Countdown to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships Newsletter - September 2
Advisory: This is the second of nine weekly news releases focusing on the horses and races leading to the 37th Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Friday, November 6 and Saturday, November 7 at Keeneland. For more information, please visit www.breederscup.com. The Breeders’ Cup will be televised live on NBC and NBCSN. You can follow all the contenders’ activity leading up to the Breeders’ Cup with Equibase’s free “Road to the Breeders’ Cup” Virtual Stable notification service.
Tiz the Law, Fellow 3-Year-Olds Look to Parlay Derby Glory into Classic Success
A Kentucky Derby delayed by more than four months didn’t deter 17 3-year-olds from tackling 3-5 morning line favorite TIZ THE LAW in Saturday’s Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. While a win the 1 ¼-mile Derby clearly ensures immortal status in the pantheons of the sport, 3-year-olds in general have a long and storied history of success in the $7 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, and will surely look to add to the leger Nov. 7 at Keeneland.
The Derby is the obvious highlight of an abbreviated five-day Churchill meet that also offers Friday’s Kentucky Oaks (G1) and a showdown between superstar 3-year-old fillies Swiss Skydiver and Gamine, along with the “Win and You’re In” Iroquois (G3), which will award an automatic starting berth into the TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (G1), and Thursday’s “Win and You’re In” Pocahontas (G3), which will offer an automatic starting berth into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1).
Sackatoga Stable’s Tiz the Law, who drew post 17, is the most likely 3-year-old to join a dozen others who have won the Classic in their sophomore season, with just American Pharoah (2015), Unbridled (1990) and Sunday Silence (1989) winning the Derby as well. The New York-bred son of Constitution has been dominant in a 4-for-4 campaign this year for trainer Barclay Tagg, including easy Grade 1 wins in the Belmont in June — the first leg of this year’s Triple Crown, Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park in April, and Runhappy Travers at Saratoga Aug. 8. Tiz the Law, who is 6-for-7 lifetime, shipped to Louisville Tuesday morning and Derby success will send him to Pimlico as a heavy favorite to win the Triple Crown in the Oct. 3 “Win and You’re In”’ Preakness Stakes (G1). The Run for the Black-Eyed Susans in Baltimore is a newly-minted automatic qualifier for the Classic, which Sackatoga’s managing partner Jack Knowlton has long said is the year-end goal.
A Kentucky Derby in September figures to cater to the late-developing types, and C R K Stable’s HONOR A. P. (5-1, breaking from post 16) fits the bill and may be California’s best hope, as the son of Honor Code won the Santa Anita Derby (G1) in June for trainer John Shirreffs. Both Spendthrift Farm, MyRaceHorse Stable, Madaket Stables, and Starlight Racing’s AUTHENTIC (8-1, post 18), who earned a berth into the Classic when he won Monmouth Park’s “Win and You’re In” Haskell (G1) July 18, and Albaugh Family Stables and Spendthrift Farm’s THOUSAND WORDS (15-1, post 10), who upset Honor A. P. in Del Mar’s Aug. 1 Shared Belief, will look to give trainer Bob Baffert a record-tying sixth Derby win.
The remainder of the field for the Kentucky Derby, from the rail out (with the 1-post and 20-post being left open without a full field entered): FINNICK THE FIERCE (50-1), MAX PLAYER (30-1), ENFORCEABLE (30-1), 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner STORM THE COURT (50-1), MAJOR FED (50-1), KING GUILLERMO (20-1), MONEY MOVES (30-1), SOUTH BEND (50-1), MR. BIG NEWS (50-1), NECKER ISLAND (50-1), SOLE VOLANTE (30-1), ATTACHMENT RATE (50-1), WINNING IMPRESSION (50-1), and NY TRAFFIC (20-1).
