2023 Breeders' Cup Turf

Bet the Breeders' Cup Online

The Breeders' Cup Turf is run at 1 ½ miles on the grass course, for horses 3-years-old and older. The race attracts the top grass talent from Europe and North America to compete for a $4 million purse.

Breeders' Cup Turf

Purse:$4,000,000Grade: 1
Distance: 1 ½ MilesAge: 3+

The 2023 Breeders' Cup Turf will be held at Saturday, November 4 at Santa Anita Park. Bet & watch the race with OffTrackBetting.com (OTB) - US Legal Online Wagering.

European Entries Standout In 2023 Breeders' Cup Turf

European standouts Mostahdaf (IRE) and Auguste Rodin (IRE), who have combined for five Group 1 victories this year, top the morning line of a 13-horse field for the $4 million Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) to be run at 1 1/2 miles.

Shadwell Estate Company Ltd.'s Mostahdaf (5-2), winner of the Juddmonte International Stakes (G1) and Prince of Wales's Stakes (G1) in his past two starts, is trained by John and Thady Gosden. Jim Crowley has the mount Saturday and will exit post 9.

Owned by Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Westerberg and trained by Aidan O'Brien, Auguste Rodin (3-1) won the Irish Champion Stakes (G1) in his most recent start. Leaving from post 5, Auguste Rodin will be ridden by Ryan Moore.

2023 Breeders' Cup Turf Field & Odds

Race 8 at Santa Anita on Saturday, November 4 - Post 5:50 PM

Entry Horse ML Odds Jockey Trainer
1 Shahryar (JPN) 15-1 Cristian Demuro
126 Lbs
Hideaki Fujiwara
2 Onesto (IRE) 8-1 Maxime Guyon
126 Lbs
Fabrice Chappet
3 Gold Phoenix (IRE) 30-1 Juan Hernandez
126 Lbs
Philip D'Amato
4 Bolshoi Ballet (IRE) 15-1 John Velazquez
126 Lbs
Aidan O'Brien
5 Auguste Rodin (IRE) 3-1 Ryan Moore
122 Lbs
Aidan O'Brien
6 Get Smokin 30-1 Fernando De La Cruz
126 Lbs
Mark Casse
7 Broome (IRE) 30-1 Dylan McMonagle
126 Lbs
Aidan O'Brien
8 Up to the Mark 5-1 Irad Ortiz, Jr.
126 Lbs
Todd Pletcher
9 Mostahdaf (IRE) 5-2 Jim Crowley
126 Lbs
John Gosden
10 Adhamo (IRE) 30-1 Flavien Prat
126 Lbs
Chad Brown
11 King of Steel 4-1 Lanfranco Dettori
122 Lbs
Roger Varian
12 Balladeer 30-1 Victor Espinoza
126 Lbs
George Papaprodromou
13 War Like Goddess 12-1 Junior Alvarado
123 Lbs
William Mott


In the $4 million Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) at 1 1/2 miles, Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier, and Westerberg's Auguste Rodin leads the European contingent with group 1 victories in the Betfred (Epsom) Derby (G1), the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (G1), and the Royal Bahrain Irish Champion Stakes (G1), the latter giving him a free berth into the Turf. The 3-year-old son of Deep Impact (JPN) is trained by Aidan O'Brien, who is seeking his seventh win in the Breeders' Cup Turf.

Trainers John and Thady Gosden have pre-entered Shadwell Estate Company's 5-year-old Mostahdaf (IRE), who has won two Breeders' Cup Challenge Series races, taking the Prince of Wales's Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot and the Juddmonte International at York. Amo Racing's King of Steel, trained by Roger Varian, galloped home impressively in the Oct. 21 QIPCO British Champion Stakes (G1), the last Breeders' Cup Challenge Series race of the season, with Frankie Dettori in the irons.

