Breeders’ Cup Full Schedule
Now that the pre-entries are in for the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Park, we are building a picture of what the fourteen championship fields could look like and boy does it look exciting!
With bragging rights (and the small matter of $30million) to fight for we can guarantee that all horses, trainers and jockeys are giving this their all, but what are the key battles we can expect to witness and when will they take place?
Future Stars Friday
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint – 4.12 EDT
Wesley Ward, so adept at winning top turf sprint races when going over to England each year, and Simon Crisford dominate the entries for this race.
Ward’s Kimari was a close second at Royal Ascot the day before Crisford’s A’Ali won at the same meet and they, along with Four Wheel Drive and Al Raya for the same handlers will feature high on many a handicapper’s list.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf – 4.52 EDT
While all of the 19 pre-entered here are talented, there is a break in the betting after what looks like a strong front three who have precious little to separate them.
Todd Pletcher’s Sweet Melania, winner of the Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland, takes on a couple of turf savvy Europeans in the shape of Roger Varian’s Daahyeh, another Royal Ascot winner, and Jessie Harrington’s Group 1 winner Albigna.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies – 5.32 EDT
We have a similar scenario with three fillies in this contest who look to be a notch above, and none of them have listed preferences in another race so they should all line up.
Bob Baffert’s Bast has won her last two, both at Grade 1 level, while Steve Asmussen’s Wicked Whisper comes off a Grade 1 win of her own in the Frizette Stakes at Belmont. Brad Cox’s British Idiom is arguably the most talented of the bunch though and likely has a lot more to give following her bloodless win in the Grade 1 Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland recently.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf – 6.12 EDT
Yet another Royal Ascot winner is featured here in the shape of Aidan O’Brien’s Arizona who appears to be clear of this field on reputation at least. In behind the contenders are lining up to have a pop at him but this race is wide open at the pre-entry stage.
TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile – 7.03 EDT
A race that may once again produce the next Kentucky Derby winter favorite is headlined by three potentially outstanding colts.
It’ll be no surprise to see a Bob Baffert runner favored here and right now his American Pharoah Stakes winner Eight Rings heads most people’s lists, with Dale Romans’ Dennis’ Moment coming in off of a cosy success at Grade 3 level.
The one to show most progress from his last race to this one is Godolphin’s Maxfield, trained by Brendan Walsh. The son of Street Sense didn’t have the best of trips in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland but rocketed home anyway to score by an impressive 5½ lengths.
Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint – 2.55 EDT
Challenging at the head of the market for a while now have been Covfefe and Come Dancing and it’s expected by many that they will be the front-runners here.
Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint – 3.33 EDT
Without Battaash this is a hugely competitive race in which its impossible to predict right now who will be favored, so in a wide-open contest it would be no surprise to see an outsider such as Legends Of War go close.
Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile – 4.10 EDT
This is all about Omaha Beach, Richard Mandella’s brilliant three-year-old who after originally being aimed at the Kentucky Derby (in fact he won the 9-furlong Arkansas Derby), came back in early October with a hugely impressive sprint win, beating Shancelot at Santa Anita over six furlongs.
He’s classy, versatile and tough and will take all the beating here unless he is unlucky on his way around.
Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf – 4.54 EDT
Having chased Enable home five times, being a four-time Group 1 winner in her own right and having been thought of for the Turf against the boys, you would be forgiven for wondering why the brilliant and incredibly tough Magical is not a very strong favorite in this race.
In this case though, last year’s excellent winner of this very race and seven-time Grade 1 victor Sistercharlie is in opposition and she is reported to be raring to go once again. The prospect of seeing these two come off the turn together and battling it out up the stretch is truly mouth-watering.
Breeders’ Cup Sprint – 5.36 EDT
There is not an awful lot to choose here between sprinting stalwarts Mitole, Imperial Hint and Catalina Cruiser which gives this race a wide-open look. Given his age and low mileage though, along with his close form behind the excellent Omaha Beach, a big run can be expected from 3-year-old Shancelot too.
TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile – 6.20 EDT
Given that this race is run on the turf it goes without saying that the Europeans have traditionally done very well in it, and so even with a few one-mile Group 1 winners from across the pond not making it this year their army is quite strong.
Royal Ascot winner Circus Maximus has the ability, as at bigger odds does last year’s Juvenile Turf winner Line Of Duty, but if ever there were a year for Americans to shine in this race it’s now.
Mark Casse’s 4-year-old Got Stormy is improving at the right time while Chad Brown’s mare Uni cannot be underestimated in any way.
Breeders’ Cup Distaff – 7.00 EDT
We could be denied a great battle here and a re-run of the Personal Ensign Stakes in which the fantastic Midnight Bisou just got the better of Elate with the pair well clear of the field.
Bill Mott however has listed the Classic as a first preference for Elate, potentially leaving Steve Asmussen’s brilliant 5-time Grade 1 winning filly out on her own.
Breeders’ Cup Turf – 7.40 EDT
Likely favorite Bricks And Mortar has been brilliant of late, but on the turf he finds himself in a juxtaposition as far as distance goes. He does his best work over 1¼ miles and so was given the option of the mile, or this 1½-mile race.
It seems he’ll go here and will still be tough to beat, though Epsom Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck could be a tough nut to crack as a 3-year-old with more to offer, while Charlie Appleby’s Old Persian has now won top level races in Canada and Dubai, so adding the States to that list would be no surprise.
Breeders’ Cup Classic – 8.44 EDT
Bob Baffert’s McKinzie continues to top the rankings for the big one, but he has been beaten in this race before and despite some extremely consistent form it has to be pointed out that in four Grade 1’s this year he has finished second three times and won just once.He is at least vulnerable then with Jockey Club Gold Cup 1-2 Code Of Honor and Vino Rosso chomping at the bit among others in what promises to be an appropriately thrilling way to end a great Breeders’ Cup meet