205 Horses Pre-Entered for 2023 Breeders’ Cup World Championships

October 25, 2023

Breeders’ Cup Classic contender Arcangelo gallops Oct. 23 at Santa Anita (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

59 International Contenders Include Ushba Tesoro (JPN), King of Steel (GB), Mostahdaf (IRE), and Paddington (GB); Breeders’ Cup Champions Caravel, Cody’s Wish, Elite Power, and Goodnight Olive Look to Defend Titles

Breeders’ Cup Press Release

ARCADIA, Calif.— Led by ArcangeloArabian Knight, and Ushba Tesoro (JPN) in the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), Auguste Rodin (IRE) in the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), Adare Manor and Idiomatic the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), and Cody’s Wish in the $1 million Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), 205 horses have been pre-entered for the 2023 Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

The 40th Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s most prestigious two-day global event consisting of 14 races with purses and awards totaling more than $31 million, will be held Nov. 3-4 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. for a record 11th time. “Future Stars Friday” features five World Championships races exclusively for 2-year-olds. There will be nine Breeders’ Cup Championship races on the Saturday program.

Shadwell Estate Company’s Mostahdaf (IRE), winner of the Aug. 23 Juddmonte International Stakes (G1) last out and a key contender for the Breeders’ Cup Turf, and four-time group 1 winner Paddington (GB) in the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) lead a stellar slate of 59 pre-entered international contenders. Fans can learn more about their favorite runners via the contender profiles at BreedersCup.com, which provide extensive statistics, race replays, news, photos, and more.

The Breeders’ Cup will be televised live domestically on NBC, Peacock, USA Network, and FanDuel TV. The NBC coverage includes an expanded network window from 3:30-7 p.m. ET on Saturday, Nov. 4. Fans can visit BreedersCup.com/Watch for a detailed broadcast and streaming schedule. International live coverage is led by ITV, Sky Sports, and RacingTV in the UK and Ireland, along with Green Channel in Japan who will be broadcasting live from Santa Anita for the first time. Additionally, the NBC World Feed will be sent to more than 150 countries around the globe.

Four Breeders’ Cup Champions are back to defend their 2022 titles: Caravel (Turf Sprint), Cody’s Wish (Dirt Mile), Elite Power (Sprint), and Goodnight Olive (Filly & Mare Sprint).

In addition, 46 pre-entered horses earned automatic starting positions into the World Championships races through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In.

“Once again, an outstanding group of horses has been pre-entered for this year’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships and we look forward to two days of fantastic racing at Santa Anita Park,” said Drew Fleming, President and CEO of Breeders’ Cup Limited. “The competition has never been stronger and the prestige of entering the Breeders’ Cup winner’s circle has never been higher.

“We want to thank the talented men and women across the globe who provide the ecosystem of care that enables these magnificent Thoroughbreds to compete at the top of their game. We also thank our extraordinary host, 1/ST Racing and their beautiful venue, Santa Anita Park, and to recognize our breeders and nominators for their commitment to help underwrite the World Championships. We also want to thank the bettors and fans around the world for their constant support. We can’t wait to gather next weekend to watch the world’s best Thoroughbreds put on a spectacular show.”

Arcangelo Leads Wide-Open Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic

The $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) will be run on the main track at 1 1/4 miles. A total of 16 horses that have won the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic have gone on to be named Horse of the Year. The 2022 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic was named the World’s Best Horse Race, while the 2022 winner, Flightline, was named the World’s Best Racehorse.

Eighteen horses have been pre-entered for the Classic, a truly international affair led by Blue Rose Farm’s Arcangelo, who took command of the 3-year-old male division with four consecutive wins, highlighted by back-to-back scores in the Belmont Stakes (G1) and Travers Stakes (G1) for trainer Jena Antonucci. A son of the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Arrogate, Arcangelo was also voted No. 1 in the final poll of the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings.

Arabian Knight wins the Pacific Classic (G1) Sep. 2 at Del Mar (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

Two California-based 3-year-olds also figure prominently in the Classic picture. Zedan Racing Stables, Inc.’s Arabian Knight defeated Pin Oak Stud LLC’s Geaux Rocket Ride by a neck in the Sept. 2 FanDuel Racing Pacific Classic Stakes (G1). Arabian Knight earned an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Classic with that victory. Prior to the Pacific Classic, Geaux Rocket Ride earned a Breeders’ Cup Challenge victory in the Classic division when he defeated Arabian Knight in the July 22 TVG.com Haskell Stakes (G1) at Monmouth Park. Geaux Rocket Ride is trained by Richard Mandella, who won the 2003 Breeders’ Cup Classic with Pleasantly Perfect at Santa Anita, and completed an unprecedented day of four Breeders’ Cup wins by a trainer on a single card. 

