American Pharoah Goes into Breeders’ Cup Classic as Betting Favorite

This year’s $5 million Classic may be the most anticipated race in the three-decade history of the Breeders’ Cup, with American Pharoah the first Triple Crown winner to compete in the year-end championship event.

American Pharoah will be sent off as the betting choice and is the current favorite in early Classic wagering at Bovada at 2-1. It will be his final career start, as he will remain in Kentucky to start his breeding career.

A winner of eight of his 10 career starts, the Triple Crown winner will come into the Classic off his first loss since his debut, checking in second in the Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 28.

Despite the loss, the colt has remained the solid betting favorite at Bovada in early Classic wagering, but there are several serious contenders that have a good shot of ending the Triple Crown winner’s career with a loss.

Beholder is the current second choice in early Classic wagering at Bovada at 7-2. The five-year-old mare is seeking to become just the second female to win the Classic, following in the footsteps of the great Zenyatta, who won in 2009 and ran second in the 2010 edition.

The mare has won seven races in a row including beating the boys in the Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar this summer, drawing away to win by 8 ¼ lengths. She is trained by Richard Mandella, who won an unprecedented four Breeders’ Cup races in 2003.

Honor Code has drifted up to 9-1 in early Classic wagering at Bovada and is the co-third choice along with Tonalist and Liam’s Map.

Trained by Hall of Famer Shug McGaughey, the four-year-old won the Met Mile (G1) and Whitney (G1) before checking in third in the Kelso Handicap (G2) in his final prep for the Classic. He caught a wet track and did not see much pace in front of him in that loss.

Tonalist deserves plenty of respect off his victory in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1), a race he has now won two years in a row. He also won the 2014 Belmont Stakes (G1) and was fifth in last year’s running of the Classic. His 9-1 early betting odds at Bovada seem generous.

Breeders’ Cup Classic wagering via Bovada

American Pharoah 2-1

Beholder 7-2

Honor Code 9-1

Tonalist 9-1

Liam’s Map 9-1

Gleneagles 11-1

Keen Ice 12-1

Frosted 14-1

Smooth Roller 16-1

Firing Line 20-1

Dortmund 25-1

Constitution 33-1

Lea 40-1

Hard Aces 40-1

Noble Bird 40-1

Hoppertunity 40-1

For full card betting reports for the Breeders’ Cup on Oct.30-31, check out Michael Dempsey of, who will be providing selections and analysis for all of the races.