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LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 20, 2019) - Hronis Racing's 4-year-old Higher Power, runaway winner of Saturday's $1 million Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar, has surged to the No. 5 spot in the latest Breeders' Cup Classic Rankings, while Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman's 4-year-old McKinzie, winner of the Whitney (G1), has retained the No. 1 position.
Higher Power (137 votes), a bay son of Medaglia d'Oro out of the Seattle Slew mare Alternate, trained by John Sadler, is from the same connections that campaigned last year's Pacific Classic and Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) winner Accelerate.
Under jockey Flavien Prat, Higher Power zoomed away from the field leaving the backstretch at Del Mar and rolled to a 5 ¼-length victory at odds of 9.6-1, covering the 1 ¼ miles in 2:02.43. Higher Power, whose victory earned him a "Win and You're In" berth into the Breeders' Cup Classic, came into the Pacific Classic off a second-place finish in the one-mile Wickerr Stakes on turf at Del Mar on July 19.
McKinzie (307 votes), trained by Bob Baffert, has retained the top spot in the Classic Rankings for the 11th consecutive week. McKinzie is followed by Godolphin's two-time Dubai World Cup (G1) winner Thunder Snow (IRE) (247) in second place. Trained by Saeed bin Suroor, Thunder Snow was scratched from the Whitney on the morning of the race due to an elevated temperature.
China Horse Club International, WinStar Farm and Head of Plains Partners' 5-year-old Yoshida (JPN) (152 votes), who finished second in the Whitney, moved up one spot this week to third place, switching places with Gary and Mary West's Haskell Invitational winner Maximum Security (149 votes).
Following Higher Power in sixth place is Robert LaPenta, Madaket Stables, Siena Farm and Twin Creeks Racing Stables' 4-year-old Catholic Boy (104 votes).
Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable's 4-year-old Vino Rosso (102 votes), third-place finisher in the Whitney, rose from eighth to seventh place, followed by Gary and Mary West's Game Winner (98 votes), the 2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) winner, in eighth place, who came down with a virus last week and was forced to miss the Travers Stakes (G1).
Hronis Racing's 6-year-old Santa Anita Handicap (G1) winner Gift Box (71 votes) holds on to ninth place in the rankings.
William S. Farish's 3-year-old Code of Honor (62 votes), trained by Shug McGaughey, enters the Top 10 for the first time this year in the 10thspot. Winner of both the Fountain of Youth (G2) and the Dwyer Stakes (G3), Code of Honor (62 votes) is expected to start in Saturday's Travers.
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.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 13, 2019) - Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman's 4-year-old McKinzie, winner of both the Alysheba Stakes (G2) and the Whitney (G1), has retained the No. 1 position in the Breeders' Cup Classic Rankings for the 10th consecutive week. Trained by three-time Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) winner, Bob Baffert, McKinzie accumulated 303 votes this week, and leads Godolphin's two-time Dubai World Cup (G1) winner Thunder Snow (IRE) (252 votes) in second place.
Gary and Mary West's Haskell Invitational winner Maximum Security rose one spot from fourth to third this week, reversing places with the 5-year-old Whitney runner-up Yoshida (JPN), owned by China Horse Club International, WinStar Farm and Head of Plains Partners. Yoshida (145 votes), trained by Bill Mott, is tied in fourth place with Charles Fipke's 6-year-old Stephen Foster (G2) winner Seeking the Soul (145 votes). Trained by Dallas Stewart, Seeking the Soul is expected to start in Saturday's $1 million Pacific Classic (G1).
Robert LaPenta, Madaket Stables, Siena Farm and Twin Creeks Racing Stables' 4-year-old Catholic Boy (129 votes), second in the Suburban Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park on July 6, remains in sixth place.
Gary and Mary West's Game Winner (106 votes), the 2018 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) winner, who is being pointed to next week's Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga, is in seventh place. Also trained by Baffert, Game Winner, who won last month's Los Alamitos Derby (G3), worked six furlongs handily this morning at Del Mar in 1:12.
Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable's 4-year-old Vino Rosso (87 votes), third-place finisher in the Whitney, stays in eighth place.