In the U.S., Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable's 4-year-old Up to the Mark is a three-time grade 1 winner this year for trainer Todd Pletcher, having captured the Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic Stakes (G1) at Churchill Downs, the Resorts World Casino Manhattan Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park, and the Oct. 7 Coolmore Turf Mile Stakes (G1) at Keeneland. George Krikorian's 6-year-old mare War Like Goddess, third in last year's Breeders' Cup Turf, won the Oct. 7 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Stakes (G1) in her most recent start.

2023 Breeders' Cup Turf Contenders


Out of an American champion, Shahryar (JPN) made a name for himself in his native Japan before becoming a globetrotter. He made his 5-year-old debut in the Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) on March 25. He won the race in 2022, but this year he finished fifth by 8 lengths in the 1 ½-mile turf race, which was won by superstar Equinox (JPN). Second and fourth places went to Westover (GB) and Mostahdaf (IRE), respectively, who have both gone on to impress in other top-level races this season.

Shahryar returned to the races back in Japan from a nearly five-month layoff on Aug. 20 and finished 11th in a field of 15 in the Sapporo Kinen (G2) going 1 1/4 miles.

Last year, Shahryar won the Sheema Classic by a neck over Yibir (GB), who won the 2021 Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (G1). Shahryar then shipped to England, where he finished fourth by 3 ½ lengths in the Prince of Wales Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot. Shahryar returned home to Japan for the rest of the season, finishing fifth by 3 ¾ lengths behind Equinox in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) (G1) and second by less than a length behind Vela Azul (JPN) in the Japan Cup (G1).

As a 3-year-old, Shahryar won the 2021 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby) (G1) as well as the Mainichi Hai (G3). He also finished third in the Kyodo News Hai (Tokinominoru Kinen) (G3), fourth in the Kobe Shimbun Hai (G2), and ended his season with a third-place finish in the Japan Cup.

Shahryar is trained by Hideaki Fujiwara and campaigned by Sunday Racing Co. Ltd. The son of Deep Impact (JPN) made one start as a 2-year-old, winning a maiden turf event by a neck. He is out of the American champion Dubai Majesty, a daughter of Essence of Dubai who won the 2010 Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1). Shahryar is a full brother to Al Ain (JPN), winner of the 2017 Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) (G1) and the 2019 Osaka Hai (G1).


After a busy 2022, Onesto (IRE) has been lightly campaigned in 2023. The 4-year-old colt made his seasonal debut in the Aug. 13 Prix du Haras de Fresnay-le-Buffard Jacques le Marois (G1) at Deauville, where he finished fourth by 3 ½ lengths behind Inspiral (GB) in a field of 11 over the mile distance. He then headed to Ireland for the Sept. 9 Royal Bahrain Irish Champion Stakes (G1), and he finished seventh of eight behind Auguste Rodin (IRE) in that 1 ¼-mile contest.

In the Oct. 1 Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1) at Longchamps, Onesto rallied from the rear of the field to finish third in the field of 15 beaten 1 3/4 lengths.

Last year, Onesto made his mark with victories in such races as the Grand Prix de Paris (G1) at Longchamp and the Prix Greffulhe (G2) at Saint-Cloud. He also finished second in the Irish Champion Stakes, beaten only a half-length by Luxembourg (IRE), who was second in this year's contest. Among his other efforts, Onesto was fifth in a field of 15 in the Qatar Prix du Jockey Club (G1) and 10th of 20 in the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1). Although primarily based in France, Onesto ended his 2022 season by shipping to Tokyo for the Japan Cup (G1), where he finished seventh of 18.

As a 2-year-old, Onesto raced twice and won at first asking before finishing second in his second effort.

Fabrice Chappet trains Onesto, whose name means honest in Italian, for Gerard Augustin-Normand. By the legendary Frankel (GB), Onesto is out of the Sea The Stars (IRE) mare Onshore (GB). Although Onesto has yet to start in the United States, he was sold for $535,000 at the 2021 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s April 2-year-olds in training sale and bred by Diamond Creek Farm.

