TV SCHEDULE: Races will be broadcast Friday, Nov. 1 from 4 to 8 p.m. EST and Saturday, Nov. 2 from 3:30 to 8 p.m. EST on NBC Sports Network. The $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic will be broadcast Saturday from 8 to 9 p.m. EST on NBC.
The Breeders’ Cup, an international thoroughbred racing competition, gets underway this weekend at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, with five races Friday and nine Saturday.
Friday’s races will be: $500,000 Marathon; $1 million Juvenile Turf; $1 million Dirt Mile; $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf; and the [$2 million] Distaff, which returns to its original name used from 1983-2007. It was called the Ladies’ Classic starting in 2008.
Saturday’s races will be: $2 million Juvenile Fillies; $2 million Filly & Mare Turf; $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint; $1 million Turf Sprint; $2 million Juvenile; $3 million Turf; $1.5 million Sprint; $2 million Mile; and the Classic.
The weekend’s main event will be the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, a 1 1/4-mile dirt track race featuring many of the sport’s best thoroughbreds. All the field’s contenders can be found on the event’s Web site. The post time for the Classic is 8:35 p.m. EDT.
Other post times (all times EDT):
Marathon: 4:45 p.m.
Juvenile Turf: 5:25 p.m.
Dirt Mile: 6:05 p.m.
Juvenile Fillies Turf: 6:50 p.m.
Distaff: 7:35 p.m.
Juvenile Fillies: 3:05 p.m.
Filly & Mare Turf: 3:43 p.m.
Filly & Mare Sprint: 4:21 p.m.
Turf Sprint: 5:05 p.m.
Juvenile: 5:43 p.m.
Turf: 6:22 p.m.
Sprint: 7:01 p.m.
Mile: 7:40 p.m.
Game On Dude, co-owned by Major League Baseball executive Joe Torre, is the early 2-1 favorite in the Classic. The horse was also the favorite last year but ended up in seventh place and 15 lengths behind winner Fort Larned.
Game On Dude’s rivals include Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice, last year’s runner-up Mucho Macho Man, defending champion Fort Larned, Travers winner Will Take Charge and last year’s third-place finisher Flat Out.
Ron the Greek, who finished fourth in last year’s Classic, was scratched from the race Thursday with a hoof injury.
The Breeders’ Cup will also help determine the Horse of the Year. Wise Dan won the award last year after winning the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
Game on Dude and Wise Dan are the principal protagonists in the two days of competition, and once again the Horse of the Year title is Game on Dude’s to lose. He is a perfect 5 for 5 this season; his speed figures are outstanding; twice he has demolished Grade I competition by more than seven lengths. The only reason to doubt him is the fact that it’s relatively easy for horses to look brilliant when they dominate inferior competition, as Game on Dude has been doing. This is the first time since his 2012 Classic debacle that he’s faced a field filled with tough rivals.