The 2017 edition of the Breeders’ Cup quickly approaches as Del Mar prepares to host the richest horse race in the United States this Friday and Saturday. The Breeders’ Cup meet gets underway with four races on Friday followed by a full slate of 9 races beginning Saturday afternoon.

Recommended Breeders’ Cup Betting Sites for 2017

Serving as the crown jewel of the meet, the Breeders’ Cup Classic posts at 8:35 PM E.T. and will be shown live on NBC from 8 to 9 PM. The $6 million dollar Breeders’ Cup Classic betting odds are now live at all the best racing betting sites and the books are open for action. All that remains is to make your picks and then watch some of the best horse racing of the year.

We’ll get straight to a comparison of the odds across all the main horse racing bookmakers, follow that with a preview of the matchup between the two front-runners and then close things up with a look at the full field and post positions.

Looking at the Breeders’ Cup Favorites: Arrogate vs. Gun Runner

If there is a sore point this year, it is that we won’t be seeing any of this year’s Triple Crown winners running in the Classic. Always Dreaming, Cloud Computing and Tapwrit each won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes respectively, but will not be running in this year’s Breeders’ Cup.

However, we do have 2016 Breeders’ Cup winner Arrogate in this year’s running. Online bookmakers have him priced as the second-favourite this year with the big bookmakers all pricing him right at 9/4.

Arrogate has his pros and cons as we’ll discuss shortly, but the number one betting favorite this year is Gun Runner. While Arrogate has slipped in recent races, Gun Runner is running on all cylinders and winning races as he makes his competition look silly by comparison. Let’s see how these two horses stack up heading into the 2017 Breeders’ Cup.

Arrogate: Proven Winner, But Troubled Recent History

Arrogate has several things going very much in his favor. First, he comes in as last year’s winner. He is a proven commodity. Second, he became the richest horse in North American thoroughbred history just months ago in terms of career earnings. Arrogate is an incredible horse with an incredible resume. For these facts alone, it is no surprise Arrogate is one of the 2017 Breeders’ Cup betting favorites.

On the other hand, Arrogate is also subject of some very real concerns. This time last year, Arrogate was just about to go on the winning run of a lifetime as he prepared to do battle at the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita. He had just won the Travers Stakes and came in to the 2016 Classic as the second-favourite behind California Chrome.

Arrogate went on to win not only the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic, but also the Pegasus World Cup in January and the Dubai World Cup in March. Two races since then have since dampened his prospects, both of which happened at Del Mar.

Heading into the San Diego Handicap in July, Arrogate had won seven straight races. The San Diego Handicap was supposed to get expectations up for a big running at the Breeders’ Cup four months hence at the same racetrack. Instead, Arrogate was beaten by 15 lengths for a 4th-place finish.

Arrogate ran again at Del Mar the following month in the Pacific Classic. He again came up short, this time to Collected. This time his race was good enough for a 2nd-place finish, but back-to-back losses at the very track he will be running on this weekend make him a tough sell against the type of competition he will see at the Breeders’ Cup.

The obvious question is whether or not Arrogate still has it in him to win big races. We’ve seen him at his best and know the history is there, but what were those two races about? Bob Baffert said it’s possible that he ran Arrogate too soon after Dubai and that his run at the Pacific Classic wasn’t actually all that bad:

“I’m not going to use [the Del Mar surface] as an excuse for Arrogate. I think he’ll handle this fine. The Pacific Classic—he actually ran a pretty good race there, you know? But I’m not going to use that as an excuse. I think he just wasn’t bringing it and I think now, he looks great.”

Gun Runner: In Fine Form

Ahead of Arrogate in the early betting odds is Steve Asmussen’s Gun Runner. Gun Runner has won three straight races by impressive margins leading up to the Classic. He also has five wins over his last six races.

Gun Runner’s current winning stretch began with the Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs, which he won by a race-record 7 lengths in June. He followed that up with another victory by 5 ¼ lengths at the Whitney Stakes in August. Most recently, Gun Runner put on his most dominant performance to date: a 10 ¼ length victory at the Woodward Stakes in September.

Interestingly, the last time Gun Runner didn’t win a race was when Arrogate galloped home ahead of him at the Dubai World Cup. Gun Runner and Arrogate have raced one another twice, and both times Gun Runner came up short. Gun Runner is also 0-for-3 at the Breeders’ Cup Classic distance of 1 ¼ miles.

Gun Runner will be running from the 5 post on Saturday as he tries to break the spell and beat his rival. His chances of doing exactly that are as good now as they have ever been. Gun Runner seems to be coming into his form at just the right time to turn the tables on Arrogate and his early betting odds reflect that.

Full Breeders’ Cup Field, Post Position and Odds

As always, the choices for betting on the Breeders’ Cup run the gamut from the safer, but lower-paying runners to some of the longer shots that provide handsome rewards for those willing to take a chance on an underdog. This is one of the most wagered-upon races in the U.S. each year, and there is money to be made if you’re lucky, savvy or both.

Below is the full field of runners in order according to post position. You’ll find a link to each horse’s Horse Racing Nation profile, basic trainer/jockey information and the latest odds according to

1. Arrogate

  • Profile
  • Trainer: Bob Baffert
  • Jockey: Mike Smith
  • Last Race: 2nd at Pacific Classic at Del Mar (8/19/17)
  • Odds: 9/4

2. War Decree

  • Profile
  • Jockey: Seamie Heffernan
  • Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
  • Last Race: 1st at Diamond Stakes at Dundalk (9/29/17)
  • Odds: 33/1

3. Win the Space

  • Profile
  • Jockey: Joe Talamo
  • Trainer: George Papaprodomou
  • Last Race: 3rd at Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita (9/30/17)
  • Odds: 100/1

4. War Story

  • Profile
  • Jockey: Jose Ortiz
  • Trainer: Jorge Navarro
  • Last Race: 4th at Woodward Stakes at Saratoga (9/2/17)
  • Odds: 100/1

5. Gun Runner

  • Profile
  • Jockey: Florent Geroux
  • Trainer: Steve Asmussen
  • Last Race: 1st at Woodward Stakes at Saratoga (9/2/17)
  • Odds: 7/4

6. Mubtaahij

  • Profile
  • Trainer: Bob Baffert
  • Jockey: Drayden Van Dyke
  • Last Race: 1st at Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita (9/30/17)
  • Odds: 25/1

7. Churchill

  • Profile
  • Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
  • Jockey: Ryan Moore
  • Last Race: 3rd at Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot (10/21/17)
  • Odds: 16/1

8. West Coast

  • Profile
  • Trainer: Bob Baffert
  • Jockey: Javier Castellano
  • Last Race: 1st at Pennsylvania Derby at Philadelphia Park (9/23/17)
  • Odds: 11/2

9. Gunnevara

  • Profile
  • Trainer: Antonio Sano
  • Jockey: Edgardo Zayas
  • Last Race: 2nd at Travers Stakes at Saratoga (8/26/17)
  • Odds: 33/1

10. Pavel

  • Profile
  • Trainer: Doug O’Neill
  • Jockey: Mario Gutierrez
  • Last Race: 3rd at Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont (10/7/17)
  • Odds: 50/1

11. Collected

  • Profile
  • Trainer: Bob Baffert
  • Jockey: Martin Garcia
  • Last Race: 1st at Pacific Classic at Del Mar (8/19/17)
  • Odds: 6/1
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