Improbable ranked No. 1 in Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic

October 14, 2020

LEXINGTON, Ky. – After taking the overall lead following his dominating win in the Awesome Again Stakes (G1) on Sept. 26, WinStar Farm, China Horse Club International and SF Racing’s Improbable has finished No. 1 in the final 2020 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings. Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, the 4-year-old Improbable finished with 317 votes, 54 more than GMB Racing’s Tom’s d’Etat.

The 2020 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings is a weekly poll of the top 10 horses in contention for the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). The 1 ¼-mile Classic, scheduled to be run on Nov. 7 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Ky., is the climactic race of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

The Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings was determined by a panel of leading Thoroughbred racing media, horseplayers and members of the Breeders’ Cup Racing Directors/Secretaries Panel. This 13-week poll began on July 21. A complete list of voting members can be found here.

Since finishing fifth in last year’s Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Santa Anita Park, Improbable, a 4-year-old son of City Zip, bred by St. George Farm and G. Watts Humphrey Jr., has won three of four starts in 2020. After finishing second in the Oaklawn Mile Stakes on April 11, Improbable reeled off consecutive Grade 1 victories in the Hollywood Gold Cup at Santa Anita, the Whitney at Saratoga and the Awesome Again, which he won by 4 ½ lengths. Improbable received 18 first-place votes in the final rankings.

Owing to the competitiveness of this year’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic contenders, the next five horses in the poll received at least one first-place vote from the panel this week. Tom’s d’Etat (263 votes), winner of the Oaklawn Mile Stakes and the Stephen Foster (G1), garnered six first-place votes, taking the runner-up spot in the poll. Trained by All Stall Jr., Tom’s d’Etat opened this year’s rankings as the top-rated horse and held the position for the first four weeks.

Gary and Mary West, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s Maximum Security (257 votes) finished third in the rankings. Also trained by Baffert, Maximum Security won the inaugural Saudi Cup, the San Diego Handicap (G2) and the TVG Pacific Classic (G1) before finishing second to stablemate Improbable in the Awesome Again and relinquishing the No. 1 rating. Maximum Security received five first-place votes from the panel.

Sackatoga Stable’s 3-year-old Tiz the Law (227 votes), winner of both the Belmont (G1) and Travers Stakes (G1), finished in fourth place, taking three first-place votes. Spendthrift Farm, MyRaceHorse Stable, Madaket Stables and Starlight Racing’s Authentic (204 votes), who defeated Tiz the Law in the Kentucky Derby (G1), finished in fifth place. Authentic, who received one first-place vote, is the third Baffert-trained horse to finish in the top five.

Allied Racing Stable’s 4-year-old By My Standards (162 votes), who has won four of six starts this year, including the Alysheba Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs on Sept. 4, finished in sixth place and earned one first-place vote.

The 3-year-old filly Swiss Skydiver (130 votes), who defeated Authentic by a neck in the Preakness Stakes (G1), finished in seventh place for owner Peter Callahan and trainer Kenny McPeek. 

Wertheimer and Frere’s undefeated 3-year-old Happy Saver entered the top 10 in the final week after winning The Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Belmont Park. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Happy Saver, who earned a “Win and You’re In” berth into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic, finished in eighth place with 84 votes. 

Sagamore Farm and WinStar Farm’s Woodward Stakes (G1) winner Global Campaign (82 votes) finished in ninth place, followed in 10th by W.S. Farish’s Code of Honor (51 votes).

Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings – Oct. 14, 2020*

2Tom’s d’Etat2636
3Maximum Security2575
4Tiz the Law2273
6By My Standards1621
7Swiss Skydiver1300
8Happy Saver  840
9Global Campaign  820
10Code of Honor  510

*Note – The Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings have no bearing on qualification or selection into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic.

In the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings, each voter rates horses on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 system in descending order.

The 2020 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic will be televised live on NBC.

Press Release

Photo of Improbable, with Drayden Van Dyke up, is courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

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