2021 Breeders' Cup Classic

Bet the Breeders' Cup Online

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.

Breeders' Cup Classic

Purse:$6,000,000Grade: 1
Distance: 1 1/4 MilesAge: 3+

The 38th Breeders' Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing's most prestigious two-day global event, consisting of 14 races with purses and awards totaling more than $31 million, will be held at Del Mar Racetrack, on Friday, November 5 and Saturday, November 6. There will be five Breeders' Cup races on Championship Friday and nine Breeders' Cup races on Championship Saturday.

The $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic (G1), the climactic event of the Championships, will be run on the main track at 1 ¼ miles with a first-place owner's prize of $3.12 million. On 13 occasions, the winner of the Breeders' Cup Classic also has been named Horse of the Year, and this year's Classic will once again have ramifications on the coveted year-end title.

2021 Breeders' Cup Classic Field & Odds

Race 12 at Del Mar on Saturday, November 6 - Post 8:40 PM

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Tripoli 15-1 Irad Ortiz, Jr.
126 Lbs
John Sadler
2 Express Train 20-1 Victor Espinoza
126 Lbs
John Shirreffs
3 Hot Rod Charlie 4-1 Flavien Prat
122 Lbs
Doug O'Neill
4 Essential Quality 3-1 Luis Saez
122 Lbs
Brad Cox
5 Knicks Go 5-2 Joel Rosario
126 Lbs
Brad Cox
6 Art Collector 8-1 Mike Smith
126 Lbs
William Mott
7 Stilleto Boy 30-1 Kent Desormeaux
122 Lbs
Ed Moger, Jr.
8 Medina Spirit 4-1 John Velazquez
122 Lbs
Bob Baffert
9 Max Player 8-1 Ricardo Santana, Jr.
126 Lbs
Steven Asmussen

(Oct 27 Update) - The 2021 million Breeders' Cup Classic (G1), the climactic event of the Championships, will be run on the main track at 1 ¼ miles with a first-place owner's prize of $3.1 million. On 14 occasions, the winner of the Longines Breeders' Cup Classic also has been named Horse of the Year, and this year's Classic will once again have ramifications on the coveted year-end title. Five of the Top 15 Longines World's Best Racehorses are pre-entered in the Classic.

Trainer Brad Cox, who tied the record for most victories in a World Championships with four at Keeneland last year, trains the standout older horse and top 3-year-old coming into this year's Breeders' Cup. Korea Racing Authority's 5-year-old Knicks Go, who won last year's Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1), has won four of six starts this year, punctuated by front-running victories in the Pegasus World Cup (G1) at Gulfstream Park, the Whitney (G1) at Saratoga - in which he gained an automatic starting position into the Classic - and the Lukas Classic (G3) at Churchill Downs in his most recent start on Oct. 2.

Essential Quality was voted 2-year-old champion last year on the basis of his win in the $2 million TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (G1), and like his stablemate, he's been hard to defeat, winning 5-of-6 starts, and leads all North American runners in earnings with $2.88 million. The son of Tapit has lost just one race, when he was fourth in the Kentucky Derby (G1) but rebounded to win the Belmont (G1) in June and Saratoga's Aug. 28 Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1) in his most recent start. Essential Quality finished four votes ahead of Knicks Go in the final Longines Breeders' Cup Classic Rankings.

Two other 3-year-old could prove prominent in the Classic picture. Roadrunner Racing, William Strauss, Boat Racing, and Gainesway Stable's Hot Rod Charlie finished second to Essential Quality in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile at 94-1. This year, Hot Rod Charlie, trained by Doug O'Neill, was a hard-fought second to Essential Quality in the Belmont Stakes, then crossed the wire first in the TVG.com Haskell Stakes (G1), but was disqualified and placed seventh for interference. He came back on Sept. 25 to take the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) at Parx. Zedan Racing Stables' Medina Spirit, who finished first in the Kentucky Derby, came back this summer to notch victories in the Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 29 and then gained a free starting position into the Classic when he captured Santa Anita's Awesome Again Stakes (G1) for trainer Bob Baffert.

Among the older horses who have won at Del Mar this year, Hronis Racing's Tripoli, trained by John Sadler, took the "Win and You're In" TVG Pacific Classic (G1) and C R K Stable's Express Train won the San Diego Handicap (G2). Also, representing the California contingent is Calvin Nguyen's Santa Anita Handicap (G1) winner Idol, and Steve Moger's Stilleto Boy, who won the Iowa Derby in July and was second in the Awesome Again Stakes.

Trainer Steve Asmussen saddled Breeders' Cup Classic winners and subsequent Horses of the Year with Curlin in 2007 and a determined Gun Runner in 2017 at Del Mar. This year, Asmussen has pre-entered George E. Hall and SportBLX Thoroughbred Corp.'s Max Player, who won two Breeders' Cup Challenge races in the Classic division, taking the Suburban Stakes (G2) at Belmont in July and The Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Saratoga in September. Also making a big statement in New York was Bruce Lunsford's Art Collector, who has won his last three starts, including a gate-to-wire triumph in the Woodward Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park on Oct. 2 for trainer Bill Mott.