Gold Phoenix

In 2021, Irish-bred Gold Phoenix (IRE) made his only start in his native country a winning one before being sold privately to a partnership group in the United States. Now a 5-year-old, he is a multiple graded stakes-winning millionaire.

This season, Gold Phoenix kicked off the year with his biggest victory to a date when he took the Frank E. Kilroe Mile Stakes (G1) on March 4 by a neck. He then finished fourth in the April 8 Charles Whittingham Stakes (G2) and seventh in the May 29 Shoemaker Mile Stakes (G1). Gold Phoenix got back to his winning ways July 30 when he took the Eddie Read Stakes (G2) by three-quarters of a length. He won again Sept. 2 as he proved victorious by 1 ¼ lengths in the Del Mar Handicap (G2).

Gold Phoenix returned to the races at Santa Anita on Oct. 1 and was a non-threatening fifth of eight as the favorite in the 1 1/4-Mile John Henry Turf Championship (G2). He finished 4 lengths behind the winner.

Last year, the Del Mar Handicap provided Gold Phoenix with his first career stakes victory. He also finished third in the 2022 Charles Whittingham as well as the John Henry Turf Championship Stakes. Gold Phoenix finished the 2022 season with a 10th-place effort in the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (G1).

Phil D'Amato trains Gold Phoenix for Sterling Stables, Little Red Feather Racing, and Marsha Naify. The gelding did not race as a 2-year-old and made his lone start as a 3-year-old in Ireland for trainer Kieran Cotter. He raced as a homebred for the late Dr. Tan Kai Chah's Mighty Universe at the time.

By Belardo (IRE), Gold Phoenix is out of the Mizzen Mast mare Magnifica, who is a full sister to millionaire and Group 1 winner Giant Treasure as well as multiple graded stakes winner Jibboom.

Bolshoi Ballet

Although based in Europe as part of the Coolmore team, Bolshoi Ballet (IRE) has found his greatest successes in North America. That proved true again this summer as the 5-year-old galloped to victory by 4 ½ lengths in the Resorts World Casino Sword Dancer Stakes (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 26. The ground was yielding in the 1 ½-mile turf contest.

Trained by Aidan O'Brien, Bolshoi Ballet has been competitive in most of his starts in 2023. He began the season finishing third in the Vintage Crop Stakes on April 22 and then was third again, beaten only by a neck, in the Al Rayyan Stakes (G3) on May 20. In June, he finished second by 1 ¼ lengths in the Wolferton Stakes in a field of 16 at Ascot before finishing sixth of 10 behind Hukum (IRE) over the same course in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes (G1) on July 29.

Bolshoi Ballet made only one start in 2022, a fourth-place effort in the Bet UK Churchill Stakes that November. As a 3-year-old in 2021, he found his first top-level success in the Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes (G1) in New York, and he also won the P.W. McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes (G3) and Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes (G3) in Ireland. Bolshoi Ballet also finished seventh in the Cazoo Derby (G1) at Epsom, fourth in the Saratoga Derby Invitational Stakes (G1), fourth in the Jockey Club Derby Invitational Stakes, sixth in the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (G1), and ninth in the Longines Hong Kong Cup (G1).

As a 2-year-old, Bolshoi Ballet ran three times, breaking his maiden at second asking. By Galileo (IRE), he is out of the Anabaa mare Alta Anna (FR), making him a full brother to Group 2 winner Southern France (IRE).

Auguste Rodin

Auguste Rodin (IRE), named for the French sculptor who gave the world The Thinker, has been one of the more mercurial turf competitors this season. Expectations were high for the Coolmore runner when he made his seasonal debut in the May 6 Qipco 2000 Guineas Stakes (G1) at Newmarket, but the 3-year-old finished 12th in a field of 14.