Fox Hill Farm's 3-year-old Omaha Beach (69 votes), winner of the Arkansas Derby (G1), moves up one spot this week and into ninth-place tie with Hronis Racing's 6-year-old Santa Anita Handicap (G1) winner Gift Box (69 votes). Trained by Richard Mandella, Omaha Beach worked six furlongs handily in 1:13.60 at Del Mar on Monday, and could make his return to the races in the Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 25.
|Breeders' Cup Race||Grade||Purse||Date|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint||II||$1,000,000||November 1|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf||I||$1,000,000||November 1|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies||I||$2,000,000||November 1|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf||I||$1,000,000||November 1|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile||I||$2,000,000||November 1|
|Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint||I||$1,000,000||November 2|
|Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint||I||$1,000,000||November 2|
|Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile||I||$1,000,000||November 2|
|Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf||I||$2,000,000||November 2|
|Breeders' Cup Sprint||I||$2,000,000||November 2|
|Breeders' Cup Mile||I||$2,000,000||November 2|
|Breeders' Cup Distaff||I||$2,000,000||November 2|
|Breeders' Cup Turf||I||$4,000,000||November 2|
|Breeders' Cup Classic||I||$6,000,000||November 2|
Every sport has a definitive year-ending event to crown its champions. In Thoroughbred racing, the Breeders' Cup World Championships is the culmination of the horse racing season worldwide and the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic is the defining event of the international racing season.
The Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships held the first series of its seven races before a crowd of 64,254 horse racing, horse betting, horse wagering, and handicapping fans at Hollywood Park in 1984. Today, purses for the fifteen races of the Breeders’ Cup amount to $26 million. The most important race in the series, the Breeders' Cup Classic, has a total purse of $5 million, with a winner's share of more than $2.5 million.
The Breeders’ Cup traces its roots back to 1982, with a group of Horse racing leaders frontlined by John R. Gaines, founding father of the Breeders’ Cup and former owner of Gainesway Farm near Lexington, Kentucky. The group had envisioned a vehicle to promote the sport, which would not only be a showcase of the sport’s finest elements but also a grand finale to the racing season, with a multimillion dollar total purse. Every one of those visions came true.
The Breeders’ Cup inaugural event was held on November 10, 1984 at glitzy Hollywood Park in Inglewood, California. It was an instant hit. The championship races have since become the cornerstone of a year-round program that has allocated over $380 million to owners and breeders alike. Most divisional champions crowned since 1984 have participated in a Breeders' Cup racing event.
In 1986, a separate $250,000 Breeders' Cup Steeplechase, run two weeks earlier than the series at a different track, was added to the program. That race was discontinued after 1993. A turf race for fillies and mares was added in 1999.
Breeders' Cup Betting - In Thoroughbred racing, the Breeders' Cup is the culmination of the horse racing season worldwide.
After Hollywood Park, the Breeders’ Cup would change venues yearly. Each fall, a different North American track plays host to the prestigious thoroughbred racing event, which have included the richly historical Churchill Downs, the stately Belmont Park, and the panoramic Santa Anita Park in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.
Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, holds the records for both Breeders' Cup attendance and total horse betting. The renowned racecourse attracted 80,452 spectators in 1998, and when the races came back to Louisville in 2000, over $108 million was wagered.
Since 1984, the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships has continued to grow in popularity owing to its prestige and keen level of competition. Contending horses have not only come from the US but all the way from England, Ireland, France, Japan, and Germany. The races are televised on both NBC and ESPN (pre-championships), and simulcast in 25 countries, with horserace wagering at more than $108 million.
But beyond the foreign players and media sponsors, thoroughbred owners and breeders have served as the Breeders’ Cup’s backbone since the very beginning. They not only supply the race horses competing in the Breeders' Cup events but also pay the nominations from which the organization, Breeder’s Cup Limited, derives its major source of funding.
As an international program, the Breeders’ Cup has instituted a nomination process to breeders around the world. Stallion owners annually pay a nomination fee that is the equivalent of a stallion's advertised stud fee, or a minimum of $1,000. Breeders pay a nomination fee of $500 for each foal. Nominated horses are eligible to compete for millions in both the Breeders’ Cup Stakes program and the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships events. Annual nominations from all over the world have made the Breeders’ Cup a truly global institution.
The Breeders’ Cup has no doubt accomplished what its founders set out to do, and more. Today, after 32 years and running, the Breeders’ Cup remains the definitive test of Horse racing champions, and has become thoroughbred racing’s most recognizable and successful showpiece worldwide.
|Race Tracks||Time (EST)|