Essential Quality finishes No. 1 In 2021 Breeders' Cup Classic Rankings

Benefiting from Grade 1 victories in the Belmont Stakes and the Runhappy Travers Stakes, Godolphin's 3-year-old Essential Quality has finished No. 1 in the final voting of the 2021 Longines Breeders' Cup Classic Rankings, a weekly poll of the top 10 horses in contention for the $6 million Longines Breeders' Cup Classic (G1).

This year's Longines Breeders' Cup Classic will be run at Del Mar racetrack in Del Mar, California, on Nov. 6 as the final race of the 38th Breeders' Cup World Championships.

Trained by Brad Cox, Essential Quality earned 290 votes, and finished four votes ahead of stablemate Knicks Go, who had 286 votes in second place. Last year's TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance(G1) winner and Champion 2-Year-old Male, Essential Quality has won five of six starts this year, with his only defeat being a fourth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby (G1).

Korea Racing Authority's 5-year-old Knicks Go had been in first place in the Longines Breeders' Cup Classic Rankings until Essential Quality overtook him two weeks ago. Also trained by Cox, Knicks Go has won four races in 2020, including the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) at Gulfstream Park and the Whitney (G1) at Saratoga in August, in which he earned an automatic starting position into the Longines Breeders' Cup Classic. Knicks Go won his final prep for the Classic on Oct. 2 when he registered a 4-length victory in the Lukas Classic (G3) at Churchill Downs.

In addition to Essential Quality, two other 3-year-olds finished in the top four. Roadrunner Racing, William Strauss, Boat Racing and Gainesway Stable's Hot Rod Charlie finished in third place with 269 votes. Trained by Doug O'Neill, Hot Rod Charlie won the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) on Sept. 25 in his most recent race.

Zedan Racing Stables' Medina Spirit, who won Santa Anita's Awesome Again (G1) on Oct. 2, accumulated 189 votes to finish in fourth place.

Godolphin's 4-year-old Maxfield finished in fifth place with 168 votes. Trained by Brendan Walsh, Maxfield earned an automatic starting position in the Longines Breeders' Cup Classic when he captured the Stephen Foster Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs in June.

George E. Hall and SportBLX Thoroughbreds Corp's Max Player, who won two Breeders' Cup Challenge Series races in the Longines Classic Division this year, finished in sixth place with 150 votes. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Max Player was victorious in the Suburban Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park in July, and followed up that score with a triumph in The Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Saratoga on Sept. 4.

Bruce Lunsford's Art Collector finished in seventh place with 142 points for trainer Bill Mott. Art Collector was a frontrunning winner of the Woodward Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park on Oct. 2 in his final tune-up for the Classic.

Prince A A Faisal's 4-year-old Mishriff (IRE) finished in eighth place with 67 votes. Trained by John and Thady Gosden, Mishriff gained an invitation to the Longines Breeders' Cup Classic when he won the Juddmonte International Stakes (G1) at York Racecourse in England on Aug. 18.

The John Sadler-trained Tripoli finished in ninth place with 50 votes. Owned by Hronis Racing, Tripoli secured a free berth in the Longines Breeders' Cup Classic when he won the TVG Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar in August.

St. Elias Stable's Dr Post rounded out the top 10 with 38 votes. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the 4-year-old Dr Post finished third in the Woodward Stakes.

2021 BREEDERS' CUP RACE SCHEDULE

Breeders' Cup Race Grade Purse Date
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint II $1,000,000 November 5
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf I $1,000,000 November 5
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies I $2,000,000 November 5
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf I $1,000,000 November 5
Breeders' Cup Juvenile I $2,000,000 November 5
Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint I $1,000,000 November 6
Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint I $1,000,000 November 6
Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile I $1,000,000 November 6
Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf I $2,000,000 November 6
Breeders' Cup Sprint I $2,000,000 November 6
Breeders' Cup Mile I $2,000,000 November 6
Breeders' Cup Distaff I $2,000,000 November 6
Breeders' Cup Turf I $4,000,000 November 6
Breeders' Cup Classic I $6,000,000 November 6

Recent Breeders' Cup Classic Winners

Year Winner Jockey Trainer Time
2020 Authentic John R. Velazquez Bob Baffert 1:59.19
2019 Vino Rosso Irad Ortiz, Jr. Todd Pletcher 2:02.80
2018 Accelerate Joel Rosario John Sadler 2:02.93
2017 Gun Runner Florent Geroux Steve Asmussen 2:01.29
2016 Arrogate Mike Smith Bob Baffert 2:00.11
2015 American Pharoah Victor Espinoza Bob Baffert 2:00.07
2014 Bayern Martin Garcia Bob Baffert 1:59.88
2013 Mucho Macho Man Gary L. Stevens Katherine Ritvo 2:00.72
2012 Fort Larned Brian Hernandez Ian Wilkes 2:00.11
2011 Drosselmeyer Mike E. Smith William I. Mott 2:04.27
2010 Blame Garrett Gomez Albert M. Stall, Jr. 2:02.28
2009 Zenyatta Mike E. Smith John Shirreffs 2:00.32
2008 Raven's Pass Frankie Dettori John Gosden 1:59.27

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