2018 Breeders' Cup Classic Final Top 5 Rankings

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D.S. Williamson

September 30th, 2018

The most important prep races for the 2018 Breeders' Cup Classic are in the books. I figured it's a good idea to offer up a final Breeders' Cup Classic Top 5 before we head into October. Like everyone else, my BC Classic Top 5 starts with California runners Accelerate and West Coast.

I might differ from you after those two, though. Don't be shy. Let me know what you're thinking before the most important day in North American horse racing.

2018 Breeders' Cup Classic Final Top 5 Rankings

1. Accelerate

He ran great to get by West Coast in the Sep. 29 Awesome Again Stakes. He ran so well that like everyone else, I must place him first on my final Breeders' Cup Classic Top 5. But, I did see something that bothers me.

First, he's never traveled outside of California and won. Second, he looked sort of tired in the stretch and only picked up his feet once he firmly got past West Coast. Finally, I noticed that, like his name implies, he accelerates around the turn but then slows down and doesn't seem to have another gear after slowing down.

That could be a problem because he'll have go fast at the exact right moment due to Churchill's long stretch. I've got questions, but he still deserves the top spot.

2. West Coast

West Coast hadn't run since finishing second to Thunder Snow in the Dubai World Cup. Because he ran so well in the Awesome Again, he should garner plenty of action to win the Breeders' Cup Classic.  West Coast can absolutely turn the tables on Accelerate. Also, he's proven he can run well away from California while Accelerate hasn't.

3. Thunder Snow

Save for a 37-1 shot, Thunder Snow would have taken the Jockey Club Gold Cup. No worries because trainer Saeed Bin Suroor wanted to use the JC Gold Cup as a prep for the Breeders'  Cup Classic. Thunder Snow should run better in the Classic after racing his heart out in the JC Gold Cup.

Discreet Lover won't get the same pace set up. So, I'm not worried about that longshot beating Thunder Snow. Right now, I'd probably put money on the Godolphin colors bearer to win the Classic.

4. McKinzie

What might have happened if McKinzie hadn't gotten hurt before the Triple Crown? McKinzie ran as fast to win the Pennsylvania Derby as Justify ran in all 3 of his Triple Crown victories. McKinzie might have won the Triple Crown over Justify if he hadn't gotten hurt.

Oh, well, that's the past. Like he's done so many times before, Bob Baffert's taken the final couple of months before the Breeders' Cup to put two horses onto my Breeders' Cup Top 5. McKinzie must improve to win the BC Classic. Nothing says he won't.

5. Catholic Boy

Catholic Boy's just a bad ass racehorse. He looked Mendelssohn in the eye and calmly ran right by him to win the Travers after Mendelssohn provided swift fractions. Yep, like McKinzie he must improve to challenge the older horses, but also like McKinzie there's nothing to say he won't.

Some horses just love to run. That's Catholic Boy.