LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 13, 2021) ― Godolphin’s 4-year-old Maxfield remained in first place over Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Essential Quality in the latest Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings, a weekly rating 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.
Maxfield, a convincing winner of the Stephen Foster Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs on June 26, leads all Classic contenders with 23 first-place votes and 347 total votes. Essential Quality (316 votes), the 2020 TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (G1) winner, trained by Brad Cox, moved from third to second place this week above fellow Godolphin runner Mystic Guide. The 4-year-old Mystic Guide, winner of the Dubai World Cup (G1) and second in the Suburban (G2) at Belmont for trainer Mike Stidham, is in third place with 306 votes. Boat Racing, Gainesway Stable, Roadrunner Racing, and William Strauss’s Hot Rod Charlie, second in the Belmont Stakes, remains in fourth place with 213 votes for trainer Doug O’Neill.
Hot Rod Charlie is expected to start in this Saturday’s TVG.com Haskell Stakes (G1), which is a “Win and You’re In” for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic. The TVG.com Haskell Stakes will be broadcast live on NBC as a part of the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In – presented by America’s Best Racing,” with live coverage beginning at 5 p.m. ET.
Korea Racing Authority’s Knicks Go, another horse trained by Cox, moved from sixth to fifth place this week. Knicks Go, an impressive winner of both the Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (G3) on July 2 and the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream in January, has 161 votes. Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton Racing’s 4-year-old Silver State, trained by Steve Asmussen, is unbeaten in four starts this year, including victories in the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) and Belmont’s Metropolitan Handicap (G1), in which he also gained a “Win and You’re In” for the $1 million Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1). Silver State is in sixth place with 138 votes. WinStar Farm’s 4-year-old Country Grammer, winner of the Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) at Santa Anita Park, remained in seventh place with 110 votes.
St. George Stable’s 5-year-old mare Letruska rose from ninth to eighth place this week. Trained by Fausto Gutierrez, Letruska, with 97 votes, has won four of five starts this year, including a 5 ¾-length victory in the Fleur de Lis Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs on June 26. Juddmonte’s Mandaloun, also trained by Cox, improved from 10th to ninth place with 95 votes. Mandaloun, who finished second in the Kentucky Derby (G1), is also scheduled to start in the TVG.com Haskell Stakes. Wertheimer and Frere’s 4-year-old Happy Saver, trained by Todd Pletcher, rounds out the top 10. Happy Saver, who suffered his first career defeat when he finished third in the Suburban after five wins, has 77 votes.
Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings – July 13, 2021*
*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.
Breeders Cup Press Release
Photo: Breeders Futurity Keeneland ( Breeders Cup Photo)