With less than a month to go and one major weekend of preps remaining for the Breeders' Cup, I decided to take a quick stab at who the favorites for each race might be as of today. The Juvenile and Juvenile Fillies are both still very much up in the air until after this weekend at Belmont, but the other races, with a couple of exceptions, could be pretty clear cut.
Again, this is not who I think will win the race, just an educated guess at who will be the morning-line favorite.
Classic: Zenyatta will be the favorite for the second year in a row, probably about 3-1, if she runs. Nobody is talking about it much right now, but what if rain is in the forecast for Nov. 6? What will the connections do? She has never run on an off track and was scratched at Churchill last year when it rained. Don't be shocked if they cross-enter her in the Ladies' Classic and Classic.
Assuming everyone remains healthy, I'm guessing Quality Road will be the second choice, maybe somewhere in the area of 5-1, Lookin At Lucky right behind him, and then Blame. Thoughts?
Turf: The Euros will likely have at least the top two choices, maybe the top three, but it remains to be seen who will come. Last weekend's Arc winner, Workforce, will be favored if he comes but the connections are undecided as of now. If he doesn't come, Fame and Glory, who was fifth in the Arc, could be the favorite, or Irish Champion winner Cape Blanco. It looks like Winchester and Paddy O'Prado will be the top American-based chances.
Mile: The brilliant Goldikova will be looking for an unprecedented third straight win and will be a deserving heavy favorite. She was 7-5 a year ago and will probably go off at odds somewhere close to that again. Gio Ponti, Sidney's Candy, or Court Vision might be the top American choices.
Dirt Mile: This is an interesting division. If you asked me a couple weeks ago I would have said Vineyard Haven would be the top choice. But they decided not to run him in the Kelso and it is presumed he will be trained up to the race. Could the favorite be Tizway, who was so impressive in the Kelso, Forego winner Here Comes Ben, or even Haynesfield if they decide to go that route? Girolamo could even be the choice if he goes, but the connections were talking Sprint after his Vosburgh win last weekend. Too early to tell in this division.
Sprint: Discreetly Mine is the one to beat and will be a solid favorite. He has been exceptional since cutting back.
Juvenile: This one all depends on what Uncle Mo does in Saturday's Champagne. If he wins impressively, he will be the favorite. If not, it will likely be Boys At Tosconova.
Ladies Classic: Assuming Zenyatta goes in the Classic, Blind Luck will be the choice here. Havre de Grace beat her last weekend, but she was getting a 10-pound weight break. Blind Luck could be a solid 3-1 choice, with Life At Ten right behind that.
Filly & Mare Turf: Midday is the one to beat. Last year's winner went off slightly over 2-1 a year ago. You won't get that price this year. Proviso could be the top American-based choice, if they go this route.
Juvenile Fillies: Todd Pletcher will have the biggest say in here, but a lot will be decided by this weekend's Frizette, and even Friday's Alcibiades. Spinaway winner and third-place finisher R Heat Lightning and Valiant Passion, respectively, might be favored if either wins the Frizette.
Turf Sprint: Six-year-old Chamberlain Bridge could be the choice if he runs well in the Woodford on Saturday. He has been razor sharp this season and is proven on the course. Last year's winner California Flag is rounding back into shape, but would he be favored at Churchill?
Juvenile Fillies Turf: Hard to imagine Winter Memories won't be favored after that monster effort in Miss Grillo.
Juvenile Turf: Pletcher should also have the favorite here with Summer Stakes winner Pluck.
Filly and Mare Sprint: Informed Decision has not been as dominant this season and is better on synthetics, but she is still the defending champ.
Marathon: I'm unsure about this one because I don't know what Euros are coming yet. Cougar II Handicap winner Temple City looks like the top American choice.