The next month, Auguste Rodin returned in the June 3 Betfred Derby (G1) at Epsom, and he ran to hopes as he defeated King Of Steel by a half-length. Auguste Rodin then became a dual Derby winner in his next start when he defeated Adelaide River (IRE) by 1 ½ lengths in the July 2 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (G1) at the Curragh. He is the first horse since Harzand (IRE) in 2016 to complete the English/Irish Derby double.

For his next start, Auguste Rodin took on his elders in the July 29 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes (G1) at Ascot. He finished last of 10 in a race won by Hukum (IRE) and was all but eased by jockey Ryan Moore. Trainer Adian O'Brien reported the horse was stiff and sore after the race, but there was no clear cause.

Auguste Rodin then redeemed himself in his next start, the Sept. 9 Irish Champion Stakes (G1) at Leopardstown, which he won by a half-length over Luxembourg (IRE). It was a close contest with Nashwa (GB) a short head back in third and King Of Steel a half-length back in fourth.

As a 2-year-old, Auguste Rodin raced four times, breaking his maiden at second asking then winning two Group stakes.

Coolmore bred Auguste Rodin, and his dam, the Galileo (IRE) mare Rhododendron (IRE), was a three-time Group 1 winner for the operation. They sent her to Japan to visit the court of legendary racehorse and sire Deep Impact (JPN), and Auguste Rodin is the result.

Get Smokin

Although Get Smokin has been around for years, in the past he was a miler. This September his connections tried him at the 1 ½-mile distance for the first time, and it proved to be a good idea as he smoked his competition in the Sept. 9 Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes (G2) at Kentucky Downs. Get Smokin went straight to the lead and never looked back, ultimately defeating Spooky Channel by 1 ¾ lengths.

Earlier this season, Get Smokin finished second in the July 1 Wise Dan Stakes (G2) at Ellis Park and the June 3 Arlington Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs, which are both held at 1 1/16 miles. The 6-year-old was also fourth in the Aug. 6 Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Cup Stakes, which was run at 1 ¼ miles at Ellis.

Mark Casse trains Get Smokin for Ironhorse Racing Stable, BlackRidge Stables, T-N-T Equine Holdings and Saratoga Sevens Racing Partners. Last year, the gelding never quite made it to the winner's circle, but he finished second in the Arlington Stakes and Tampa Bay Stakes (G3).

Earlier in his career, Get Smokin ran for Mary Sullivan and notched victories in such contests as the Hill Prince Stakes (G2), Tampa Bay Stakes, and Seek Again Stakes. Sullivan, who had purchased Get Smokin for $11,000 at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall yearling sale, died this year at the age of 94. Among the best-known horses to run for Sullivan was her homebred Grade 1 winner and millionaire Get Stormy, who is the sire of Get Smokin. Get Smokin is out of the Smoke Glacken mare Hookah Lady.


No stranger to the Breeders' Cup, Broome (IRE) has been a consistent top-level runner for a number of years for the team at Coolmore, which owns the 7-year-old in partnership with Masaaki Matsushima.

This season, trainer Aidan O'Brien began Broome's campaign in the Middle East, where he finished fifth in the H H The Amir Trophy in Doha on Feb. 18. Broome then headed to Dubai, where he won the March 25 Dubai Gold Cup (G2) run at 2 miles by a neck over Siskany (GB).

Following that winning effort, Broome returned to Europe. While racing in England, Broome finished third in the May 19 Boodles Yorkshire Cup Stakes (G2) at York, 10th in the June 22 Gold Cup (G1) during Royal Ascot, seventh in the Aug. 1 Al Shaqab Goodwood Cup Stakes (G1) at Goodwood, fifth in the Aug. 25 Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup Stakes (G2) at York, and third in the Sept. 15 Betfred Doncaster Cup Stakes (G2) at Doncaster.

