One hundred eighty-eight horses, pre-entered on Monday, were announced today in the 36th Breeders’ Cup’s 14 races, 26 cross-entered in two races, designated by first or second preference. Entries will be finalized at next Monday’s post draw.
Fourteen runners will compete in 11 of the 14 races; only a maximum of 12 will be allowed to compete in the Juvenile Turf Sprint, Turf Sprint, and Dirt Mile.
Eleven horses, one female, a pair of 3-year-olds and eight older handicap runners were pre-entered in the centerpiece Breeders’ Cup Classic.
The horses that figure to gain the most parimutuel support are, alphabetically, Code of Honor, the mare Elate, McKinzie, and Vino Rosso. Without a standout favorite, the 36th renewal of the mile and a quarter Classic is one of the most open editions ever.
McKinzie has topped the industry’s Top 10 Classic Poll virtually all season and likely will be slight favorite for Bob Baffert. He has not finished out of the exacta in seven starts in Arcadia, winning thrice.
It is highly unlikely than any horse would go lower than 3-1 at post time.
Three-year-old Code of Honor won his last two starts at the Classic distance, elevated to first following his nose defeat to Vino Rosso in the Jockey Club Gold Cup.
Elate’s next loss at the Classic distance will be her first, as she’s 3-for-3 lifetime. It is her ability at the trip that convinced her connections to end her career at her optimal distance.
Vino Rosso stared Vino Rosso down in the JCGC stretch duel but was demoted for bumping his rival in the stretch, a controversial disqualification in a year noted for them.
The Jockey Club would have been his second win at the Classic trip this year, having won the G1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita this spring.
Those considered to have the most upset potential are Higher Power, 3rd in the G1 Awesome Again after stumbling at the start. Previously, he won the mile and a quarter Pacific Classic.
Mongolian Groom’s connections put up $200,000 to supplement into this race after winning the Awesome Again. In his prior, he was third to Higher Power in the Pacific Classic.
Among the entrants, three defending Breeders’ Cup titlists will attempt a return to the winners’ circle: Stormy Liberal will try to win the Turf Sprint for the third consecutive year, Eclipse champion Sistercharlie looks to repeat in the Filly and Mare Turf and Line of Duty will try to win The Mile a year after winning the Juvenile Turf.