10/26/2015 7:06PM

Breeders' Cup Classic: American Pharoah lands post 4 for final start

Barbara D. Livingston
American Pharoah drew post 4 for Saturday's Breeders' Cup Classic at Keeneland.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – American Pharoah will wear saddlecloth No. 4 when he tries to close his career with a victory Saturday in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland, a race in which 10 were entered Monday, including the two-time champion mare Beholder and the outstanding older runners Honor Code and Tonalist.

“Four is good. I’m happy with the post,” jockey Victor Espinoza said after the draw, which was held Monday evening at Keeneland.

Beholder landed the outside post, 10, but there is a long run to the first turn that should afford all runners a chance to secure early position in the 1 1/4-mile race.

Honor Code and Hard Aces, two late-runners, are drawn immediately inside Beholder, so she should be able to clear them. Smooth Roller, who usually is forwardly placed early, has post 7.

Tonalist landed the rail. Outside him, in post position order, are Keen Ice, Frosted, American Pharoah, Gleneagles, Effinex, Smooth Roller, Hard Aces, Honor Code, and Beholder.

:: BREEDERS’ CUP 2015: Odds, comments, and videos

Mike Watchmaker, Daily Racing Form’s national handicapper, made American Pharoah the 8-5 favorite, with Beholder the second choice at 3-1

Mike Battaglia, the morning-line maker at Keeneland, made American Pharoah the 6-5 favorite, with Beholder next at 3-1.

American Pharoah is scheduled to fly to Kentucky from California on Tuesday.

