2021 Breeders’ Cup Classic Boasts Kentucky Derby And Belmont Winners, Other Contenders In Loaded Field

Written By Derek Helling on November 3, 2021 - Last Updated on July 22, 2022
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The final hurrah of high-profile horse racing for the year is quickly approaching. Based on how the field is shaping up, it looks like the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Classic should send 2021 out with a bang.

There are plenty of opportunities to bet the Breeders’ Cup in Iowa.

TVG has a special deal for new bettors in IA ahead of the Breeders Cup Classic. Take this bonus into consideration as you prep for the weekend race, along with some background on how the race’s frontrunners are faring.

How to watch the Breeders’ Cup

Although the three-day event features 14 races, the Classic is usually the focus of the horse race betting action.

That race is set for Saturday, Nov. 5, and is the 38th iteration. The projected post time is 7:40 p.m. This year, the venue is the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in California.

Fans can catch pre-race coverage on NBC Sports or stream it on the NBC Sports app starting at 1:30 p.m. the day of the race. At 7 p.m. Nov. 5, the coverage will switch over to NBC.

2021 Breeders’ Cup Classic odds

The race is 10 furlongs or 1.25 miles. Last year, Authentic won the race from the ninth post.

TVG offers new customers a $300 bonus bet. As of Nov. 3, here are TVG’s preliminary lines on the field:

  • Tripoli: 15-1
  • Express Train: 20-1
  • Hot Rod Charlie: 4-1
  • Essential Quality: 3-1
  • Knicks Go: 5-2
  • Art Collector: 8-1
  • Stilletto Boy: 30-1
  • Medina Spirit: 4-1
  • Max Player: 8-1

Jay Privman of the Daily Racing Form reports that Maxfield will skip the Classic, however. Other horses currently expected to be in the field include Express Train, Idol and Tripoli.

Is Essential Quality the truly safest bet or do other contenders represent a much better value?

Express Train living up to its name

Both Essential Quality and Knicks Go are trainees of Brad Cox. Cox getting either to the $6 million purse seems all dependent upon maximizing speed on the Grade 1 track. Training results have been positive in that regard.

Essential Quality comes in having won three consecutive appearances, including the Belmont. If not for a narrow runner-up finish in the Kentucky Derby, his record would be without blemish.

Although Knicks Go has shown off his speed recently, he’s still unproven over the 10-furlong distance. Still, wins in the Whitney and Pegasus World Cup, two other G1 events, make him a contender for the Classic.

Other horses in the field have G1 wins under their belts this year as well, though. Obviously, there’s Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit. Medina Spirit also took the Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita more recently.

Art Collector showed a bit of the mettle that put him among the 2020 Kentucky Derby favorites at the Woodward and Tripoli won the Pacific Classic. Hot Rod Charlie joins this list as the winner of the Pennsylvania Derby.

With plenty of speed in the field, the race could come down to which horse is able to handle the intense competition. That’s what bettors will have to decide if they go for the win here, and TVG’s offer could make such a pick pay off handsomely.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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