Twelve Things You Should Know About the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Classic

Bayern (top) defeated Toast of New York by a nose in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic, with California Chrome third. It was the fifth and most recent time the race has been decided by that margin. (Eclipse Sportswire)

The Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic is the marquee race at a championship event and annually attracts many of the best racehorses in training. This year is no different, with a competitive field of older horses, 3-year-olds, and potentially a filly in Swiss Skydiver lining up in the Nov. 7 event at Keeneland Race Course.

Learn 12 key facts about the 2020 Classic below.

1. This year’s race is worth $6 million, making it one of the richest races in the world. The winning horse earns $3,120,000 of the total purse.

2. Trainer Bob Baffert has three contenders in this year’s Classic, including Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve winner Authentic as well as older horses Improbable and Maximum Security.

The great Zenyatta. (Eclipse Sportswire)

3. Zenyatta is the only female winner of the Classic, doing so in 2009, but Swiss Skydiver could attempt to join her this year. The recent Preakness Stakes winner will race in either the Classic or Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

4. The biggest payout in Breeders’ Cup history came in the 1993 Classic, when Arcangues generated $269.20 for each $2 win bet placed on him. The French invader was sent off at 133.60-1.

5. This year’s Classic could feature the winners of all three Triple Crown races if Swiss Skydiver competes, with Authentic and Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets winner Tiz the Law also expected.

6. No horse has won the Classic by a larger margin than 2015 Triple Crown champ American Pharoah, who finished the 2015 Classic 6 ½ lengths ahead of runner-up Effinex. Volponi also won by 6 ½ lengths in 2002.

7. Irad Ortiz Jr.Joel Rosario, and Robby Albarado are the only jockeys expected in this year’s race who have won the Classic before. Irad Ortiz Jr., named to ride Improbable, will seek his second consecutive Classic win after piloting Vino Rosso last year. Rosario, who will ride Tom’s d’Etat, won aboard Accelerate in 2018 while Albarado, who will ride Swiss Skydiver if she is entered, rode Curlin to victory in 2007.

8. Just one horse has won the Breeders’ Cup Classic twice: Tiznow, who was victorious in 2000 and 2001.

9. The Classic has produced the eventual Horse of the Year (racing’s highest year-end honor) on 20 occasions. Thirteen of those champions won the Classic.

10. The race has been decided by a nose five times, most recently when Bayern defeated Toast of New York in 2014.

11. Authentic will attempt to become just the second Kentucky Derby winner since 1990 to also triumph in the Classic. American Pharoah is the other. The Classic was won by a Kentucky Derby winner each year from 1987-1990.

12. The Classic has the third-highest winning payoff average among all Breeders’ Cup races, with a $2 ticket paying $24.86 on average.

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