Swiss Skydiver taking the “Win and You’re In” Alabama at Saratoga
Photo by Eclipse Sportswire
Gamine, Swiss Skydiver in Epic Oaks Clash with Potential Preakness Implications
In what is arguably one of the most anticipated matchups of the season, GAMINE and SWISS SKYDIVER square off in Friday’s $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks (G1), in a race that could springboard the winner to the Preakness. Run at 1 1/8 miles, the Oaks drew a field of nine, though all eyes will be on the two heavy favorites who have won their last six graded stakes against their own generation by a combined 39 lengths.
Michael Lund Petersen’s Gamine is the even-money morning line favorite for trainer Bob Baffert off freakish one-turn Grade 1 wins in Belmont Park’s June 20 Acorn by 18 ¾ lengths and Saratoga’s Aug. 8 Longines Test by 7 lengths. The daughter of Into Mischief has finished first in all four starts, though she was more workmanlike in her lone two-turn start, which was a neck victory in an optional-claimer at Oaklawn Park over fellow Oaks rival SPEECH in May (Gamine was subsequently disqualified due to testing positive to excessive amounts of the legal medication lidocaine). Baffert mentioned the Preakness as a possibility should Gamine show the same brilliance at two turns as she has at one.
Peter Callahan’s Swiss Skydiver owns a homecourt edge and is much more proven at two turns for trainer Kenny McPeek. The daughter of Daredevil has won four straight graded stakes against 3-year-old fillies, including Saratoga’s Aug. 15 Alabama (G1) at 1 ¼ miles, in which she earned a “Win and You’re In” berth for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Swiss Skydiver’s lone loss in her last five starts was a strong and clear second to Art Collector in Keeneland’s Blue Grass (G2) in July. Swiss Skydiver is 5-for-9 and McPeek toyed at running her in the Derby, but instead opted for the Oaks, with the Preakness as a potential next start, should she run well.
Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Madaket Stables, and Heider Family Stables’ Speech gave Gamine all she could handle at Oaklawn then was second to Swiss Skydiver in the Santa Anita Oaks (G2) in June before easily winning the Ashland (G1) in fast time at Keeneland Aug. 8 for trainer Mike McCarthy. Graded stakes winners DONNA VELOCE, HOPEFUL GROWTH, and SHEDARESTHEDEVIL are also entered for the Kentucky Oaks, as are longshots BAYERNESS, DREAM MARIE, and TEMPERS RISING.
Breeders’ Cup Winners Monomoy Girl, Sharing Top Oaks Undercard
The stars will be out in full force on the Oaks undercard, as 2018 Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) winner MONOMOY GIRL continues her comeback, while 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) winner SHARING returns to the U.S. after a trip to Royal Ascot.
Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables, the Elkstone Group, and Bethlehem Stables’ Monomoy Girl will start as a heavy favorite in the 1 1/16-mile La Troienne (G1) as she continues her comeback for trainer Brad Cox after missing all of 2019 due to a bout of colic and a minor hamstring injury. The 5-year-old daughter of 2012 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Tapizar streaked to a 3-year-old filly championship in a 2018 campaign that counted five Grade 1 wins, which included the Oaks and culminated with the Longines Distaff at Churchill. Monomoy Girl, who is 11-for-13 lifetime, is 2-for-2 this year, including the Ruffian (G2) July 11 at Belmont Park.
Calumet Farm’s VEXATIOUS is in career-best form and earned a Distaff berth when she upset divisional leader Midnight Bisou in Saratoga’s “Win and You’re In” Personal Ensign (G1) Aug. 1 for trainer Jack Sisterson, and looms to be the main danger, while HOROLOGIST enters off a fast win in the Molly Pitcher (G2) July 18 at Monmouth Park for trainer Bill Mott.
Earlier on the card in the $500,000 Edgewood (G2) at 1 mile on the turf for 3-year-old fillies, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Gainesway Stable’s Sharing, who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf last year at Santa Anita for trainer Graham Motion, makes her return after running a strong second in the Coronation (G1) June 20 at Royal Ascot. The 3-year-old daughter of 2004 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Speightstown won the Tepin over the course and distance in her only other start this year in May and is 4-for-6 lifetime.
