Cal­i­for­nia Chrome made even-money fa­vorite

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SPORTS - By Beth Har­ris

Cal­i­for­nia Chrome was made the early even-money fa­vorite Mon­day in a field of 10for the $6 mil­lion Breed­ers’ Cup Clas­sic, in which the 2014Ken­tucky Derby and Preak­ness win­ner will try to close the year un­de­feated,

AR­CA­DIA, CALIF. >> Cal­i­for­nia Chrome was made the early even-money fa­vorite Mon­day in a field of 10 for the $6 mil­lion Breed­ers’ Cup Clas­sic, in which the 2014 Ken­tucky Derby and Preak­ness win­ner will try to close the year with an un­de­feated record.

Chrome is 6-0 so far in 2016 and is al­ready the rich­est horse in North Amer­i­can his­tory with ca­reer earn­ings of $13.4 mil­lion. He will break from the No. 4 post on Satur­day at Santa Anita un­der Vic­tor Espinoza.

“This horse is ready,” 79-year-old trainer Art Sher­man said. “He’s bet­ter now than he’s ever been.”

Ar­ro­gate drew the far out­side post and is the 5-2 sec­ond choice for the 1 ¼mile race against older horses. The late-de­vel­op­ing 3-year-old colt stunned the rac­ing world in Au­gust when he won the Travers at Saratoga by 13 ½ lengths. Ar­ro­gate will try to de­liver a record third straight Clas­sic vic­tory for trainer Bob Baf­fert, who won last year with Triple Crown cham­pion Amer­i­can Pharoah and in 2014 with Bay­ern at Santa Anita.

Ar­ro­gate will be rid­den by Mike Smith, whose 22 vic­to­ries make him the lead­ing jockey in the 32year his­tory of the event.

“I just hope all Amer­ica is watch­ing this race be­cause it’s go­ing to be a great race,” Baf­fert said.

The Clas­sic will be shown live in primetime on NBC.

Post po­si­tions were drawn Mon­day for the 13 races worth $28 mil­lion to be run dur­ing the world cham­pi­onships on Fri­day and Satur­day.

Whit­ney win­ner Frosted was in­stalled as the 5-1 third choice in the Clas­sic.

Effinex, last year’s Clas­sic run­ner-up, is one of two 15-1 shots in the Clas­sic, along with Hop­per­tu­nity, Baf­fert’s other en­try.

Also in the Clas­sic field are Keen Ice, Mela­tonin, Shaman Ghost, War Story and Win the Space.

The $2 mil­lion Distaff high­lights Fri­day’s four Cup races. The 1 1/8-mile race for fil­lies and mares pits three cham­pi­ons against each other: un­de­feated Song­bird, Stel­lar Wind and Be­holder.

Trained by Jerry Hol­len­dor­fer, Song­bird is 110, with five of her vic­to­ries com­ing on her home track at Santa Anita. She is the 6-5 fa­vorite rid­den by Smith. They drew the No. 1 post in the field of eight.

“She’s go­ing to run well,” Smith said. “She’s ready for some­thing like this.”

Stel­lar Wind is the cosec­ond choice at 5-2 with Be­holder, who will be mak­ing the last start of her ca­reer. Last year at Keeneland, Be­holder was scratched be­cause of a fever that kept her out of the Clas­sic against male horses.

Stel­lar Wind landed in the No. 5 post while Be­holder will break from the eighth spot.

“It’s nice to get off the rail,” said Richard Man­della, who trains Be­holder, “but I am a big­ger be­liever in good luck and a good post, so we are hop­ing for good luck.”

Also in the Distaff field are Ar­gentina-bred Corona Del Inca, Cu­ralina, For­ever Un­bri­dled, I’m a Chat­ter­box and Land Over Sea.

In the $2 mil­lion Ju­ve­nile, Not This Time drew the No. 10 post in a field of 11 and is listed as the 7-2 fa­vorite. Trained by Dale Ro­mans, Not This Time is 2 for 3 and a vic­tory on Satur­day would po­si­tion the 2-yearold as the early fa­vorite for next year’s Ken­tucky Derby.

Last year’s Ju­ve­nile win­ner Nyquist went on to win the Derby. He was set to run in the Clas­sic, but came up with a puffy an­kle and was re­tired Mon­day.

The Ju­ve­nile field in­cludes two Todd Pletcher­trained colts: The­ory and Syn­der­gaard, named for New York Mets pitcher Noah Syn­der­gaard.

In the $1 mil­lion Turf Sprint on Satur­day, Pure Sen­sa­tion is the 4-1 fa­vorite. Also in the field is Un­drafted, owned by for­mer NFL star re­ceiver Wes Welker. The 6-year-old geld­ing fin­ished fifth in the race last year and third in the 2014 edi­tion.

In Fri­day’s races, Os­car Per­for­mance is the 4-1 fa­vorite in the $1 mil­lion Ju­ve­nile Turf; Gun Run­ner is the 6-5 fa­vorite in the $1 mil­lion Dirt Mile; and Roly Poly is the 4-1 fa­vorite in the $1 mil­lion Ju­ve­nile Fil­lies Turf.

Among Satur­day’s other races, the Baf­fert-trained Noted and Quoted is the 9-2 fa­vorite in the $2 mil­lion Ju­ve­nile Fil­lies; Lady Eli is the 5-2 fa­vorite in the $2 mil­lion Filly & Mare Turf; Masochis­tic is the 2-1 fa­vorite in the $1.5 mil­lion Sprint; Bri­tain-bred Flintshire is the 5-2 fa­vorite in the $4 mil­lion Turf; Havey­ougone­away is the 3-1 fa­vorite for the $1 mil­lion Filly & Mare Sprint; and Tepin is the 3-1 fa­vorite for the $2 mil­lion Mile.

LENNY IGNELZI — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Cal­i­for­nia Chrome flies down the stretch on the way to win­ning the Pa­cific Clas­sic in Au­gust. The 2014 Preak­ness and Ken­tucky Derby win­ner was in­stalled Mon­day as the even-money fa­vorite for the $6 mil­lion Breed­ers’ Cup Clas­sic.

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