Led by 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome and the undefeated filly Songbird, 185 horses were pre-entered for the 2016 Breeders’ Cup, which will be held at Santa Anita on Nov. 4-5.
Among the 185 horses are 11 that have already won at least one Breeders’ Cup race, nine that are returning from last year.
The former champs are Nyquist, Songbird, Beholder, Found, Catch a Glimpse, Mongolian Saturday, Lady Eli, Tepin, Hit it a Bomb, Runhappy and Wavell Avenue.
There are 38 horses pre-entered that will make their way from across the pond including 13 trained by Aiden O’Brien.
Among O’Brien’s runners is the brilliant mare Found, last year’s Turf winner who has been cross-entered in the Turf and Classic this year, with the Classic being her first preference.
The Classic features California Chrome, who is perfect in six starts this year and the world’s top ranked racehorse. He is currently listed at -125 in early Classic betting at Mybookie.ag.
His main foe figures to be Travers (G1) winner Arrogate for the Bob Baffert barn. The Hall of Fame trainer has saddled the last two winners of the Classic, Bayern in 2014 and Triple Crown winner American Pharoah last year.
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A field of 14 were entered in the Classic including last year’s runner up Effinex, Met Mile (G1) winner Frosted, this year’s Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Nyquist and Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) winner Hoppertunity.
For the first time in the history of the Breeders’ Cup three champions will square off in the same race. Beholder, Songbird and Stellar Wind will meet up in the Distaff, a race Beholder won in 2013. She also won the 2012 Juvenile Fillies.
Tepin is back to defend her title when she beat the boys in last year’s Mile. Among her foes are Euro invaders Alice Springs and Limato.
The Turf drew an international field including Arc winner Found and runner up Highland Reel. Flintshire, the 2014 runner up in the Turf is the likely favorite.
Last year’s Sprint champion Runhappy is back but will go in the Dirt Mile. The colt came back off a nine-month layoff with a fourth-place finish in the Ack Ack at Churchill Downs on Oct. 1.
Lady Eli has made it back from a year on the bench due to laminitis and will be the headliner in the Filly & Mare Turf. She won the 2014 Juvenile Fillies Turf.
Michael’s Breeders’ Cup Reports includes his selections, analysis, fair odds line, and wagering recommendations for every race during the two-day Breeders’ Cup from Santa Anita on Nov. 4-5.
The Breeders’ Cup offers 13 championship races over two days, bringing together the best top horses, trainers, and jockeys from around the world, this year to compete at Santa Anita.