Broome has made 37 starts during his career, and he has raced the world over. Last year, he won the Hardwicke Stakes (G2) at Ascot when he beat Mostahdaf (IRE) by 3 ¼ lengths. In 2021, he won the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (G1), Coolmore Sottsass Irish EBF Mooresbridge Stakes (G2), and Holden Plant Rentals Alleged Stakes (G3). He also finished second in the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) at Del Mar, Tattersalls Gold Cup (G1), Qatar Prix Foy (G2), and Hardwicke Stakes (G2).

Other victories during Broome's career include the P.W. McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes (G3) and Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes (G3) in 2019.

Broome is by Australia (GB) and out of the Acclamation (GB) mare Sweepstake (Ire). He is a full brother to multiple Group winner Point Londsdale (IRE) and a half-brother to the promising 2-year-old Diego Velazquez (IRE), who won the Sept. 9 KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes (G2) in just his second career start.

Up to the Mark

A move to the turf has proved golden for Up to the Mark, who has won four of his five starts on grass thus far during his 4-year-old season. He began the year in allowance/optional claiming company at Gulfstream Park. He drew off by 4 lengths in a mile turf race to win his seasonal debut on Jan. 28, and then he followed that effort with a 1 ¼-length score in a 1 1/16-mile turf race on March 4. Up to the Mark then shipped to Keeneland to contest stakes company for the first time in the Maker's Mark Mile Stakes (G1) on April 14. He ran a solid third, beaten 3 ¾ lengths, behind Chez Pierre and Modern Games (IRE) the latter of whom had won the 2022 FanDuel Breeders' Cup Mile Presented by PDJF (G1).

Up to the Mark then notched his first top level win on May 6 when he took the Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic Stakes (G1) on the Kentucky Derby undercard at Churchill Downs. Sent off as the favorite in the 1 1/8-mile race, Up to the Mark drew clear entering the final furlong and pulled away to win by 3 ¾ lengths.

The son of Not This Time was sent off as the favorite again in the June 10 Resorts World Casino Manhattan Stakes (G1) on the Belmont Stakes undercard, where he stretched out to 1 ¼ miles. He kicked clear to win by 2 ¾ lengths.

After nearly four months away from the races, Up to the Mark returned with a flourish Oct. 7 at Keeneland in the Coolmore Turf Mile (G1). He caught favored Master of The Seas (IRE) right at the finish line to win by a nose.

Todd Pletcher trains Up to the Mark for Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable. The colt, who is out of the Ghostzapper mare Belle's Finale, did not race as a 2-year-old. He broke his maiden at first asking by 4 ¼ lengths last July at Saratoga when he won a maiden special weight on dirt over 6 furlongs. He then lost four allowance races on dirt to complete his 3-year-old season.


Mostahdaf (IRE) is trained in England, but he already has competed successfully on the international stage this year. He started his 5-year-old season by winning the Feb. 25 Neom Turf Cup presented by Altanfeethi (G3), a 1 5/16-mile race in Saudi Arabia, by 7 lengths. He then traveled to Dubai, where he finished fourth behind Japanese superstar Equinox (JPN) in the March 25 Longines Dubai Sheema Classic (G1), which is contested at about 1 ½ miles. After an 88-day break, Mostahdaf competed again in England, scoring a 4-length victory over Luxembourg (IRE) in the Prince of Wales's Stakes (G1) on June 21, which is a 1 ¼-mile race held during the famed Royal Ascot meet.

Mostahdaf added another Group 1 victory on Aug. 23 at York when he led all the way to post a 1-length victory over Nashwa (GB) with favored Paddington (GB) a close third in the Juddmonte International going 1 5/16 miles. The race was a Breeders' Cup Challenge race with the winner earning a fees-paid berth to the Longines Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita on Nov. 4.

