Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 1 Longines Breeders' Cup Turf comes our way from the center of horse racing universe - Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky this Saturday, October 31. A nice purse of $3 million will be on the line for horses three years old and upward as they take to Keeneland's turf track and race 1 1/4 miles.
12 older turf specialists will take to the track in the Breeders' Cup turf - race 10 on Keeneland's busy Saturday card. Post time is 4:50 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all 12 combatants for this Grade 1 Breeders' Cup stakes.
Golden Horn 4-5 - British bred John Goodsen trained colt has been spectacular in his eight race career - seven wins and a second place finish. The wins include the Investec Derby, the Coral-Eclipse Stakes, QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes and the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, all group I races. He makes his much anticipated North American debut this week looking like one of the best turf horses on the planet. Lanfranco Dettori gets the call on the exciting morning line favorite from the rail.
Big Blue Kitten 8-1 - four-time Grade 1 winner has finished no worse than second in his last seven starts overall with three wins over that span. Last time out was a win in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park September 26 after a second in the Grade 1 Arlington Millions, a win in the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes in July and a second in the Grade 1 Manhattan Stakes in June. He finished eighth in this race in 2013 but enters this year in very good form. Big Blue Kitten now has 29 career starts with 14 wins, eight seconds and four third place finishes and is expected to be in the mix Saturday. Joe Bravo has been tabbed to ride in Big Blue Kitten's fifth straight Grade 1 appearance - from post 7.
Slumber 8-1 - Chad Brown pupil had two wins, a second and two third place finishes in eight starts in Great Britain before debuting in North America in November, 2011 with a fourth in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby. He started 2015 with consecutive seconds - the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Handicap in February and the Grade 2 Mervin H. Muniz Handicap in March and followed that with a fifth in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs May 2. Last time out was a respectable second in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic which followed his first really bad effort he last two years - an eighth in the Grade 1 Arlington Millions August 15 and Slumber's first win in nearly two years - in the Grade 1 Manhattan Stakes over Big Blue Kitten June 6. That makes a win and four runner-up finishes in his last seven starts. He looks OK ahead of this weekend and leaves from gate 4 with Irad Ortiz in the irons.
Found 8-1 - Irish bred Aidan O'Brien trained filly has placed in nine of 19 career starts - three wins, five seconds and a third place finish. She makes her North American debut Saturday off a second in a stakes at Ascot October 17 and a ninth in the Group 2 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe October 4. She won the Group 1 Total Prix Marcel Boussac - Criterium des Pouliche a year ago and has finished first or second in six of seven starts since. Found is used to being at or near the top - expectations are that she is again Saturday. Ryan Moore rides from post 9.
Red Rifle 10-1 - Todd Pletcher trained gelding has seven wins, six seconds and a third place finish in 21 career starts and enters off a fourth in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park September 26. That result followed a good second in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Stakes at Saratoga August 29 and a nice two race win streak - the Grade 2 Bowling Green Handicap over War Dancer and Imagining August 1 and the Grade 3 Dominion Day Stakes July 1 at Woodbine. He also had a ninth in the Belmont Gold Cup Invitational June 5, a decent second in the Grade 3 Excelsior Stakes at Aqueduct April 25 and a fifth in the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap March 28. He did make some noise with a terrific win in the Grade 2 Hawthorne Gold Cup in November and also had an OK second in the Grade 3 Sycamore Stakes at Keeneland October 16. Red Rifle looked great in the summer and will be out to avenge a somewhat disappointing fourth when he leaves from post 11 with Javier Castellano in the reins.
The Pizza Man 15-1 - enters this weekend off a respectable second in the Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile on this track October 3 which followed an impressive three race win streak - all stakes including the Grade 1 Arlington Millions over Big Blue Kitten August 15, the Grade 3 Stars and Stripes Stakes (for the second year in a row) and the minor Opening Verse Stakes at Churchill Downs in May. He also had a five race win streak during his 2013/2014 campaign. The Pizza Man now has 15 wins, two seconds and two third place finishes in 24 career starts and comes into this weekend in good form. Florent Geroux gets the call on this intriguing 15-1 shot from gate 10.
