As you parse the speed figures for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, you understand there is truth in advertising to this year’s edition of the Breeders’ Cup’s flagship race.

Maximum Security-BC Classic Speed
Maximum Security didn’t even run his best Beyer Speed Figure in this Pacific Classic victory from August. But he owns the fastest Beyer and Equibase speed figures in the Breeders’ Cup Classic field. (Image: Coolmore America)

Putting aside the eight Grade 1 winners in the 10-horse field, these speed figures should make this Classic well … an instant classic. You can make a credible case for five horses winning the $6 million, 1 ¼-mile race, the 12th and final entry on Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup card from Keeneland.

The Classic provides a tough handicapping puzzle, capping the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Ultra Pick 6, the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Late Pick 5, and the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Late Pick 4. And the Classic isn’t above throwing in an upset winner: see 133/1 Arcangues in 1993, 43/1 Volponi in 2002, 31/1 Wild Again in 1984, and 19/1 Alphabet Soup beating the iconic Cigar in 1996.

So where do you start?

You could start with triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures, but everyone in this field, save the over-his-head Title Ready, owns one or more of those.

So go to the top of that pyramid where you’ll find Maximum Security and his field-best 111. He also owns the best Equibase Speed Figure — a 123. Both came in his dominant Cigar Mile victory last winter at Aqueduct.

Combined with those speed figures, from a betting standpoint, Maximum Security’s status as the 7/2 third-favorite makes him a tasty overlay at the window.

Speed Figures Show Favorite Not an Improbable Choice

From a last-out Beyer standpoint, there’s Maximum Security’s stablemate and 5/2 race favorite Improbable. He clocked a 108 Beyer while beating his Bob Baffert stablemate in September’s Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita. That came with a sterling 120 Equibase and 108 Brisnet.


Breeders’ Cup Classic Speed Figures

Below is a list of the best, and most recent, speed figures posted by the top contenders running in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

  Best/Last Beyer Best/Last Brisnet Best/Last Equibase
Maximum Security 111/101 108/103 123/113
Improbable 108/108 108/108 120/120
Tiz the Law 109/103 115/103 117/107
Tom’s d’Etat 109/102 112/101 118/117
Authentic 105/105 108/108 113/109
Global Campaign 104/104 108/104 109/109
By My Standards 103/102 107/99 118/105
Tacitus 101/97 105/102 110/105
Higher Power 107/99 110/100 115/110

The best Brisnet? You knew 3/1 second favorite Tiz the Law would figure in a speed-figure discussion. His 115 from his dynamic Travers Stakes victory in August is the best Brisnet in the field. Tiz the Law’s 109 Beyer from that race ties him for second in this field with Tom’s d’Etat. His 117 career-best Equibase from February’s Holy Bull is only fifth in this field. Fifth.

Tom’s d’Etat Could be Your Speedy Sleeper

Speaking of Tom’s d’Etat, he doesn’t lead in any category, but the 7-year-old remains competitive in every one. There’s the aforementioned 109 Beyer — one of Tom’s d’Etat’s 10 three-digit Beyers – which came in June’s Stephen Foster Stakes at Churchill Downs.

His last-out 117 Equibase in August’s Whitney Stakes is the second-best last-out figure in the field. It came after he stumbled at the start, yet still finished third to Improbable. And Tom’s d’Etat’s 112 career-best Brisnet is second only to Tiz the Law in this field.

You can get Tom’s d’Etat at 6/1. Authentic carries those same odds. The Derby winner, Preakness runner-up, and Haskell Stakes winner clocked a 109 Equibase in those three races: two wins and that memorable second to Swiss Skydiver in the Preakness. Like Tom’s d’Etat, Authentic doesn’t lead in any one category, but factors in all, starting with his 105 career-best Beyer and 108 last-out Brisnet.

Bringing a 118 Equibase to the Gate — at 10/1

We haven’t mentioned By My Standards (10/1) and his 118 career-best Equibase finishing second to Improbable in that Whitney. That’s tied for third among the best figures in the field. Nor have we mentioned 20/1 Global Campaign’s 104 Beyers from his Woodward Stakes and Monmouth Stakes wins.

We could drop in Higher Power’s career-best 107 Beyer, but it came in the 2019 Pacific Classic before his form fell off a cliff. So instead, we’ll point out that half this field – five horses – racked up triple-digit Brisnets in their last three prep races.

The field is that fast.

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