A son of the legendary Frankel (GB), Mostahdaf is trained by John and Thady Gosden. He did not make his first start until March of his 3-year-old year, in which he broke his maiden at first asking and won by 4 ½ lengths going 7 furlongs. He won his next two starts as well before jumping up to compete in G1 company. Mostahdaf's first big victory came in the Darley Stakes (G3) to end his 2021 campaign. Last year, he raced consistently from April to October, with his wins coming in the bet365 Gordon Richards Stakes (G3) and Unibet September Stakes (G3). He also finished second in the Coral Brigadier Gerard Stakes (G3) and Hardwicke Stakes (G2). While the vast majority of his races have come on turf, Mostahdaf has run and won on all-weather surfaces three times in his career, including the September Stakes.

Mostahdaf races as a homebred for Shadwell Estate Company Limited and is out of the Dubawi (IRE) mare Handassa (GB). His half-sister Nazeef (GB) was a multiple G1 winner for the same connections.


Adhamo (IRE) has made two starts this year and finished third in both efforts. The 5-year-old began his season in the Aug. 12 Arlington Million (G1) at Colonial Downs. He was sent off as the betting favorite in the 1 ¼-mile contest on firm turf and raced near the back of the pack in the 11-horse field before making his move. Adhamo came five wide into the lane and finished willingly to be third by 2 ½ lengths behind Set Piece (GB).

Following that race, Adhamo ran next in the Canadian International Stakes (G1) at Woodbine on Oct. 8. This time, he finished third by 9 ½ lengths behind Nations Pride (IRE) in the 1 ¼-mile contest on yielding turf.

Last season, Adhamo, who is approaching millionaire status, won the United Nations Stakes (G1) by 1 ½ lengths. He also finished second in the Resorts World Casino Manhattan Stakes (G1) and Fair Grounds Stakes (G3) as well as ran third in the Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic Stakes (G1). He put in off the board efforts in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Stakes (G1) and Resorts World Casino Sword Dancer Stakes (G1).

The chestnut is currently trained by Chad Brown for a partnership group that includes Sol Kumin's Madaket Stables, Michael Dubb, Louis Lazzinnaro, and Michael Caruso. Originally, Adhamo competed in Europe as a homebred for Wertheimer et Frere and was trained by Freddy Head. He was sold for $289,834 at the 2021 Arqana Saint-Cloud Arc sale.

While racing for his previous owners, Adhamo won the Prix la Force (G3) at ParisLongchamp and finished third in the Prix Eugene Adam (G2) at Saint-Cloud. He is by Group 1 winner Intello (GER) and out of the Invincible Spirt (IRE) mare Foreign Tune (GB).

King of Steel

Straight from a runner-up finish as a 66-1 shot in the English Derby (G1) in early June, King of Steel wheeled back 20 days later with an even stronger performance in dominating the King Edward VII Stakes (G2) at the high-profile Royal Ascot meet June 23 in England. The gray 3-year-old colt powered home a 3 1/2-length winner in the King Edward with Kevin Stott again aboard for the 1 1/2-mile turf race.

"It's relief when they run so well in the Derby, you want them to back it up," trainer Roger Varian said afterward. "We were confident he would, but we know horse racing! It's a tough game. We all know they can bounce after their effort at Epsom, but I just went on the signs the horse was giving us, which were great."

King of Steel, by the successful British sire Wootton Bassett, was produced by Eldacar (GB), by Verglas (IRE). He was bred in Kentucky by the Bonne Chance Farm of Brazilian billionaire Gilberto Sayao Da Silva prior to being purchased by the Amo Racing Ltd. of Kia Joorabchian for $200,000 at the 2021 Keeneland Yearling Sales and shipped overseas. A debut victory at Nottingham last October was quickly followed by a seventh-place finish in the Futurity Trophy (G1) at Doncaster, after which Varian stashed him away until the colt returned from a seven-month-plus layoff with his terrific English Derby effort in which he was just a half-length shy of the victorious Auguste Rodin (IRE).

On July 29 at Ascot, King of Steel took on older runners for the first time and finished third in the 10-horse King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1) going 1 ½ miles. King of Steel was back in action Sept. 9 at Leopardstown finishing fourth beaten a length by Auguste Rodin in the Irish Champion Stakes (G1) going 1 1/4 miles.

