, I hope he comes back! I think he will. Shame he already had soundness issues as a baby.
LG and Lea are the best.
* He's an enigma!
rafi, problem is in order for Danza to kick ass he has to run. He hasn't even had a workout in over a month. HE
Though he's not on anybody's radar, he did set a track record @ Gulfstream in his first out in nearly nine months. Failure to follow that up has meant a switch of trainers. For Normandy Invasion, the connections are switching camps from Chad Brown to Dale Romans. Not sure if the change can improve his situation, but, if so, he would be a "bomb" for the Classic.
Agree with most of your list though!
Danza needs to be on this list. He is going to kick some ass in the summer. Jay nailed it!
I completely get why he's not on the list, but come BCC time I believe Danza will be power player.
Add Cross Traffic + Mylute
Fury Kapcori should DEFINITELY be on it. hes the best California male besides the Dude. he deserves to be on the list. this is a nice list. but i think California Chrome, Tonalist, Moonshine Mullin, & the Dude should be rated above WTC & MMM.
I don't think Mucho Macho Man is that good this year. I'd switch him with Game On Dude but that's just my opinion.

Related Pages

      Connect With Brian

Me On Facebook
Follow Me On Twitter


 ZATT's Star of the Week 

Mr. Jordan

Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


Related Stories

Top Stories