Press Release

McKinzie Retains Lead in Breeders' Cup Classic Rankings

Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 2, 2019) – For the fourth consecutive week, Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman’s 4-year-old McKinzie (258 votes) has been voted the top horse in the Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings. McKinzie, trained by Bob Baffert, won the Alysheba Stakes (G3) at Churchill and most recently was second in the Metropolitan Handicap (G1) at Belmont Park on June 8. On Sunday at Santa Anita Park, McKinzie worked 4 furlongs handily in 47.80.

The next seven horses in the rankings remained the same from last week. Godolphin’s 5-year-old Dubai World Cup (G1) winner Thunder Snow (IRE) (235 votes), is in second followed by Robert LaPenta, Madaket Stables, Siena Farm and Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ 4-year-old Catholic Boy (171 votes) in third; Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable’s 4-year-old Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) winner Vino Rosso (158 votes) is in fourth, with Charles Fipke’s 6-year-old homebred Seeking the Soul (155) votes), winner of the Stephen Foster (G2), in fifth and Hronis Racing’s 6-year-old Santa Anita Handicap (G1) winner Gift Box (112 votes) in sixth place.

Fox Hill Farms’ 3-year-old Omaha Beach (71 votes), winner of the Arkansas Derby (G1), retained the seventh spot followed by Salomon Del Valle’s 5-year-old Gunnevera (68 votes), runner-up in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), in eighth.

Gary and Mary West’s 3-year-old Florida Derby (G1) winner and disqualified Kentucky Derby (G1) first-place finisher Maximum Security (66 votes) moved up one place from last week to the No. 9 position. New to the Classic leaderboard at No. 10 is Hronis Racing’s 5-year-old Catalina Cruiser (59 votes), trained by John Sadler. A 5-year-old son of Union Rags, Catalina Cruiser finished sixth as the favorite in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1). In his debut this year, Catalina Cruiser won the True North (G2) at Belmont Park on June 7.

The Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings, a weekly rating of the top 10 horses in contention for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita Park, November 2, are determined by a panel of leading Thoroughbred racing media, horseplayers and members of the Breeders’ Cup Racing Directors/Secretaries Panel. Rankings are announced each week through October 15 and can be found on the Breeders’ Cup website along with the list of voting members.

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

Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings Top 10 – July 2, 2019 *

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



Each NBC Sports Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series Win and You’re In – Presented by America’s Best Racing telecast will include the Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings, along with commentary from analyst and poll voter Randy Moss.

Upcoming races in the Classic Division which will be televised through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series programming include the Haskell Invitational (G1) from Monmouth Park on July 20; the Whitney (G1) from Saratoga Race Course on Aug. 3; the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) from Park Racing on Sept. 21; Awesome Again Stakes (G1) from Santa Anita Park and the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) from Belmont Park on Sept. 28.

The 2019 Breeders’ Cup Classic, which will be run at 1 ¼ miles on the main track at Santa Anita, will be televised live and in primetime on NBC. Thirteen winners of the Classic have been voted Horse of the Year.

About Breeders’ Cup

The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships. The Breeders’ Cup also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The 2019 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 Graded Stakes with purses and awards totaling more than $30 million, will be held on November 1-2 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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