Triple Crown Winner American Pharaoh Aims for one more Win in the 2015 Breeder’s Cup
Thursday, October 29, 2015
by Liev Jackson

Triple Crown Winner American Pharaoh Aims for one more Win in the 2015 Breeder’s Cup

This weekend is the $5 million running of the Breeder’s Cup Classic.  American Pharaoh, horse racing’s first Triple Crown winner since 1978 will aim to add that to his trophy case before embarking on his stallion career. Just as a reminder of how long it’s been since horse racing had someone sweep the big three, American Pharaoh is the first Triple Crown winner to suit up for the Breeder’s since that event only started in 1984.

He’ll be racing against a pretty strong field, although his strongest competitor –Beholden- a 5 year old mare who had 3-1 odds was scratched on Thursday due to illness.

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Lets take a look at the horses in order of favorites. Starting gate in parenthesis:

  1. 6-5 American Pharaoh (4). He hasn’t raced since an August defeat at the $1.65 million Travers Stakes in Saratoga. But he is apparently looking really strong in training and is looking to make his mark at the top of horse racing’s pantheon alongside legendary horse Secretariat. Jockey: Victor Espinoza
  2. 6-1 Tonalist (1). The 2014 Belmont Stakes winner is probably the biggest competitor for the favorite. He was a winner in his last time out as well at the Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes. He’s raced five times at 1 ¼ miles winning twice, with a second and third. Jockey: John Velazquez
  3. 6-1 Honor Code (9). A three time winner this year in just five starts including two grade 1 races. If he wins it’s bound to be a thrilling race as he likes to come on strong from well back in the pack. Has never raced at this distance. Jockey: Javier Castellano
  4. 12-1 Keen Ice (2). Another winner in his last race and a grade 1 stakes. He gave American Pharaoh his first and only loss of 2015 at the Travers Stakes in Saratoga. It was his second lifetime win. Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.
  5. 15-1 Frosted (3). He’s had a solid year with two firsts, three seconds and a third in 8 starts. He pushed the pace at Saratoga and American Pharaoh followed. Both tired and that allowed Tonalist the victory. Will we see a repeat performance here? Jockey: Joal Rosario
  6. 15-1 Smooth Roller (7) A 4 year old gelding who only has four lifetime starts. His last one was a big one though as he won the Grade I Awesome Again at Santa Anita. He’s never raced the 1.5 mile distance. Jockey: Tyler Baze
  7. 20-1 Gleneagles (5). If you’re looking for an upset pick, this might be the one. This horse is being flown in from Europe to race after winning 7 out of his 10 starts in some of the biggest races across the ocean. His trainer is Aidan O’Brien who has led 8 horses to Breeder’s Cup victories including two on dirt. The one caveat is this horse has never raced over a mile. Jockey: Ryan Moore
  8. 30-1 Effinex (6). A real long shot is this 4 year old horse who had a big win in July beating one of the stars of the circuit Tonalist. But then lost out to him in a rematch finishing well back earlier this month at the Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes. Jockey: Mike Smith
  9. 50-1 Hard Aces (8). A 5 year old horse with 2 victories in 2015 including 1 grade one stakes at Santa Anita in June. Has finished in 6th and well back of the leader in his last two races. Jockey: Joe Talamo

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american pharaoh - belmont stakes - triple crown - victor espinoza

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