Breeders' Cup Classic (Santa Anita) Predictions, Betting Odds, Picks 2023

Written by: Brian Zipse
Updated November 1, 2023
9 min read

Breeders' Cup Classic Odds and Post Positions

Check out our predictions and odds for the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita!

1ARCANGELO (Scratched)-------J CastellanoJ Antonucci
L DettoriC Brown
I Ortiz JrR Dutrow Jr
L SaezJ Sadler
C LemaireH Otonashi
F GerouxB Cox
T GaffalioneC Summers
Y KawadaN Takagi
G FrancoT Fincher
J OrtizT Pletcher
J VelazquezT Pletcher
F PratB Baffert
J RosarioM Stidham

Odds provided by author Brian Zipse.

Breeders' Cup Classic Predictions and Best Bets

Here are my plays ($90 in total)

  • $10 Exacta Part Wheel - White Abarrio and Ushba Tesoro over White Abarrio, Ushba Tesoro, Zandon, and Arabian Knight = $60 

  • $5 Exacta Box - White Abarrio, Ushba Tesoro, and Zandon = $30

If you're playing only to win, go with my top pick White Abarrio (9/2).    

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Breeders' Cup Classic Predictions

Arabian Knight looks to stake his claim as America’s best when he headlines a field of 12 entered for the $6,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita on Saturday.

A $2.3 million 2-year-old in training sale purchase last year, the son of Uncle Mo has made only four career starts for trainer Bob Baffert, but is already a two-time graded stakes winner.  

In his most recent start, he led at every pole on his way to a neck victory in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar nine weeks ago. Flavien Prat will ride, and the pair will break from the 11-post.

Chief among his rivals in the 1 1/4-mile Breeders’ Cup Classic is the Japanese invader Ushba Tesoro. A 6-year-old son of Orfevre, he comes to the U.S. on a six-race winning streak. 

Two starts back, he earned his biggest win to date, rolling home to an easy victory in the $12 million Dubai World Cup. Overall, he has won 7-of-8 starts on the dirt.

Another one who should receive plenty of attention from bettors on Saturday in the Rick Dutrow, Jr.-trained White Abarrio. To be ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr., the son of Race Day is a two-time Grade 1 winner. 

In only his second start since moving to the Dutrow barn, he romped home a stylish winner of the Grade 1 Whitney at Saratoga in his most recent start.

Breeders' Cup Classic Predictions and Race Analysis

Arabian Knight

It’s hard to knock what this expensive son of Uncle Mo has done in his first four career starts. The winner of the Grade 1 Pacific Classic last time out has always looked the part of a very talented horse and now moves into the realm of a possible champion. 

Having said that, he is still light on experience, will break from an outside post and must deal with other quality speed in the race. 

Trained by Bob Baffert, he is a deserving favorite, but as the betting choice, I believe there are enough factors to overcome to take a shot to beat him.

Ushba Tesoro

You never know for sure what you are going to get from a horse coming from the other side of the world, but Japanese runners have proven themselves at the Breeders’ Cup in recent years and this horse has numerous positives. 

First and foremost, he has looked outstanding since switching to dirt eight starts back. He also is proven at the 1 1/4-mile distance. His win in the Dubai World Cup this spring was very strong. 

Having looked good in his recent return race, he should be primed and ready to come running down the Santa Anita stretch. I consider him to be the biggest threat to my top pick.

White Abarrio

This son of Race Day was always a nice horse, and in fact won the Grade 1 Florida Derby last year, but he has seemed to find a new stride for trainer Rick Dutrow since moving to the barn in the spring. 

I thought his third-place finish behind Cody’s Wish and Zandon was sneaky good soon after arriving to the new barn, and then his runaway victory in the Grade 1 Whitney over those same rivals was a thing of beauty. 

He has plenty of time between races since, and I trust Dutrow will have him at his best on Saturday. Sitting just off the early speed, he should get the first run as they hit the stretch. He is my top pick.

Bright Future

The first of two for trainer Todd Pletcher, this lightly raced son of Curlin bounced back from a dismal effort in the Brooklyn to win two straight at Saratoga. 

Most recently, he scored a hard-fought victory in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup over Proxy. While his two wins look good, and he is clearly an improving 4-year-old, I do worry that he is better at Saratoga than anywhere else. 

He is one to consider off the win at the distance, but I have my doubts that he is ready to defeat a field the class of this one.

