A record 201 horses, including 38 from overseas, have been pre-entered for the 2014 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park, surpassing the prior record total of 194 pre-entered in 2011.
The 31st Breeders’ Cup World Championships will consist of 13 races with purses and awards totaling $26 million. It will be held at Santa Anita Park for the third consecutive year on Friday, October 31 and Saturday, November 1. There will be four Breeders’ Cup races on Friday and nine Breeders’ Cup races on Saturday.
The Breeders’ Cup will be televised live by NBCSN and NBC. The $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic will be broadcast live and in primetime on Saturday, November 1 on NBC (8-9 p.m. ET).
Goldencents (Dirt Mile), Ria Antonia (Juvenile Fillies), Magician (Turf); Secret Circle (Sprint) and Dank (GB) are the five 2013 winners pre-entered for this year’s Breeders’ Cup. A total of 37 horses have received automatic qualifying berths into the races through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” series.
An oversubscribed field of 15 horses have been pre-entered for this year’s $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic going 1 1/4-miles, headed by champion Shared Belief and dual classic winner California Chrome.
Friday’s headline event is the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff at 1 1/8 miles for fillies and mares, 3-years-old and up. Juddmonte Farms’ Close Hatches was the undisputed divisional leader off a 4-for-4 record this year for trainer Bill Mott but will need to rebound from a disappointing fourth-place finish behind Don’t Tell Sophia in Keeneland’s Grade I Juddmonte Spinster on October 5. The 4-year-old daughter of First Defence, who was second to Beholder in last year’s Distaff, won Oaklawn Park’s Apple Blossom in April, the Phipps and Personal Ensign prior to her loss in the Spinster.
While the Classic and Distaff figure to have deserving and identifiable favorites, the $3 million Breeders’ Cup Turf and $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf are shaping up as deep and wide open affairs. The Turf, run over 1 ½ miles, is led by Flaxman Holdings’ homebred Main Sequence, who has done little wrong in winning all three U.S. starts—in grade I company—for trainer Graham Motion. Coolmore’s defending Turf champion Magician will also attract support, although the 4-year-old son of Galileo, has won just once this year, but has been second in three group one races, including the Arlington Million.
The Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf, run at 1 ¼ miles, is led by Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s homebred Stephanie’s Kitten, who could be the favorite off her sharp win in Belmont’s Grade I Flower Bowl on September 27 for trainer Chad Brown. Tough competition should come from defending champion Dank, who has started just twice this year, most recently a fifth place finish in Prince of Wales at Royal Ascot.
The defection of two-time defending race winner Wise Dan from the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile has opened up the race considerably as 25 horses have been pre-entered. The Europeans expect to have the top contenders leading with Al Shaqab Racing’s Toronado, who won the group one Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot for trainer Richard Hannon. The 4-year-old son of two-time Breeders’ Cup Turf winner High Chaparral lost the Prix de Moulin de Longchamp by just a head in his most recent start on September 14. Wertheimer et Frere’s Anodin, a full-brother to three-time Mile winner Goldikova, was second in the Group I Jacques le Marois at Deauville in August for Freddy Head and was third to Toronado in the Queen Anne.
A maximum of 14 starters are allowed in each of the 13 Breeders’ Cup World Championships races with the exception of the Dirt Mile (12). Breeders’ Cup Limited has adopted a field selection system to select runners in the event fields are oversubscribed. This system ranks horses in order of preference based on (i) Breeders’ Cup Challenge race winners, (ii) a point system, and (iii) the judgment of a panel of racing experts. The field selection system was implemented following the taking of pre-entries on Monday, Oct. 20, to officially rank the oversubscribed fields. The Racing Secretaries and Directors Panel (the “Panel”) ranked all horses pre-entered in the oversubscribed races. After pre-entry, any vacancies in the fields will be filled by horses in order of panel preference. Entry for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships races will be Monday, Oct. 27 by 10:00 a.m. (PT). At the time of entry, a maximum of 14 horses (or 12) will be accepted for each race based on the order of preference established at pre-entry.
There will be up to two (2) also-eligible horses for each Championship race. The also-eligible horses will be designated in accordance with the Breeders’ Cup Racing Directors/Secretaries Panel’s order of preference for each Championship race that is oversubscribed at the time of pre-entry. Scratch time for all Championships races to be contested on both Championship Friday and Championship Saturday will be 8:00 a.m. PT, Friday, Oct. 31.
For the complete list of pre-entries, visit: http://www.breederscup.com/sites/default/files/bc14-preentries.pdf