Woodward Stakes Winner Preservationist Soars to No. 3 in Latest Breeders' Cup Classic Rankings

Photo copyright Eclipse Sportswire

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 3, 2019) – Centennial Farm’s 6-year-old Preservationist, a gritty half-length winner of the Woodward Stakes (G1) at Saratoga on Saturday, soared back into the Top 10 in the latest Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings, claiming the No. 3 position, while Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman’s 4-year-old McKinzie, holds the top spot.

Preservationist (189 votes), a bay son of Arch out of Flying Dixie by Dixieland Band, trained by Jimmy Jerkens, captured his fourth race in six starts this year with his Woodward win. Splitting rivals in the final yards under Junior Alvarado to prevail over Bal Harbour and Yoshida (JPN), Preservationist completed the 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.11 over a fast track. The Woodward triumph followed a fourth-place finish in the Whitney (G1) on Aug. 3. Preservationist also captured the Suburban Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park on July 6.

The 4-year-old McKinzie (312 votes) has been the No. 1 horse in the Classic Rankings for 13 consecutive weeks. Trained by Bob Baffert, McKinzie has won the Alysheba (G2) at Churchill Downs and the Whitney at Saratoga this year. Godolphin’s two-time Dubai World Cup (G1) winner Thunder Snow (IRE) (197 votes) retains the second-place position.

Following Preservationist in third are the two highest rated 3-year-olds in the Classic Rankings: William S. Farish’s Code of Honor (186 votes), who won the Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1), remains in fourth place, with Gary and Mary West’s Haskell Invitational (G1) winner Maximum Security (159 votes) holding onto fifth.

WinStar Farm and Head of Plains Partners’ 5-year-old Yoshida (125 votes) dropped three places to sixth after his third-place finish in the Woodward. Hronis Racing’s TVG Pacific Classic (G1) winner Higher Power (97 votes) slips one spot into seventh place. There is a tie this week for eighth place between Robert LaPenta, Madaket Stables, Siena Farm and Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ 4-year-old Catholic Boy (71 votes) and Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable’s 4-year-old Vino Rosso (71 votes). 

Gary and Mary West’s Game Winner (58 votes), the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) champion, falls from eighth to 10th place this week.

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, Nov. 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 Oct. 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 – Sept. 3, 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 that will be televised through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series programming include the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) from Parx 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 on Saturday, November 2. 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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