NEW YORK (June 17, 2014) – As an added benefit to the new Breeders’ Cup Challenge website http://challenge.breederscup.com/ NBC Sports analyst Randy Moss will provide weekly “Randy’s Rankings” of the contenders for this year’s $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, which be held November 1 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., and will be televised live and in primetime on NBC.
In his first listing, Moss rates Mucho Macho Man, last year’s Classic winner and Classic runner-up in 2012, as his No. l contender for this year’s race. Despite being diagnosed last week with slight bruising in the hind legs, Moss indicates that Mucho Macho Man “has been kept in light training with a Classic defense in mind. That’s obviously not an ideal scenario, but trainer Kathy Ritvo has demonstrated – twice – she can get ‘Macho’ to peak at the right time.”
Moss slots the 7-year-old gelding and Game On Dude, the disappointing favorite in the last two runnings of the Classic, in the No. 2 position. Owned in partnership by former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre, and trained by Bob Baffert, Game On Dude is expected to start in the June 28 $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita at 1 ¼ miles, which will be shown live on NBCSN (7:00 p.m. ET) as the second of 11 programs on NBC’s “The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: ‘Win and You’re In’ schedule of outstanding Breeders’ Cup qualifying races leading to the Championships.
Metropolitan Handicap winner and 2013 Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice is ranked third followed by Kentucky Derby and Preakness Winner California Chrome. “It’s hard to hold his Belmont loss against him,” said Moss,” and in a sense, losing by only 1¾ lengths given his trip and Triple Crown workload might even have flattered him…the plan is to give him a well-deserved rest, then prepare for the Classic in his backyard.”
California Chrome is followed in “Randy’s Rankings” by last year’s 2-year-old champion, undefeated Shared Belief, who returned to the races with a sparking allowance effort on May 26 at Golden Gate Fields; Will Take Charge, second in the recent Stephen Foster Handicap and runner-up in last year’s Classic by a nose to Mucho Macho Man, checks in at No. 6, followed by Donn Handicap winner Lea; Cross Traffic, the 2013 Whitney Handicap winner; Imperative, the Charles Town Classic winner at No. 9, and Departing, third in the Stephen Foster, rounding out the top 10.
Randy’s Rankings is just one exciting element of the Challenge Series website, http://Challenge.breederscup.com, which contains unique content and a team of writers, producers and experts, focusing on racing, lifestyle and human interest features from some of the country’s most iconic racetracks right through the Championships this fall.