Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah Heavy Classic Favorite

There are still 4 ½ months until the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) but Triple Crown winner American Pharoah is getting hammered in the early betting, dropping from 3-1 to 3-2 at Bodog after his victory in the Belmont Stakes (G1).

The colt has now won seven races in a row, but has not faced older runners, which he likely will do in September in his final tune-up for the Classic.

Last year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome is the co-second choice in early Classic betting along with Palace Malice at 9-1 at Bodog.

California Chrome was second in the Dubai World Cup (G1) in March in his last outing. His next start will come on turf in the Prince of Wales (G1) at Royal Ascot. His last win came in the Hollywood Derby (G1) on turf.

A strong performance on turf could have his connections thinking about the Breeders’ Cup Turf or Mile.

Palace Malice has raced just once this year, checking in third in the Diablo. He won the Met Mile (G1) last year. His next start will come in early July, a prep race for the Whitney (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 8.

Last year’s Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Tonalist is at Classic odds of 11-1. The colt ran second to Honor Code last Saturday in the Met Mile.

Honor Code made a strong late run to win the Met Mile and is listed at Bodog at 14-1 in early Classic betting. Injuries knocked him out of the Kentucky Derby last year, but he looks as if he could be a top horse in the handicap division this year.

His victory in the Met Mile earned him an automatic starting berth in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) as part of the “Win and You’re In” series, but it would be no surprise to see him in the Classic.

Last year’s Classic winner Bayern has been disappointing in two starts this year. He finished sixth in the Churchill Downs Stakes (G2) and then faded to finish 10th in the Met Mile. His current odds at Bodog for the Classic are 16-1.