A deep and talented field will gather at (in)famous Santa Anita Park this weekend, along with perhaps 100,000 spectators, for the 36th running of the Breeders’ Cup. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is hoping for his fourth win in six years, and McKinzie (3-1) may be the horse to end his two-year drought. For a record tenth time, Saturday’s mile and one-quarter race will be held at Santa Anita. However, a dark cloud, which has transcended the world of horse racing, hangs heavy over this weekend’s event in Arcadia.
- The sport of kings’ wildest two weeks in recent memory have seen horses disqualified, jockeys suspended, and the top three Derby finishers all missing on Saturday. However, the 144th running of the Preakness Stakes must go on. As such, Improbable, trained by Bob Baffert, enters Thursday as a 5-2 favorite.
- The biggest horse race of the year was turned upside down Wednesday, as morning line favorite Omaha Beach was scratched from this weekend’s 145th running of the Kentucky Derby. Trainer Richard Mandella said the horse has an entrapped epiglottis, “an upper-airway abnormality that can cause poor performance.” Omaha Beach had won three straight races, including the Arkansas Derby on April 13, and was named the favorite at 4-1 odds.
- The Breeders’ Cup returns to Churchill Downs for the ninth time, after a spell in Southern California, because, “why run in temperatures in the low 80s and a clear sky when you could be in the 40s with a chance of rain?“
- There are fourteen races across two days this weekend. Here are the post positions, odds, and entries on all of them. The main event is at 5:44 PM local time, Saturday.
- Some believe the Classic draw is unkind to the favorites, particularly 5-2 Accelerate, in post 14.
- Alternatively, if you’re looking for long shots and value plays this weekend, check out #4 Tight Ten (30-1) and#15 Dream Pauline (30-1).
- While not as star-studded as Churchill Downs’ May event, plenty of celebrities will make an appearance this weekend, including breeder and horse owner, Toby Keith. Two races will be livestreamed by NBC Sports on Facebook Watch.