Juvenile Berths on the Line in Pocahontas, Iroquois
The “Win and You’re In” action gets underway Thursday at Churchill when the $200,000 Pocahontas (G3) will award this year’s first automatic starting berth into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Run at 1-mile, the Pocahontas drew a robust field of 12 lightly raced 2-year-old fillies looking to show they can stretch out.
Louis Wright’s INJECT figures to be a handful off her dominant 6-length debut win Aug. 15 at Ellis Park for trainer Stanley Hough. The daughter of Frosted cost $390,000 as a yearling and hinted that may be a bargain when she chased the pace before easily pulling clear, though she’ll be stretching out from 5 furlongs and meeting plenty of other speed.
Phoenix Thoroughbreds’ CRAZY BEAUTIFUL is favored at 2-1 on the morning line off her easy win in the Ellis Park Debutante Aug. 9 for trainer Kenny McPeek. The daughter of 2015 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Liam’s Map aired in her debut at Ellis on the turf in July and doubled up in the Debutante, and should like the abundance of pace she figures to be able to track.
MANIA and FABRICATE, 2-3 in the Debutante, respectively, are also entered, as are flashy debut winners AMERICAN GRACE and GIRL DADDY, while BLISSFUL CHANGE and DREAM QUIST easily broke their maiden in their second career starts. ALEXANDRIA, AVA’S GRACE, SCAT’S CHOICE, and XTREMA are also entered for the “Win and You’re In” Pocahontas.
The 2-year-olds get their turn in Saturday’s 1-mile “Win and You’re In” $200,000 Iroquois, which will award an automatic starting berth into the TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance.
Stephen Fidel’s homebred THERIDEOFALIFETIME could be a slight favorite off his second-place finish in the Aug. 7 Saratoga Special (G2) for trainer Nacho Correas. The son of Candy Ride (ARG) romped in his second start at Keeneland in July after running second on debut at Churchill in June.
Trainer Dale Romans has a pair of impressive Ellis Park debut winners in Albaugh Family Stable’s SITTIN ON GO and Jim Bakke and Gerald Isbister’s ULTIMATE BADGER, and both appear long on talent. The former, a son of Brody’s Cause, settled early and drew off late for a 4 ¼-length win, while the latter, a Commissioner colt, chased the pace in the mud before clearing off to his own 4 ¼-length win. Ron Winchell’s MIDNIGHT BOURBON, a son of two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Tiznow, who easily broke his maiden in his second start at Ellis for trainer Steve Asmussen, is also entered for the “Win and You’re In” Iroquois, as are BELAFONTE, CRAZY SHOT, DREAMER’S DISEASE, DROP ANCHOR, NOTARY, PICO D’ORO, and SUPER STOCK.
NEWS AND NOTES
Maximum Security Retains Top Rating in Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings
MAXIMUM SECURITY, who captured the “Win and You’re In” TVG Pacific Classic, retains the top spot for Week 7 in the Longines Breeders' Cup Classic Rankings over Kentucky Derby (G1) morning-line favorite Tiz the Law, TOM’S D’ETAT and IMPROBABLE, as the top four positions remained unchanged. The 2020 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings is a weekly poll of the top 10 horses in contention for the $7 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 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. 13.
*Note – The Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings have no bearing on qualification or selection into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Rushing Fall, with Javier Castellano up, winning the Diana (G1) at Saratoga
Photo by Eclipse Sportswire
Rushing Fall Likely to Train Up to Filly & Mare Turf
RUSHING FALL, who won Saratoga’s Aug. 23 Diana (G1), will likely train up to the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1), according to e Five Racing Thoroughbreds’ owner Bob Edwards. The 5-year-old daughter of More Than Ready, who won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Del Mar in 2017, won Keeneland’s Jenny Wiley (G1) for the second time in July to join Lady Eli and Beholder as the only North American-based horses to win Grade 1 races at ages 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Rushing Fall is 11-for-14 lifetime for trainer Chad Brown and is 5-for-6 over the Keeneland turf course, having won races in Lexington at 2, 3, 4, and 5. She’s 3-for-3 this year, and Edwards indicated he’ll follow the less is more path to the Filly & Mare Turf.