Shining Copper 20-1 - Michael Maker trained gelding enters off a fifth in the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park September 26 which followed an OK third in the Grade 1 Arlington Millions and a pair of pedestrian fourth place finishes in Allowance Optional Claiming races at Churchill Downs this past spring. He also had an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Fair Grounds in February. Shining Copper has five wins, three seconds and six third place finishes in 24 career starts and looks for his first stakes score Saturday from gate 2 with Luis Saez guiding him.
Twilight Eclipse 20-1 - is the world record holder at 1 1/2 miles on turf when he won the Grade 2 William McKnight Handicap December 28, 2013 in wire-to-wire fashion by seven lengths. He's placed in 10 of 11 races ahead of this weekend - a seventh four starts back in the Grade 3 Manhattan Stakes at Belmont Park June 7 was the lone bad race over the last year. He enters having finished third in three straight races - the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic last time out, the Grade 1 Sword Dancer August 29 and the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes July 5. He also had a win in the Grade 1 Man o' War Stakes May 9, a third in the Grade 2 Pan American Stakes March 28, a second in the Grade 2 Mac Diarmida Stakes February 21 and a third right behind Flintshire in last year's Breeders' Cup Turf. He has 28 career starts with seven wins, five seconds and seven third place finishes and will be after just his second win in 20 months despite looking decent. Twilight Eclipse has Joel Rosario guiding him from gate 6.
Da Big Hoss 30-1 - has seven wins, a second and two third place finishes in 13 career starts for trainer Michael Maker and enters on a nice four race win streak - last time out in his graded stakes debut - the Grade 3 Kentucky Turf Cup, in his stakes debut - the listed John's Call Stakes at Saratoga August 26, an Allowance Optional Claiming score in July 31 and a Claiming win in June. Da Big Hoss arrives in superb form for his first foray into Grade 1 company. He tries to keep the roll going Saturday from post 5 with Jose Ortiz guiding him.
Big John B 30-1 - finished ninth in this race last year but has looked very good in the lead up to this year. He enters on a three race win streak - the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap August 22, the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap and a Starter Handicap. He won four straight last summer including as well - the 2014 Del Mar Handicap August 23, an Allowance Optional Claiming by 7 1/4 lengths, a Starter Handicap June 29 and a Claiming score in May. Big John B now has 34 career starts with 14 wins, five seconds and four third place finishes and hopes to keep the roll going Saturday. Rafael Bejarano has the mount from post 3.
Cage Fighter 30-1 - has placed in 13 of 16 career starts for trainer James Lawrence. Last time out was a second in the Grade 3 Knickerbocker Stakes at Belmont Park October 10 which followed his first stakes score - the minor PTHA President's Cup Stakes at Parx September 12, a third in the Grade 3 Oceanport Stakes in August, a fourth in the Grade 2 Monmouth Oaks in June and a good stakes debut - a second in the Grade 2 Dixie Stakes May 16 at Pimlico. Cage Fighter has been in every race the last two years and hopes for his first ever graded stakes score Saturday. Joshua Navarro gets the call from the outside gate 8.
Ordak Dan 30-1 - invades from Argentina for his first North American start. Last time out was a win in the Group 1 25 de Mayo in May - a race that he also won in 2013. He also finishes fifth and second in a pair of Group 1 races earlier this year. Ordak Dan now has six wins and four second place finishes in 17 career starts and should be confident after a nice win last time out. Jorge Antonio Ricardo will be in the saddle Saturday from the outside post 12.
Race 10 on Keeneland's Saturday card with a Post Time of 4:50 PM.
||Golden Horn (GB)
||Big John B
||Irad Ortiz, Jr.
||Da Big Hoss
||Big Blue Kitten
||James Lawrence, II
||The Pizza Man
||Ordak Dan (ARG)