Updated on 11/02/2015 9:52AM

Key contenders for Breeders' Cup Classic


American Pharoah (Last 3 Beyers: 105-109-105)
• He has responded to being trained aggressively for this race and figures to run a number close to or better than his career-best of 109. There was no holding back since this is it.

Effinex (Last 3 Beyers: 92-103-107)
• You never know what you get with him because he has alternated some terrific performances with some real stinkers. Wouldn’t it be something though if, in the year of his father Allen’s death, trainer Jimmy Jerkens slew a giant of his own, as Allen did – twice! – against Secretariat?

Frosted (Last 3 Beyers: 106-102-104)
• Hard to fault a horse who has recorded Beyer Speed Figures in excess of 100 in his last three starts while getting a lifetime best last time out. “He’s a throwback horse who doesn’t miss an oat,” said trainer Kiaran McLaughlin.

Gleneagles (No Beyers)
• It’s a leap of faith to back him, owing to his lack of dirt racing and having never raced beyond a mile, not to mention that he’s picked a very accomplished group of proven dirt runners to face.

Hard Aces (Last 3 Beyers: 92-93-99)
• He was opportunistic when winning the Gold Cup at Santa Anita, but that form was exposed when he was soundly beaten in his next two starts by Beholder and Smooth Roller.

Honor Code (Last 3 Beyers: 101-113-112)
• An absolutely gorgeous horse who has dazzling acceleration, his loss in the Kelso Handicap must be taken into context – It was a means to an end. He should run much better this time, but will he be as effective trying to sustain that kick going 10 furlongs?

Keen Ice (Last 3 Beyers: 106-105-96)
• Earlier this year, in the Triple Crown, he was a troubled seventh in the Kentucky Derby and third to American Pharoah and Frosted in the Belmont, but he appears to be a far better horse now, with career-best figures in his last two starts. He is a son of Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Curlin, so he figured to improve as the year progressed.

Smooth Roller (Last 3 Beyers: 111-93-94)
• He has come a long way for a horse whose career only began in June, and while he earned a monster figure last time, he merely had to track an over-the-top Bayern before pouncing. This is a much tougher assignment.

Tonalist (Last 3 Beyers: 109-110-107)
• He has punched out Beyers of 105 or better in seven straight races and is rock solid at this distance and beyond. He and American Pharoah give this race a pair of Belmont winners. Who says American distance racing is dead?