"We'll probably hold off until the Breeders' Cup," Edwards said. "If you look at her race pattern, I try to run her four or five times max.”
Enable to Prep for Arc at Kempton
Juddmonte Farm’s immortal homebred ENABLE (GB), who won the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs in 2018, will prep for what would be a record-setting third win in the historic Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1), a “Win and You’re In” for this year’s Turf, in Saturday’s $93,100 September Stakes (G3) going about 1 ¼ miles over the all-weather surface at Kempton Park outside of London.
Enable, a 6-year-old daughter of Nathaniel (IRE), is 14-for-17 lifetime, including 11 Group/Grade 1 wins, to go along with the 2018 September, and became the first horse ever to win the Arc and Breeders’ Cup Turf in the same year when she turned the elusive double in 2018 for trainer John Gosden. Enable won the Arc in 2017 when it was held at Chantilly and was second over extremely soft ground last year, and her form this year gives every indication she’s the horse to beat Oct. 4 at Longchamp.
Enable kicked off her 2020 campaign with a second behind superstar Ghaiyyath (IRE) in the Coral-Eclipse (G1) at Sandown then earned a berth into the Turf with her third win in Ascot’s July 25 “Win and You’re In” King George VI & Queen Elizabeth QIPCO Stakes (G1). Gosden has been non-committal about a possible run in the Turf, but Enable made the trip to Churchill in 2018 after a lightly raced campaign, and, with the Arc scheduled to be just her fourth start this year, it could point favorably to a trip to Keeneland.
COUNTDOWN TO THE BREEDERS’ CUP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
A listing of the upcoming major stakes races this weekend
LONGINES BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC
September 4 – $400,000 Alysheba (G2) at Churchill Downs. Run at 1 1/16 miles for 4yos & up.
September 5 – $3 million Kentucky Derby (G1) at Churchill Downs. Run at 1 ¼ miles for 3yos.
September 5 – $500,000 Woodward (G1) at Saratoga. Run at 1 ¼ miles for 3yos & up.
September 5 – $150,000 Jim Dandy (G2) at Saratoga. Run at 1 1/8 miles for 3yos.
LONGINES BREEDERS’ CUP DISTAFF
September 4 – $1.25 million Kentucky Oaks (G1) at Churchill Downs. Run at 1 1/8 miles for 3yo fillies.
September 4 – $500,000 La Troienne (G1) at Churchill Downs. Run at 1 1/16 miles for fillies & mares 4yos & up.
LONGINES BREEDERS’ CUP TURF
September 5 – $1 million Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs. Run at 1 1/8 miles for 4yos & up.
September 6 – $200,000 Del Mar Derby (G2) at Del Mar. Run at 1 1/8 miles on turf for 3yos.
FANDUEL BREEDERS’ CUP MILE PRESENTED PDJF
September 5 – $507,203 Prix du Moulin (G1) at Longchamp. Run at 1-mile on turf for 3yos & up.
September 5 – $500,000 American Turf (G2) at Churchill Downs. Run at 1 1/16 miles on turf for 3yos.
September 5 – $150,000 Red Bank (G3) at Monmouth Park. Run at 1-mile on turf for 3yos & up.
MAKER’S MARK BREEDERS’ CUP FILLY & MARE TURF
September 4 – $300,000 Edgewood (G2) at Churchill Downs. Run at 1-mile for 3yo fillies.
September 5 – $500,000 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (G2) at Churchill Downs. Run at 1-mile for fillies & mares 4yos & up.
September 5 – $200,000 Glens Falls (G2) at Saratoga. Run at 1 3/8 miles on turf fillies & mares 4yos & up.
September 5 – $150,000 John C. Mabee (G2) at Del Mar. Run at 1 1/8 miles on turf for fillies & mares.
BREEDERS’ CUP SPRINT
September 5 – $100,000 Smile (G3) at Gulfstream Park. Run at 6 furlongs for 3yos & up.
