Breeders’ Cup Classic Gets Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah

The Breeders’ Cup has been around since 1984 and American Pharoah became the first Triple Crown winner this year since 1978, so history is in the making at Keeneland on Oct. 31.

This year’s $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic will feature a Triple Crown winner for the first time, making it the most anticipated Breeders’ Cup race in the three-decade history of the year-end championship event.

American Pharoah made history this spring by sweeping the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes, and shortly thereafter became the solid early betting choice for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and nothing much has changed despite the colt tasting defeat in his last outing.

The colt is currently the 2-1 betting favorite in early Breeders’ Cup Classic wagering despite coming up short in his last outing, a runner-up finish in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 29.

He was only beaten three-quarters of a length by the highly regarded Keen Ice, and the third place finisher Frosted came out of the race to win the Pennsylvania Derby in his last start.

Bayern used the Pennsylvania Derby last year as a springboard to winning the Classic, the first three-year-old to do so since Raven’s Pass in 2008.

Are we going to witness history and see the first “Grand Slam” of racing, or can American Pharoah be upset in his final race of his career before being whisked away to the breeding shed?

The colt has run consistent speed figures throughout his career, and there is no reason to think he is on the decline, and will be coming into the Classic off a two month freshening. His Triple Crown bid did not seem to take much out of him, as his career best speed figure came in his following start in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.

The question horseplayers must ask is are his low odds worth the risk.

The Triple Crown winner is going to face a tough group led by older horses Honor Code, Tonalist and Smooth Roller, fellow three-year-olds like Keen Ice and Frosted, and the European invader Gleneagles.

In addition, the current second choice in early Classic betting is the mare Beholder at 7-2. She will come into the Classic riding a six-race winning streak and beat males in the Pacific Classic this summer at Del Mar.

Beholder would be just the second female Classic winner, Zenyatta holding the distinction of the only filly or mare to beat the boys in the race.

The two-day championship event takes place at Keeneland on Oct. 30-31 with the $5 million Classic slated for Saturday evening and televised live by NBC.

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