Mage victorious in the Kentucky Derby (G1) May 6 at Churchill Downs (Daniella Ricci/Past The Wire)

The deep list of 3-year-olds continues with Mage, winner of the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1); Saudi Crown, who captured the Pennsylvania Derby (G1); and Japanese contender Derma Sotogake (JPN), who won the UAE Derby Sponsored By Atlantis The Royal (G2) at Meydan.

The top performance by an older horse in the East this year was by C2Racing Stable, LLC and La Milagrosa Stable, LLC’s 4-year-old White Abarrio, who scorched the Aug. 5 Whitney Stakes (G1) in Saratoga by 6 1/4 lengths and gained a Win and You’re In berth for the Classic. Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable’s 4-year-old Bright Future was also a big winner at Saratoga this summer, capturing the Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes (G1) and gaining a free berth into the Classic. 

The pre-entries for the Classic are completed by Charge ItClaptonDreamlikeKing of SteelMissed the CutProxySenor BuscadorSkippylongstocking, and Zandon. Dreamlike and Skippylongstocking are also pre-entered with a first preference in the Dirt Mile, while the first preference for King of Steel is the Turf. 

Adare Manor and Idiomatic Lead Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff

Top female stars from the barns of Bob Baffert, Brad Cox, and Chad Brown head the list of pre-entrants for the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1), to be contested at 1 1/8 miles on the main track.

Adare Manor notches yet another win, this time in the Zenyatta (G2) Oct. 1 at Santa Anita (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

Michael Lund Petersen’s 4-year-old filly Adare Manor has won five of six starts on the West Coast this year, and four of those were at Santa Anita. Trained by Baffert, Adare Manor comes into the Distaff with a front-running tour de force in the 1 1/16-mile Zenyatta Stakes (G2) on Oct. 1, drawing off by 5 1/4 lengths. In the East, Juddmonte’s 4-year-old Idiomatic, trained by Cox, emerged as a star in this division with four graded stakes wins, including back-to-back grade 1 scores in the Personal Ensign Stakes (G1) at Saratoga and the Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (G1) at Keeneland, in which she earned an automatic berth into the Distaff.

Trainer Chad Brown has pre-entered two from Klaravich Stables, Inc.: the 3-year-old Randomized and the 5-year-old Search Results. A daughter of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Nyquist, Randomized has won three straight races, highlighted by a four-length triumph in the Alabama Stakes presented by Keeneland Sales (G1) at Saratoga. Search Results, sixth in last year’s Distaff, was a recent winner of the Locust Grove Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs.

Auguste Rodin Leads Overseas Challenge in Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf

In the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) at 1 1/2 miles, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier, and Westerberg’s Auguste Rodin leads the European contingent with group 1 victories in the Betfred (Epsom) Derby (G1), the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (G1), and the Royal Bahrain Irish Champion Stakes (G1), the latter giving him a free berth into the Turf.

The 3-year-old son of Deep Impact (JPN) is trained by Aidan O’Brien, who is seeking his seventh win in the Breeders’ Cup Turf. Trainers John and Thady Gosden have pre-entered Shadwell Estate Company’s 5-year-old Mostahdaf (IRE), who has won two Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races, taking the Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot and the Juddmonte International at York. Amo Racing’s King of Steel, trained by Roger Varian, galloped home impressively in the Oct. 21 QIPCO British Champion Stakes (G1), the last Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series race of the season, with Frankie Dettori in the irons.

In the U.S., Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable’s 4-year-old Up to the Mark is a three-time grade 1 winner this year for trainer Todd Pletcher, having captured the Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic Stakes (G1) at Churchill Downs, the Resorts World Casino Manhattan Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park, and the Oct. 7 Coolmore Turf Mile Stakes (G1) at Keeneland. George Krikorian’s 6-year-old mare War Like Goddess, third in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf, won the Oct. 7 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Stakes (G1) in her most recent start.

Songline and Casa Creed Lead FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile

In the $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) at one mile on turf, Sunday Racing Co. Ltd.’s 5-year-old mare Songline (JPN) earned two Breeders’ Cup Challenge automatic berths at Tokyo Race Course in the spring when she captured the May 14 Victoria Mile (G1) for an automatic starting position into the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1), and then earned a free slot in the Mile when she won the June 7 Yasuda Kinen (G1). Trained by Toru Hayashi, Songline returned to the races on Oct. 8 and finished second by a nose in the 1 1/8-mile Mainichi Okan (G2) at Tokyo.

Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier, Westerberg, and Peter Brant’s 3-year-old Paddington (GB) looks to regain the form he displayed as Europe’s top miler, having reeled off four consecutive Group 1 wins in the Irish 2000 Guineas, St. James’s Palace, Coral-Eclipse and the Qatar Sussex Stakes, in which he earned a free berth into this race for trainer Aidan O’Brien.

In the U.S., LRE Racing LLC and JEH Racing Stable LLC’s Casa Creed will be competing in his fourth straight Breeders’ Cup. The 7-year-old, trained by Bill Mott, has won his last two races, including a Win and You’re In for the Mile when he captured the Aug. 12 Fourstardave Handicap (G1) at Saratoga.

Cody’s Wish Seeks Title Defense in Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile

Cody’s Wish pulls heartstrings with a win in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (Courtney Snow/Past The Wire)

Complementing the FanDuel Mile during the Saturday program is the $1 million Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), headlined by Godolphin’s defending champion Cody’s Wish. The nation was captivated last year by the incredible story of Cody Dorman, a teenager who was born with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, who bonded with a Gainsborough Farm foal in Versailles, Ky., as a part of Keeneland’s association with the Make-a-Wish Foundation. That foal, of course, became Cody’s Wish, and Cody Dorman was at Keeneland last year to see his namesake win the Dirt Mile. This year, Cody’s Wish has won three of four starts, including grade 1 wins in the Churchill Downs Stakes presented by Ford (G1) and the Hill ‘n’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap (G1). 

Big challenges to Cody’s Wish could come from SF Racing, Starlight Racing and Madaket Stables et al’s Preakness Stakes (G1) winner National Treasure, and Runhappy Santa Anita Derby (G1) winner Practical Move.

Irish and French Stars Highlight Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf

In the $2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) at 1 1/4 miles, the 3-year-old Warm Heart (IRE) has registered back-to-back group 1 scores in the Aug. 24 Pertemps Network Yorkshire Oaks (G1) and the Sept. 10 Qatar Prix Vermeille (G1) at ParisLongchamp for Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, and Westerberg, and trainer Aidan O’Brien. In Europe, the John and Thady Gosden-trained 4-year-old filly Inspiral (GB) gained a free berth into the Breeders’ Cup Mile when she won the Aug. 13 Prix du Haras de-Fresnay-le Buffard Jacques le Marois (G1) at Deauville for Cheveley Park Stud. Inspiral won her fourth career group 1 on Oct. 7 with a dominating 3 3/4-length win in the Virgin Bet Sun Chariot Stakes (G1) at Newmarket.

Didia gallops Oct. 23 at Santa Anita (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

Canada-based Fev Rover (IRE) won the Beverly D. Stakes (G1) at Colonial Downs and Oct. 8 E. P. Taylor Stakes (G1) at Woodbine for owner Tracy Farmer and trainer Mark Casse. For the U.S., Merriebelle Stable LLC’s Didia (ARG) recorded a solid stretch-running victory over the Santa Anita course in the Oct. 7 Rodeo Drive Stakes (G2) for trainer Ignacio Correas IV.   

Elite Power and Dr. Schivel Lead Qatar Racing Breeders’ Cup Sprint

Elite Power takes last year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint (Courtney Snow/Past The Wire)

The $2 million Qatar Racing Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) run at six furlongs could shape up as an East-West showdown between Juddmonte’s defending champion Elite Power and Red Baron’s Barn LLC, Rancho Temescal LLC, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing, and William A. Branch’s Dr. Schivel. Trained by Bill Mott, the 5-year-old Elite Power powered home to win last year’s Sprint at Keeneland by 1 1/4 lengths. He began 2023 with three straight wins, taking the Riyadh Dirt Sprint presented by Sports Boulevard (G3) in Saudi Arabia, the True North Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park, and the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) at Saratoga. He suffered his first defeat of the year when finishing second to Winchell Thoroughbred’s 4-year-old Gunite, trained by Steve Asmussen, in the Aug. 26 Forego Stakes (G1) at Saratoga.

The 5-year-old Dr. Schivel, trained by Mark Glatt, won the Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes presented by Estrella Jalisco (G2) for his seventh career victory. In the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Del Mar, he finished second by a nose to Aloha West.

PNC Bank Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint Topped by Defending Champ Goodnight Olive

Goodnight Olive runs away to win last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (Courtney Snow/Past The Wire)

$1 million PNC Bank Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) at seven furlongs is led by First Row Partners and Team Hanley’s Goodnight Olive, who won last year’s race by 2 1/2 lengths for trainer Chad Brown. The 5-year-old Ghostzapper mare has won two of four starts this year, including the Madison Stakes (G1) at Keeneland in the spring. Godolphin’s 4-year-old filly Matareya defeated Goodnight Olive in the Derby City Distaff Stakes presented by Kendall-Jackson Winery (G1) in May for trainer Brad Cox. Emerging this summer among the top female sprinters is Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds LLC’s 4-year-old Society, who won the Chicago Stakes (G3) at Ellis Park by 10 3/4 lengths and followed up that performance with a 5 1/2-length triumph in the Aug. 25 Misty Bennett Pink Ribbon Stakes at Charles Town.