BREEDERS’ CUP FILLY & MARE SPRINT
September 4 – $300,000 Eight Belles (G2) at Churchill Downs. Run at 7 furlongs for 3yo fillies.
September 5 – $500,000 Derby City Distaff (G1) at Churchill Downs. Run at 7 furlongs for fillies & mares 4yos & up.
September 5 – $200,000 Prioress (G2) at Saratoga. Run at six furlongs for 3yo fillies.
September 6 – $150,000 Honorable Miss (G2) at Saratoga. Run at six furlongs for fillies & mares.
TVG BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE PRESENTED BY THOROUGHBRED AFTERCARE ALLIANCE
September 5 – $200,000 Iroquois (G3) at Churchill Downs. Run at 1-mile for 2yos.
September 7 – $250,000 Hopeful (G1) at Saratoga. Run at 7 furlongs for 2yos.
September 7 – $250,000 Del Mar Futurity (G1) at Del Mar. Run at 7 furlongs for 2yos.
BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE FILLIES
September 3 – $200,000 Pocahontas (G3) at Churchill Downs. Run at 1-mile for 2yo fillies.
September 6 – $250,000 Spinaway (G1) at Saratoga. Run at 7 furlongs for 2yo fillies.
September 6 – $250,000 Del Mar Debutante (G1) at Del Mar. Run at 7 furlongs for 2yo fillies.
BIG ASS FANS BREEDERS’ CUP DIRT MILE
September 5 – $500,000 Pat Day Mile (G2) at Churchill Downs. Run at 1-mile for 3yos.
BREEDERS’ CUP TURF SPRINT
September 4 – $250,000 Turf Sprint (G2) at Churchill Downs. Run at 5 1/2- furlongs on turf for 3yos & up.
September 5 – $399,000 Sprint Cup (G1) at Haydock. Run at 6 furlongs on turf for 3yos & up.
BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE TURF
September 3 – $100,000 With Anticipation (G3) at Saratoga. Run at 1 1/16 miles on turf for 2yos.
MAJOR STAKES RECAP | Aug. 28-30
A review of the major global races in the corresponding Breeders’ Cup divisions from last week. Winning jockeys’ names are in parenthesis in each recap. The top Breeders’ Cup Points' leaders and Breeders’ Cup Challenge winners by division are listed at the end of each section. Breeders’ Cup Point earners are limited to horses who finish first, second or third in Graded Stakes races. Horses based outside of the U.S., who have not won a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race, are selected into World Championships races by the Breeders’ Cup Racing Directors/Secretaries Panel at the Pre-Entry stage, Oct. 26. An asterisk in the points section denotes a foreign contender. A complete Breeders’ Cup Points list is available here.
Countdown to the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic – Thumbs Up Racing’s SLEEPY EYES TODD (Carlos Delgado) led every step of the way for an authoritative 7 ½-length win over PLUS QUE PARFAIT in the $600,000 Charles Town Classic (G2). Miguel Angle Silva trained the winner, a 4-year-old son of Paddy O’Prado who won the Fonner Stakes at Fonner Park in April and was second in the Oklahoma Derby (G3) at Remington Park last year. Sleepy Eyes Todd is now 6-for-12 lifetime and could be a candidate for the Fayette (G2) Oct. 10 at Keeneland. Video
Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic – Breeders’ Cup Challenge (BCC) Winners and Points Leaders
- September 27, 2021
Two tickets to the Breeders’ Cup: Future Stars Friday program on November 5th at Del Mar went up for grabs at Newmarket over the weekend.
- September 25, 2021
Royal Patronage Scores in Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes and Earns Automatic Berth into Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf
Highclere Thoroughbred Racing’s Royal Patronage (FR) landed a thrilling Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (G2) at Newmarket, securing his guaranteed start in the US$1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
- September 24, 2021
This is the fourth of eight weekly news releases focusing on the horses and races leading to the 38th Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Friday, Nov. 5 and Saturday, Nov. 6 at Del Mar.