11/02/2016 3:10PM

Breeders' Cup Classic: Key contenders

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KEY CONTENDERS

California Chrome, by Lucky Pulpit
Last 3 Beyers: 112-113-111

◗ He used his sharp speed to flee the rail in his last two starts. He is drawn in post 4 this time, with Melatonin and Arrogate both drawn farther out, setting up an interesting positional chess match in the opening furlongs.

Arrogate, by Unbridled’s Song
Last 3 Beyers: 122-99-103

◗ He is unbeaten in four starts around two turns, and his Travers performance left his jockey, Mike Smith, “in awe of what he did.”

“It was an incredible race that he ran,” Smith said. “A mile and a quarter, first time in a stake against those kind of horses. When I reached back and hit him one time, he took off.”

Said trainer Bob Baffert: “He likes a mile and a quarter. He needs distance.”

Frosted, by Tapit
Last 3 Beyers: 105-107-123

◗ If he runs back to his Met Mile, he’s right there. The question is whether he can produce that kind of effort at this distance and while racing on a surface over which he’s never competed.

Hoppertunity, by Any Given Saturday
Last 3 Beyers: 104-101-105

◗ He has trained very well coming out of the Jockey Club Gold Cup, and the likelihood of a lively pace could find him making an impact late.

◗ He has finished in the money in nine of 11 starts at Santa Anita.

Melatonin, by Kodiak Kowboy
Last 3 Beyers: 109-104-107

◗ Giant-killing trainer David Hofmans has sent out 16 Breeders’ Cup runners and won three times. A $2 win wager on his runners, totaling $32, has returned $200.10. Beware.

Shaman Ghost, by Ghostzapper
Last 3 Beyers: 106-94-99

◗ He’s trying to follow in the footsteps of his sire and grandsire (Awesome Again), both winners of the Classic.

◗ He had a two-month layoff going into his career-best performance last time out in the Woodward, hence the reason for another two-month layoff into this race, said trainer Jimmy Jerkens.

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