The Breeders’ Cup Classic 2023: Potential dark horses for the headline event

The United States’ final major horse racing event of the year is a matter of months away. The headline race that will take place at Santa Anita in November is the Breeders’ Cup Classic, which offers the largest prize purse of any race across North America. 

The favorites

The frontrunners will take a share of around $6 million at the culmination of the standout event this year. The winner will of course take the largest portion of the prize purse, and according to the ante-post betting markets, there is one horse that stands above the rest. If you place a bet on horse racing today, you’re likely to see there is a clear favorite in the event. Arcangelo is offered at +250 to claim glory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic 2023. 

Geaux Rocket Ride is expected to provide the most likely opposition to Arcangelo to lead the pack. The stallion has already got a victory under his belt in Santa Anita this year at the Affirmed Stakes in June. In online betting, the horse is offered at +500 to claim major success in its debut year of racing. 

These two horses are predicted to comfortably be the front two, providing there are no surprising setbacks during their runs. Arcangelo has already won the Belmont Stakes this year and looks like a strong pick to secure a perfect ending to its maiden year. 

The leading duo in the odds provide the most likely winners, but nothing is guaranteed in the Breeders’ Cup. There are several potential dark horses that could be prepared to claim victory if the favorites slip up.


Forte is another horse that will make its Breeders’ Cup Classic debut this year, having claimed success in the Juvenile event at the Breeders’ Cup of 2022.

The stallion finished second in the Belmont Stakes this year, behind the Breeders’ Cup Classic favorite Arcangelo. A strong finish in the race saw Forte beaten to victory by just one and a half lengths. Perhaps Forte could renew its rivalry with Arcangelo in November, it is offered at +800 to claim a somewhat surprising victory in Santa Anita this Autumn.

Forte has an extra year of experience in major races compared to Arcangelo, and its victory at the Breeders’ Cup of 2022 represents a strong omen going into 2023’s headline event.

White Abarrio

White Abarrio has three years of experience in professional horse racing and will be another slight outsider who could earn victory in Santa Anita this year.

The horse will go into the event off the back of a victory in the Whitney Stakes at the Saratoga Race Course in August. Its previous successful run was impressive, however, the Breeders’ Cup Classic will represent a much tougher challenge. 

The horse has averaged five race wins throughout its career so far, but never has it recorded a victory in one of the nation’s most prestigious racing events. 

White Abarrio has undoubtedly entered his prime racing days, and the Breeders’ Cup Classic this year could be the greatest opportunity for it to crown its career with a major triumph. 

Ultimately, it would certainly be a surprise if Arcangelo slips up and Geaux Rocket Ride is not the stallion that takes advantage. But if the two predicted leaders fail to deliver on expectations, Forte and White Abarrio are slight underdogs that have a superior level of experience that could see them emerge as dark horses in November.