Saudi Crown

This son of Always Dreaming looks like a budding star in the capable hands of trainer Brad Cox. Like the favorite, he has never run a bad race, and has plenty of speed. 

After two near misses in his first two attempts at graded stakes racing, he broke through last time, going gate to wire in the Grade 1 Pennsylvania Derby. This will be much tougher and the longest he has ever run, but I do believe he has the talent to make some noise. 

It will be interesting to see how the early pace with Arabian Knight unfolds. In the end, I think the distance and pace pressure will defeat him, but he may also hurt the chances of the race favorite.


This son of Upstart broke an eight-race losing streak last time with a powerful rally that carried him home as a big winner of the Grade 2 Woodward Stakes. His most recent win before that came in last year’s Grade 1 Blue Grass. 

During the losing streak, he often ran well for trainer Chad Brown, just not good enough to win. His previous tries at 10-furlongs in the Kentucky Derby and Travers are good enough to believe he can handle the distance. 

If the impressive victory last out gave him some renewed confidence, he could be a live longshot on Saturday.


An experienced son of Tapit, this Michael Stidham-trained runner has finished first or second in 13-of-19 career starts. If not for a poor performance in the Grade 1 Stephen Foster three starts back, he would have had two wins and two near misses in his last four starts. 

In 1 1/4-mile attempts, he has finished well enough to just miss in both the Santa Anita Handicap and the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Neither were as strong as this, but both were Grade 1 races. 

While he doesn’t stand out as one of the best in the race, he certainly looks like a viable threat to earn a place in the exotics.

Derma Sotogake

A talented 3-year-old, this son of Mind Your Biscuits has shown his fondness for dirt with four wins in seven tries. The biggest of those victories came when easily scoring  in the $1.5 million UAE Derby in March. 

He has made only one start since then and got off to a poor start in the Kentucky Derby. He ran on pretty well to finish sixth, but he never threatened. 

Away for six months, he missed a prep for this with a small setback. Off the layoff, this test seems to be asking a bit too much of the colt.


Like White Abarrio, he has shown improvement since moving to a new barn for his last two starts. He also broke through with his biggest career victory in his most recent start. 

That came when he rallied to get up late and win the Grade 2 Lukas Classic at Churchill Downs. The field for that edition was not a strong one, however. 

Unable to ever beat top competition, I don’t see enough in his two starts for Chad Summers to believe that the son of Brethren can make serious noise in this difficult spot.

Senor Buscador

A confirmed stretch runner, this veteran from the barn of Todd Fincher has won a pair of stakes this season, highlighted by the Grade 2 San Diego at Del Mar three starts back. 

Since that victory, he has made belated late runs in the Pacific Classic and Awesome Again to finish fourth and third, respectively. It is worth noting that his best career performances have come in races 8 ½-furlongs or less. 

It’s possible he can rally up for a minor share, but at the 1 1/4-mile distance, I like others better in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.


A very competitive third in the Grade 2 Wood Memorial while still a maiden, this 3-year-old son of Gun Runner has won only once in six career starts. 

His maiden win was nice, three starts back, but he then failed in his next race. Returning to his best last out, he rallied to be a strong second to the Saudi Crown in a sloppy edition of the Pennsylvania Derby. 

He looks to be a colt with plenty of potential for trainer Todd Pletcher, but my feeling is that this test will prove too much too soon.

Missed the Cut

Trained by John Sadler, this son of Quality Road began his career in Europe, where he was a Group 2 winner. Since arriving in the United States, he has won once in four starts. 

That victory came last time out when he dominated a small field in the 12-furlong Tokyo City at Del Mar. Before that, he had been beaten in his previous two dirt starts. 

Perhaps he is improving for his new barn, but the difference between what he beat last time compared to the competition last time is too large to like his chances here.

How to watch the Breeders' Cup Classic

Breeders' Cup Classic Race Information

  • What: Breeders' Cup Classic (Grade 1) 

  • Location: Santa Anita

  • Time: Saturday, November 4 -- 6:40 pm Eastern time

  • How to Watch: NBC Sports

  • Purse: $6,000,000

Breeders' Cup Classic predictions and best bets are here! See the full race analysis and odds for Santa Anita this Saturday!

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Brian Zipse

Horse Racing Betting Analyst

Horse Racing
Betting Picks
Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.
Nationality: American
Education: Bachelor of Communications
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