West Coast went from unknown to champion last year in the span of six-and-a half months, while putting together a string of five consecutive victories. His streak ended when he finished a good third in the 2017 Breeders' Cup Classic behind Gun Runner and Collected, but he had still done enough to secure champion three-year-old honors, becoming the first Eclipse Award winner for long-time owners Gary and Mary West.
The fourth victory in last year's streak came in the Travers Stakes at Saratoga last August. It had been 35 years since the three individual Triple Crown leg winners squared off in the Travers. But, as happened 1982, it wasn't one of them in the winner's circle after the “Mid-Summer Derby.”
Left in West Coast's wake in the front-running score were 2017 Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming, Preakness victor Cloud Computing, and Belmont Hero Tapwrit. West Coast also captured the Los Alamitos Derby and the Pennsylvania Derby last year.
This year, he's run second twice in two of the world's richest stakes. He had the lead in the $16.3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes at Gulfstream only to be passed by reigning Horse of the Year Gun Runner.
Shipped to Dubai in March, he was a game second to Thunder Snow in the $10 million Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline at Meydan and is preparing to make his first start since that race.
As a late foal (born May 14), West Coast did not race as a two-year-old, but showed potential early. His connections brought him for $425,000 as a yearling at the 2015 Keeneland September Sale and his earnings stand at a gaudy $5.7 million.
West Coast's mother is champion Caressing, who won the 2000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies en route to divisional honors.