Breeders' Cup Classic (10/29/15)

In-depth analysis of the 2015 Breeders' Cup Classic including Pace Figures and Form Cycle Patterns of each starter. Please refer to the Legend or Pattern Guide for back-up definitions and patterns.

The biggest weekend in horse racing is finally here and the Breeders' Cup Classic takes center stage as the main event. For the first time ever, the center of horse country in Lexington, Kentucky welcomes the two day affair to Keeneland Race Course.

One of, if not the only track in the country that actually faces late afternoon sun, all eyes and sunglasses will be focused on Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. He'll attempt to complete the first ever Grand Slam by adding to his resume, the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Run at 10 furlongs (mile and a quarter) for a purse of $5 million, the 2015 edition brings together an amazing set of competitors. Without further adieu, here is the Pace Figure and Form Cycle Analysis for the runners in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

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2014 Winner: Bayern – 81.2 Final Pace Figure

American Pharoah (4/5)

Triple Crown winner American Pharoah looks to put an exclamation point on his once-in-lifetime career as he tries to be the first horse ever to complete the “Grand Slam” by winning the Classic. To do that, he's got a monumental task.

For the first time he takes on older horses. And not just any older horses, but the top older runners in Honor Code and Tonalist. Next, he must take on and beat his two top three year-old rivals in Keen Ice and Frosted, the former who rallied late to hand AP his first loss since his maiden voyage in August 2014.

Then there is Gleneagles, the only Euro shipper who has never run on dirt, but does warrant respect. And, if AP is able to get over on these three cohorts, he's left with Beholder - only the best mare in the country who is 13 for 16 lifetime with earnings in excess of $4 million. Pharoah's Triple Crown win was a first in four decades, but winning the Classic in his final lifetime start would be the first ever and a record that could likely stand for decades more.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention what a terrific sport owner Ahmed Zayat is. He dwarfs the Chrome contingent in both humility and grace. To campaign his runner in the most important Grade I races even after winning the Triple Crown while having a massive stud deal in his pocket is extraordinaire. And to that I tip my cap, but in this case, not my wallet.

The Play: Fringe Contender - his recent decline to a 78.7 Final Pace Figure in his last out is his lowest since March (not including the Preakness when the track turned sloppy for one race) and an indication he is just as likely to regress as progress. The morning-line odds of 6/5 make him impossible to back in the top spot.

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