Chuck Seddio More than 1 year ago
beholder scratched,bled
Jack Bullock More than 1 year ago
Randy Van More than 1 year ago
Smooth Roller will pull off the upset
Vince Piscitelli More than 1 year ago
Bingo! Vince P
Allan Gauthier More than 1 year ago
It's been 37 years since the last triple crown winner. AP did it very easily. It just doesn't make sense that this horse gets beat by a girl.
Mark More than 1 year ago
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Walt Gekko More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately, as great as this Breeders Cup will be for those who care about the sport and especially those going, this is going to set the sport back 25+ years with the one group of individuals this sport needs to attract for its long-term health: Affluent Millennials (those 18-34 who earn at least $100,000 a year) who have repeatedly demonstrated that for any event to be considered important, it HAS to be AT NIGHT. These are people who think nothing of getting up at 1:00-2:00 in the afternoon, blow $500-1,000+ a night at clubs (especially in New York) and be out until 5:00-6:00 the next morning if not later. This is a BIG problem the sport has continually refused to address. As one who actually deals with many under 30, it's not only the affluent Millennials, but many others under 30 as well who consider any major event that takes place in the daytime to be irrelevant, mainly because EVERY SINGLE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME in the "big four" pro sports has started after 6:00 PM Eastern Time (and most after 8:00 PM ET) dating back to 1992 (meaning, those under 25 in most cases were not even born the last time ANY championship event in the "big four" pro sports was in the daytime, that being an NBA FInals game in 1991). Keeneland is VERY lucky Games 3 & 4 of the World Series had to be moved to the same week as the BC (mainly because Major League Baseball I believe had to other than the All-Star game move its entire season back one week from its original schedule) as otherwise, I suspect Comcast (parent of NBC) would have demanded Keeneland install lights so the BC could go into prime time, which is MUCH more desirable for ad buyers who would be willing to pay more for ads for a nighttime BC. Comcast had the right to demand Keeneland install lights for the Breeders' Cup based on two precedents: One from 2011 and another from 2014. In 2011, CBS got an LSU-Alabama football game moved to prime time even though such violated two contracts: CBS's with the SEC and the SEC's with ESPN since except for one game a year (that CBS already used), ESPN has exclusivity on prime time games involving the SEC. That right there game Comcast the right to demand such with Keeneland (coupled with NBC forcing Notre Dame to install permanent lights at Notre Dame Stadium in the '90s). The second in 2014 was the Big 10, in spite of contract language specifically forbidding such likely being forced to let Disney (parent of ABC) have games involving Big 10 schools be at night in November (and that contract language has been known for years because in 2006 and '07, as I recall ABC's ENTERTAINMENT division wanted Ohio State-Michigan moved to prime time so it would help ABC in the "November Sweeps" but the Big 10 refused to allow that) . The only reason Comcast likely did not do that is the same reason the NASCAR race this weekend is in Martinsville, VA (a track without lights in the eastern time zone): There is an "old guard" block of owners in MLB who have enough power to where if NBC or any sister network aired certain events in prime time opposite World Series games on FOX, that block can force teams that currently have local television deals with Comcast-owned Regional Sports Networks break such contracts and move such to RSNs owned by FOX (including for example in that case the Mets having to move from Sportsnet New York to the YES Network, which FOX has majority ownership of). Were it not for this, I suspect Comcast would have demanded Keeneland install lights so NBC could have Breeders' Cup coverage run to 11:00 PM Eastern Time so those who matter most to ad buyers (18-34 year olds earning at least $100,000 a year) would be more inclined to advertise as live sports is the only thing that does well on Saturday nights. This is a problem people in Horse Racing has refused to address for too long and now a daytime Breeders' Cup, even one with the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years making his final start is going to likely be considered irrelevant with the generation this sport needs the most. I hope I'm wrong on this, but my experiences with those under 30 say otherwise.
Walt Gekko More than 1 year ago
I meant at the end, more likely to SEE the BC, not advertise.
TEDK215 More than 1 year ago
Walt, did it ever occur to u that the reason that the new generation isn't interested in this game is because their well versed on the level of corruption in it?
John Piassek More than 1 year ago
I'm fascinated to see the ratings this year, compared to the last several years, when the Classic was held at NIGHT. I will almost guarantee that the ratings this year will be higher (so much for setting racing back 25 years).
Walt Gekko More than 1 year ago
Oh, the ratings themselves may very well be up, but the DEMOS will also be up, and likely quite a bit. The ratings 18-49 and especially 18-34 are what matter to advertisers and those numbers are likely going to be down considerably solely because of the BC not extending into prime time even if the overall ratings go up. Advertisers care MUCH more about those 18-49 because the long-held belief is those older are much less likely to be influenced by ads (something that has been shown wrong in some cases and not as true as in the past but ad buyers refuse to see this). Many of us learned this lesson harshly in 2005 in two instances three weeks apart: The first was that May when "Law & Order" spinoff "Trial By Jury" was cancelled after just 12 episodes even though its overall ratings actually were good enough to be renewed for a second season. The problem was, almost all of those ratings were with those 50+ as the 18-49 ratings were worse than many shows on the now-defunct WB Network, which is why it was cancelled (this would also be why the original series would also be cancelled five years later in 2010, angering many). The second was on June 3, 2005, a day that for many in New York radio will live in infamy as with no warning whatsoever, legendary oldies station WCBS-FM (101.1), which had actually seen its ratings at its highest level in several years was flipped to JACK, mainly because the demos with 18-49 were thought would be better with JACK. This angered so many to the point where two years later, different CBS management returned CBS-FM to a modified version of the oldies format that is now known as "Classic Hits." This is a BIG problem for Horse Racing. I would like to be proven wrong, but when you are dealing with 20-somethings who clearly have grown up with the championship events being exclusively at night, an event like the BC in the daytime is not relevant because of what they are used to (excluding those who actually care about Horse Racing). This sport needs to follow the rest of the sports world in having its major events at night if it's going to be taken seriously with the generation it needs to be bringing in. Oh, and one other things everyone (including until the last week or so me) has overlooked: There is a good chance Friday handle on the BC could be down considerably due to the fact that too many will still be at WORK when the BC is taking place (especially on Wall Street where the day for many does not end at the closing bell at 4:00 as there is after-hours trading until 6:30 PM ET). A lot of people simply can't take off from work early in the fall on Fridays like they do in the summer (especially in New York) and that is another problem.
David Crossley More than 1 year ago
NBC FORCED Notre Dame to install lights? Hardly, since NBC PAID for the lights at Notre Dame. The NETWORK put the lights in Notre Dame stadium. They could do the same at tracks that don't have lights, at least on a temporary basis (if the local powers-that-be allows lights to be installed. That will not happen at SA or DM, AND THE BC IS NOT GOING TO BE MOVED FROM THOSE LOCATIONS. There will be no BC races under the lights until 2018 at the earliest, if the BC goes back to CD.
Walt Gekko More than 1 year ago
As I remember reading back when it happened, NBC insisted on Notre Dame installing permanent lights at Notre Dame Stadium. Precedents since then have made it where Comcast could force BC Ltd.'s hand and make it so if Santa Anita or Del Mar wants to retain the BC, they will have to at least bring in temporary lighting, making it clear not doing so could result in those BCs being moved (in fact, I would already be in negotiations with Remington Park in Oklahoma to serve as a backup host for the BC the next two years in case SA or DMR can't install lights (again, only not doing it this year due to the World Series having to be pushed back a week as was the entire MLB season). . The locals in those areas who would object clearly would be looked at as extremely selfish in a lot of cases, not understanding younger generations DO NOT PLAY by the same rules as those older. This I suspect will be reflected in this year's BC where the demos will likely go up sharply because of many younger people not taking it seriously solely because of it being in the daytime.
ed More than 1 year ago
Walt, Are you a vampire? What's up with the night racing? Gee the history of the race is friday and saturday afternoon racing. The history of your Millennials is they are lazy and are very handy with their phones. They don't play physical sports and are not interested in horse racing. Get over it.
Tim Johnson More than 1 year ago
Beholder a very good mare BUT has never won outside California. AP goes out in style.
Randy Baker More than 1 year ago
I saw her on the track this am and she looks like Kentucky suits her fine.She drew outside which might not be a bad thing going against the boys.She should crossover and sit behind AP.Im not a fan of dirt Filly/mares being inside against the boys.
mike More than 1 year ago
Tim,just because she hasn't won outside CA,doesn't mean she won't prevail in the Classic. Obviously your memory fails you or you'd remember last year she was hurt in a race when running outside of CA. For that attempt she should get a pass.
Eleanor Sniegowski More than 1 year ago
I"ll wager straight up that frosted finishes in front of ap.
Leslie Burke Fernandes More than 1 year ago
honor code will not lose!
SOKenthusiast More than 1 year ago
honor code no good at 2 turns without a suicide pace which he will not get here.
Joseph Garofalo More than 1 year ago
watch the whitney replay... and tell me how Laims map lost... honor code for Fun!!