The Breeders’ Cup gets underway at Del Mar on Friday, but all eyes will be on the action on Saturday, as some of the most lucrative prizes in the world of racing will be competed. The Classic heads the featured races, and you can find out the best selections for some of the high-quality races below.

Breeders’ Cup Classic

We will start with the featured race of the meet, the Classic. A huge $6 million purse is on the line here, and it promises to be a battle of the ages between huge equine stars. The roll of honor of past winners of this race speaks for itself, with American Pharoah, Bayern and Curlin all past winners.

Knicks Go has been the horse many have been excited about for this race all season. He has won four from six, which includes three straight victories in graded race. His biggest win came in the G1 Pegasus World Cup back in January. However, very serious questions can be asked regarding his ability over this trip, as this will be the first time he has run over one mile and a quarter.

A strong line of three-year-olds look primed to take him on, and we fancy their chances of finishing in the top three. Hot Rod Charlie has finally landed Grade 1 success, but has constantly come up short against Essential Quality. Medina Spirit is a good chance of second, having returned to form with an excellent win in the G1 Awesome Again.

However, our money is firmly staying on the side of Essential Quality. He has been the best three-year-old in training this season, and is a four-time Grade 1 winner coming into this. He’s not the flashiest of horses, but he doesn’t need to be as long as he is picking up the wins.

Pick: 1. Essential Quality 2. Medina Spirit 3. Hot Rod Charlie

Breeders’ Cup Turf

Next up we have the Breeders’ Cup Turf, which is over a mile and a half with a $4 million purse. Tarnawa is considered by many as a very good choice for this, as the defending champion has enjoyed a solid season. However, wins have been hard to come by, as he was second in both the Irish Champion Stakes and Arc.

We like the hand that Charlie Appleby has in this, with Yibir and Walton Street both having excellent chances. Yibir has been in excellent form since travelling over to the United States after his win in the G2 Voltiguer earlier in the season. His run to win the Jockey Club Derby remains one of the best showings that we have seen on turf all season.

Walton Street has gone under the radar throughout the season, but will have legendary jockey Frankie Dettori onboard this weekend. Traveling has proven to be no issue for this contender, as he won twice in Dubai earlier in the season, before landing the G1 Canadian International Stakes in September. It’s hard to look past the Godolphin duo.

Those looking for some value may be interested by Astronaut, who looks to be heading in the right direction. The four-year-old reversed the form from his defeat in the G2 San Juan Capistrano by winning the G2 Del Mar Handicap last time out. That race included horses such as United, Acclimate and Red King, who are all proven over this distance.

Pick: 1. Yibir 2. Walton Street

Pick: Astronaut (EW)

Breeders’ Cup Distaff

Next up is the filly and mares, who will run over 1 1/8 miles in the Distaff. Letruska heads the betting after a phenomenal season of runs. She is constantly running her best race, and has won her previous five. All of these have been graded contests. She was most recently winning the G1 Spinster.

However, we will be taking her on with Malathaat this weekend. The queen of the three-year-olds has won six from seven starts in his career, and is fairly pricey in the betting considering her class. Her only defeat was a freak result in the G1 Coaching Club, but she quickly recovered by winning the G1 Alabama. If she is at her best in this, she will be hard to beat.

Clairiere could be the next best here, as she has consistently came close to landing the top prize. She has been beaten twice by Malathaat this season, but she runs until the end and could be primed for a big run.

Pick: 1. Malathaat 2. Clairiere

Other Breeders’ Cup Day 2 Tips

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