Caravel Seeks To Make Magic Again in Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint

Caravel dazzles in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (Courtney Snow/Past The Wire)

Pennsylvania-bred mare Caravel was a shocking 42-1 gate-to-wire winner of last year’s $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) for Qatar Racing LLC, Marc Detampel, and Madaket Stables. Trained by Brad Cox, the 6-year-old Caravel has won three races this year, including the Jaipur Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park in June, in which she earned an automatic berth to defend her title. Steve and Jolene De’Lemos’ Live In The Dream (IRE) gained a Breeders’ Cup Challenge berth into the race by winning the Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes (G1) at York. Kazuo Kato’s 4-year-old Jasper Krone won four turf sprints in Japan this year. This year’s Turf Sprint will be run at five furlongs.

Friday Spotlight Shines on Juveniles

Slider with something to say in the Speakeasy Oct. 7 at Santa Anita (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

Future Stars Friday begins with the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1) at five furlongs. RP Racing Ltd.’s Big Evs (IRE) has exhibited top turf sprint talent thus far, winning the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot by three lengths in June and scoring a 2 3/4-length win in the Sept. 15 Carlsberg Danish Pilsner Flying Childers Stakes (G2) at Doncaster. Also winning at Royal Ascot this year was Kentucky-bred Crimson Advocate, trained by George Weaver, who took the Queen Mary Stakes (G2). Hall Racing LLC, Pearl Racing, and West Point Thoroughbreds’ Slider scored a gate-to-wire victory in Santa Anita’s five-furlong listed Speakeasy Stakes on Oct. 7. 

Tamara a spitting image of her mama in the Del Mar Debutante (G1) (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

In the $2 million NetJets Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at1 1/16 miles, Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella sends out Spendthrift Farm’s homebred Tamara, a daughter of Bolt d’Oro and champion racemare Beholder. Winner of the Sept. 9 FanDuel Racing Del Mar Debutante Stakes (G1) last out, Tamara will look to follow in the hoofprints of her dam, who won the Juvenile Fillies in 2012 en route to taking the 2013 and 2016 editions of the Distaff. Grade 1 winners Candied, campaigned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, and Just F Y I, a homebred for George Krikorian, are also pre-entered.

Dreamfyre prevails in the Surfer Girl Oct. 8 at Santa Anita (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

In the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) going a mile on the grass, the Donnacha O’Brien-trained Porta Fortuna (IRE) has already shown first-year promise with wins in the Albany Stakes (G3) at Royal Ascot and in the Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes (G1) at Newmarket Sept. 30. Danny Eplin’s front-running Dreamfyre is unbeaten in three starts, the latest being a neck victory over Buttercream Babe in the Oct. 8 Surfer Girl Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita. Wise Racing LLC’s Hard to Justify won the Oct. 4 Miss Grillo Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct for trainer Chad Brown.

Locked takes the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) Oct. 7 at Keeneland (Courtney Snow/Past The Wire)

Four grade 1 winners top the $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at 1 1/16 miles: Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Walmac Farm’s Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) winner Locked, Zedan Racing Stables, Inc.’s American Pharoah Stakes (G1) winner Muth, Runhappy Del Mar Futurity (G1) victor Prince of Monaco—racing for SF Racing LLC, Starlight Racing, and Madaket Stables LLC et al—and Siena Farm LLC and WinStar Farm LLC’s Champagne Stakes (G1) winner Timberlake.

In the $1 million Prevagen Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at one mile on the turf course, Amerman Racing LLC’s homebred Endlessly won the Oct. 8 Zuma Beach Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita to remain unbeaten in three starts for trainer Michael McCarthy. Endlessly’s sire, Oscar Performance, won the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita. Also on Oct. 8, D. J. Stable LLC and Cash is King Stable LLC’s Can Group, roared from last of 12 to win Keeneland’s Castle & Key Bourbon Stakes (G2) by a nose over Repole Stable’s Noted, and gained a free berth into the Juvenile Turf. Al Shaqab, Coolmore, and Westerberg’s Unquestionable (FR), trained by Aidan O’Brien, finished one length behind the winner in the Oct. 1 Qatar Prix Jean Luc Lagardere Grand Criterium (G1) at ParisLongchamp.

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