California Chrome has certainly earned the role of favorite in the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic. North America’s all-time richest thoroughbred has so far proven unbeatable in his five-year-old season. The 2014 Horse of the Year has won all six of his starts in impressive style. While nine others will line up against him on Saturday, there can be little doubt that California Chrome is the horse to beat.
Bettors are sure to make the former Kentucky Derby winner the favorite in the $6 million-dollar race. That designation has not always been a good thing in the Classic, though. Only 9-of-32 betting favorites have come through to win the big race. California Chrome will be more than the wagering favorite, though, he will be a heavy favorite.
Still, that does not mean an automatic victory in the richest race on the Breeders’ Cup menu. Since its inception back in 1984, 18 horses have been bet down below the 2-1 mark. Of them, only five have won, for a winning percentage of just under 28%. Take a look at the big names on this list below, all sent off below 2-1, who have more often than not, lost in the Breeders’ Cup Classic…
Slew O’ Gold (3-5) – 3rd 1984
Chief’s Crown (9-5) – 4th 1985
Turkoman (8-5) – 2nd 1986
Ferdinand (1-1) – Won 1987
Alysheba (3-2) – Won 1988
Easy Goer (1-2) – 2nd 1989
Bertrando (6-5) – 2nd 1993
Cigar (7-10) – Won 1995
Cigar (3-5) – 3rd 1996
Skip Away (9-5) – Won 1997
Skip Away (9-5) – 6th 1998
Fusaichi Pegasus (6-5) – 6th 2000
Bernardini (11-10) – 2nd 2006
Curlin (9-10) – 4th 2008
Zenyatta (1-1) – 2nd 2010
Game On Dude (13-10) – 7th 2011
Game On Dude (17-10) – 9th 2013
American Pharoah (7-10) – Won 2015
Until American Phaorah scored a popular victory in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic, favorites, which were bet below 2-1, had been beaten seven consecutive times. Will California Chrome be able to continue a new trend started by the Grand Slam winner in 2015?
Bettors will unquestionably be on his side. In fact, there is a good chance that he becomes only the seventh horse to be sent to post at odds lower than even money. Of course, even favorites bet that low have only won two times in the first six attempts.