Six weeks later, King of Steel found the winner's circle with a three-quarter length victory in the Qipco Champions Stakes (G1) at 1 ¼ miles at Ascot in a field of eight over soft ground.


In his first attempt at stakes company, Balladeer became a graded stakes winner this autumn when he took the John Henry Turf Championship Stakes (G2) on Oct. 1 at Santa Anita. The 4-year-old led his rivals on a merry chase and won in front-running fashion.

Balladeer went to the lead and never looked back in the 1 ¼-mile contest. Masteroffoxhounds, who won the race in 2022, cut his lead to a half-length a quarter-mile out, but Balladeer repelled the challenge. He stayed on gamely to win by a half-length over that rival.

George Papaprodromou trains Balladeer for Calvin Nguyen and Joey Tran. Nguyen bought the Distorted Humor colt for $355,000 as a yearling. Balladeer made his racing debut on the final day of 2021 in a maiden special weight at Santa Anita, where he finished third.

Last year, Balladeer broke his maiden in May at Santa Anita before going on to compete in the allowance ranks. Three of his four career victories have come at that track.

In his start prior to the John Henry, Balladeer traveled to Kentucky Downs and won over that turf course in an allowance race Sept. 9. His front-running abilities were on display that day as well, as he showed good early speed to set the pace and held gamely to be well clear in the 11-horse field. He ultimately won the 1 5/16-mile race by 5 ½ lengths.

Balladeer was bred in Kentucky by Bonne Chance Farm. He is the first foal out of the unraced Galileo (IRE) mare Golden Ballad (IRE), who is a half-sister to 2011 Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) and 2010 Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Drosselmeyer.

War Like Goddess

A stalwart of the turf division, War Like Goddess has built a reputation based on her consistency. Her racing schedule has had a recognizable pattern over the years, and she has been first, second or third in 15 of her 17 career starts, with 11 of those being victories.

This year, the 6-year-old mare began her season with a 1 ½-length score in April's Bewitch Stakes (G3) at Keeneland. Her next start appears to be one of the worst performances of her career, finishing sixth of seven in June's New York Stakes (G1), but it was a close race, and she was only beaten 2 ¾ lengths. In her next start, War Like Goddess finished second, beaten a neck in the Glens Falls Stakes (G2) in August.

She notched her second victory of the year on Oct. 7 when she trounced males by 4 ½ lengths in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1) going 1 ½ miles over a yielding turf course at Aqueduct.

Last year, War Like Goddess also began her season with a win in the Bewitch. Her other victories included the Joe Hirsch Classic Stakes (G1) and the Glens Falls. She finished second by a neck in the Flower Bowl Stakes (G2) and capped her season with a third-place effort in the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (G1).

In 2021, War Like Goddess ended her season with a third-place finish in the Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) at Del Mar, beaten a half-length as the favorite. She came into the race having won the Flower Bowl (then a G1), Glens Falls, Bewitch and Orchid Stakes (G3). In her first start in graded stakes company, she finished fifth in The Very One Stakes (G3).

War Like Goddess, who sold for just $1,200 as a weanling, did not begin racing until September of her 3-year-old year but won both of her starts in 2020. The multi-millionaire is by champion English Channel, who won the Breeders' Cup Turf in 2007, and she is out of the North Light (IRE) mare Misty North.


Breeders' Cup Race Grade Purse Date
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint I $1,000,000 November 3
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf I $1,000,000 November 3
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies I $2,000,000 November 3
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf I $1,000,000 November 3
Breeders' Cup Juvenile I $2,000,000 November 3
Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint I $1,000,000 November 4
Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint I $1,000,000 November 4
Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile I $1,000,000 November 4
Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf I $2,000,000 November 4
Breeders' Cup Sprint I $2,000,000 November 4
Breeders' Cup Mile I $2,000,000 November 4
Breeders' Cup Distaff I $2,000,000 November 4
Breeders' Cup Turf I $4,000,000 November 4
Breeders' Cup Classic I $6,000,000 November 4

What is the Breeders' Cup Turf?

