2019 Breeders’ Cup Classic entries: Odds, picks, post positions

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The 2019 Breeders’ Cup will cap off a dramatic and historic year of horse racing with its marquee race on Saturday, November 2 from Santa Anita Park. Post time is set for 8:44 p.m. ET on NBC, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

The $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic is one of the richest races on the globe, drawing top horses from across the world. Open to any horse over the age of 3, the 1 1/4-mile dirt race was where American Pharoah became the first horse ever to win the “Grand Slam” of horse racing with his 2015 Triple Crown and Classic wins.

How to watch every single Breeders’ Cup race

Bob Baffert’s McKinzie opens as the favorite despite switching away from longtime jockey Mike Smith and taking second to fellow Classic competitor Mongolian Groom in the Awesome Again Stakes.

On the 10th anniversary of Zenyatta becoming the first female to win the Classic, Bill Mott’s mare Elate will attempt to follow in her footsteps. Elate is the first female to enter the Classic since Beholder (2015; scratch) and the first female to run in it since Havre de Grace (2011; 4th).

What to know about the 2019 Breeders’ Cup

Below are the post positions for the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Classic, including opening odds as of October 28.

1. Math Wizard (30-1)
Trainer: Saffie Joseph Jr.
Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr.
Watch Math Wizard win the 2019 Pennsylvania Derby

2. Seeking the Soul (20-1)
Trainer: Dallas Stewart
Jockey: Brian Hernandez Jr.
Watch Seeking the Soul win the 2019 Stephen Foster 

3. Owendale (15-1)
Trainer: Brad Cox
Jockey: Javier Castellano

4. War of Will (20-1)
Trainer: Mark Casse
Jockey: Tyler Gaffalione
Watch War of Will win the 2019 Preakness Stakes

5. Yoshida *JPN (8-1)
Trainer: Bill Mott
Jockey: Mike Smith

6. Elate (6-1)
Trainer: Bill Mott
Jockey: Jose Ortiz
Watch Elate win the 2019 Fleur de Lis Handicap 

7. Higher Power (6-1)
Trainer: John Sadler
Jockey: Flavien Prat

8. McKinzie (3-1)
Trainer: Bob Baffert
Jockey: Joel Rosario
Watch McKinzie win the 2019 Whitney Stakes

9. Mongolian Groom (12-1)
Trainer: Enebish Ganbat
Jockey: Abel Cedillo
Watch Mongolian Groom win the 2019 Awesome Again Stakes

10. Vino Rosso (4-1)
Trainer: Todd Pletcher
Jockey: Irad Ortiz Jr.

11. Code of Honor (4-1)
Trainer: Shug McGaughey
Jockey: John Velazquez

How to watch the Breeders’ Cup Classic

NBC Sports handicappers’ picks and predictions:
Eddie Olczyk: Vino Rosso
Matt Bernier: Elate

Watch NBC Sports’ coverage of the 2019 Breeders’ Cup starting with Future Stars Friday on Nov. 1 from 4-8 p.m. ET (NBCSN) and continuing with Championship Saturday on Nov. 2 from 3:30-9 p.m. ET (NBCSN until 8, NBC from 8-9). 

Stradivarius, 3-time Ascot Gold Cup winner, retired to stud

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LONDON – Stradivarius, one of the most famous racehorses in Britain and Ireland after winning the Gold Cup at Ascot three times, has been retired to stud.

Bjorn Nielsen, the owner of Stradivarius, said he felt it would be unfair to make the horse come back next season as a 9-year-old after time away with a bruised foot.

“It has been a fairytale from start to finish,” Nielsen told British newspaper The Racing Post.

Stradivarius, bred in Ireland and the son of Sea The Stars, won 20 of his 35 races – including seven Group One races – and earned almost 3.5 million pounds (now $3.8 million) in prize money.

Stradivarius won four Goodwood Cups, three Yorkshire Cups and two Doncaster Cups.

Taiba wins $1 million Pennsylvania Derby for Baffert

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BENSALEM, Pa. – Taiba won the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby by three lengths for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.

Ridden by Mike Smith, Taiba ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.67 and paid $4.80, $3 and $2.60.

It was Baffert’s fourth win in the Grade 1 event at Parx Racing. He also won in 2014, 2017 and 2018. Smith won the race for the third time, all aboard Baffert horses.

Zandon returned $3.80 and $2.60. Cyberknife was another 3 3/4 lengths back in third and paid $3 to show.

Taiba was coming off a second-place finish in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth in July. The colt was 12th in the Kentucky Derby under Tim Yakteen, who took over training him while Baffert was serving a 90-day suspension.

“He had a little bit of a rough trip in the Haskell, but we had some time to get him ready for this one,” Baffert said from his base in California. “He proved today he is a good horse. He is getting better and better.”

Baffert Taiba will be pointed toward the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic in November. The colt has three wins in five starts this year.