Baffert Has a Strong Hand Going into 2016 Breeders' Cup

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D.S. Williamson

October 9th, 2016

mediaA year removed from winning the Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup Classic with American Pharoah, Bob Baffert returns to the Breeders' Cup with a strong hand. Not only does Baffert have two horses with a shot to take down California Chrome in the BC Classic, he also has one of a chalks in the BC Sprint and one of the chalks in the BC Juvenile.

Noted and Quoted, BC Juvenile Fillies

Noted and Quoted should be one of the favorites in this year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. She was sensational when winning the Chandelier Stakes in her last. What race fans should notice is how relaxed she was along the back stretch in the Chandelier. That type of maturity will go a long way in the BC Juvenile.

Vale Dori, BC Distaff

She's listed as a contender for the Breeders' Cup Distaff. There's no word yet on whether or not Baffert is going to enter her into the race. I think he should. She deserves a shot at 1 1/8 miles. No doubt she'll have to improve big time in order to challenge Beholder, Stellar Wind, Cavorting and Songbird for the win. But, she has some talent and if there's a pace meltdown, not out of the question based on the likely field, she could pick up the pieces along with Cavorting.

Klimt, BC Juvenile

His race in the FrontRunner Stakes, where he finished second to Gormley, was much better than at fist look. He leveled out in the stretch, took a cue from jockey Rafael Bejarano, and then ran past Straight Fire for the place money. By the time Bejarano started Klimt on his run near the final turn, Gormley was so far ahead it was going to take a magical finish by Klimt in order to catch the leader. I think he's got a big shot to get the job done on Breeders' Cup Saturday if a horse in the field has enough guts to challenge Gormley early.

Lord Nelson, BC Sprint

Granted, he hasn't faced horses like A.P. Indian, Joking, or Holy Boss, but Lord Nelson has been as solid as any sprinter this year. His amazing ability to relax on a fast pace before kicking it into gear once he changes leads, is pretty awesome. It's going to be difficult for anybody to beat Lord Nelson in the BC Sprint if he can get a good trip. But, he's never faced a large field when sprinting.

Drefong, BC Sprint

One thing is for sure, Baffert's other sprint horse is going to offer much better odds than Lord Nelson  in the BC Sprint. Lord Nelson may go off the chalk. Drefong should be lost in the betting with A.P. Indian, Joking and Masochistic also in the field. As crazy as it sounds, Lord Nelson, A.P. Indian and even Masochistic may not want the lead. Drefong could be the overlay bet of Nov. 5, and loose on the lead to boot.

Arrogate, BC Classic

The likely second choice in the Breeders' Cup Classic, Arrogate could be a freak or he could have just freaked in his Travers Stakes win. If he is a freak, it doesn't matter who shows up in the BC Classic, Arrogate is likely to take the lead and run on for the win. If he just freaked in the Travers, he could end up in a classic battle, no pun intended, with California Chrome in the stretch.