The Breeders' Cup Turf (Grade 1) is a Weight for Age Thoroughbred horse race on turf for three-year-olds and up since it's inauguration in 1984. It is held annually at a different racetrack in the United States or Canada as part of the Breeders' Cup World Championships.

The forerunner for this race was the Washington, D.C. International Stakes at Laurel Park Racecourse. Inaugurated in 1952, it was raced on turf at 1-1/2 miles and drew the best horses from North America and Europe. A winner of this race was the American legend Kelso, albeit on his fourth attempt, after being second three times in a row.

Analyzing the statistical records, it has been found that the European contingents find it suitable to hold their feet in this event ever since the race started. Possibly due to the Breeders' Cup racing schedule - it generally takes place at the end of October or beginning of November every year - that is just at the end of European Racing Season. Another possibility may be the hot and humid weather condition at the Florida or Southern California Breeders' Cup sites.

Though the American owners have groomed some outstanding grass runners in the past, they have been defeated by the top-level European competitors in recent years. While comparing these facts to the world racing calendar, the Breeders' Cup Turf seems a North American championship race. British jockey Frankie Dettori has registered the most number of wins in the Breeders' Cup Turf category with three - capturing the race in 1999, 2001 and 2006. The Breeders' Cup Turf has come to be dominated by European horses that are reflected by the first four horses in the 2005 contest. High Chaparral, the then Irish champion - clinched the winning title back-to-back in 2002 and 2003, followed by Conduit with back-to-back wins in 2008 and 2009.

Beginning in 2007, the Breeders' Cup developed "The Breeders' Cup Challenge," a series of races in each division that allotted automatic qualifying bids to winners of defined races. Each of the fourteen divisions has between three and six of these "Win and You're In" qualifiers. In the Breeders' Cup Turf Division there are five automatic births. In 2011, the Win and You're In races were: the Takarazuka Kinen (G1) at Hanshin Racecourse, the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (G1) at Saint-Cloud Racecourse, the United Nations S. (Gr.I) at Monmouth Park, the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth S. (G1) at Ascot, the Arlington Million (Gr.I) at Arlington Park, the Del Mar Handicap (Gr.II) at Del Mar, the Irish Champion S. (G1) at Leopardstown, the Qatar Prix Niel (G2) at Longchamp, the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (Gr.I) at Belmont Park, and the Pattison Canadian International S. (Gr.I) at Woodbine Racetrack.

Recent Breeders' Cup Turf Winners

Year Winner Jockey Trainer Time
2022 Rebel's Romance James Doyle Charles Appleby 2:26.35
2021 Yibir (GB) William T. Buick Charles Appleby 2:25.90
2020 Tarnawa Colin Keane Dermot Weld 2:28.02
2019 Bricks and Mortar Irad Ortiz, Jr. Chad Brown 2:24.73
2018 Enable Frankie Dettori John Gosden 2:32.65
2017 Talismanic Mickael Barzalona Andre Fabre 2:26.19
2016 Highland Reel (IRE) Seamus Heffernan Aidan O'Brien 2:23.00
2015 Found Ryan Moore Aidan O'Brien 2:32.06
2014 Main Sequence John R. Velazquez Graham Motion 2:24.91
2013 Magician Ryan Moore Aidan O'Brien 2:23.23
2012 Little Mike Ramon Dominguez Dale Romans 2:22.83
2011 St Nicholas Abbey Joseph O'Brien Aidan O'Brien 2:28:85
2010 Dangerous Midge Frankie Dettori Brian J. Meehan 2:29.40
2009 Conduit Ryan Moore Sir Michael Stoute 2:23.75
2008 Conduit Ryan Moore Sir Michael Stoute 2:23.42
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