Knicks Go Remains No. 1 in Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings

August 25, 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky(Aug. 24, 2021) — Knicks Go,winner of the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) and the Whitney (G1), stayed atop the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings, while two of last week’s Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series winners, Tripoli and Mishriff (IRE), moved into the top 10. The 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). This year’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic will be run at Del Mar racetrack in Del Mar, California, on Nov. 6 as the final race of the 38th Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

The 5-year-old Knicks Go, owned by Korea Racing Authority and trained by Brad Cox, received 307 votes, maintaining the top spot for the third consecutive week. Godolphin’s 3-year-old Essential Quality, winner of the Belmont Stakes (G1) and Jim Dandy Stakes (G2), is in second place with 273 votes. Also trained by Cox, Essential Quality is expected to run in this Saturday’s Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga. The 4-year-old Maxfield, also owned by Godolphin, is in third place with 254 votes. Trained by Brendan Walsh, Maxfield earned a free berth into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic when he won the Stephen Foster Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs in June. Three-year-old Hot Rod Charlie, owned by Boat Racing, Gainesway Stable, Roadrunner Racing and William Strauss, and trained by Doug O’Neill, is in fourth place with 204 votes.

Hronis Racing’s 4-year-old Tripoli jumped into the top 10 for the first time off a sparkling win in the TVG Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar. The victory gave Tripoli an automatic berth into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic. Trained by John Sadler, Tripoli is in fifth place with 125 votes. St. George Stable’s 5-year-old mare Letruska dropped one spot to sixth place with 107 votes. Letruska, trained by Fausto Gutierrez, has won four of five starts this year, including the Ogden Phipps (G1) at Belmont Park and the Fleur de Lis Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs. Prince A A Faisal’s 4-year-old Mishriff was another “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic last week when he captured the Juddmonte International (G1) on turf at York Racecourse in England. Trained by John and Thady Gosden, Mishriff, who is in seventh place with 95 votes, also won the Saudi Cup (G1) and the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) this year.

Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton Racing’s 4-year-old Silver State slipped two spots, from sixth to eighth place, with 70 votes. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Silver State won his first four races of 2021 before finishing third in the Whitney. George E. Hall and SportBLX Thoroughbreds Corp.’s 4-year-old Max Player, also trained by Asmussen, dropped from eighth to ninth place with 63 votes. Max Player won the Suburban Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park in July. Another runner moving into the top 10 for the first time is the undefeated 3-year-old Life Is Good. Owned by CHC Inc and WinStar Farm, Life Is Good won both the Sham Stakes (G3) and the San Felipe Stakes (G2) before being sidelined with an ankle injury in the spring. Now back in training, Life Is Good is in 10th place with 58 votes.

Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings – Aug. 24, 2021*

RankHorseVotesFirst-Place VotesPrevious Week
1Knicks Go307201
2Essential Quality27352
4Hot Rod Charlie20414
7Mishriff (IRE)95317
8Silver State7006
9Max Player6308
10Life Is Good58013

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

The 2021 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic, which will be run at 1 ¼ miles on the main track, is limited to 14 starters. The race will be broadcast live on NBC.

The Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings are determined by a panel of leading Thoroughbred racing media, horseplayers, and members of the Breeders’ Cup Racing Directors/Secretaries Panel. Rankings will be announced each week through Oct. 11. A list of voting members can be found here.

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

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