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Aaron reviews the pre-entries for the 2023 Breeders’ Cup Classic from Santa Anita Park, then discusses his top win picks & long shots.
The Belmont Stakes (G1) & Travers Stakes (G1) champion Arcangelo tops an oversubscribed field in the main event of the World Championships. Tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!
The $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) will be run on the main track at 1 1/4 miles. A total of 16 horses that have won the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic have gone on to be named Horse of the Year. The 2022 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic was named the World’s Best Horse Race, while the 2022 winner, Flightline, was named the World’s Best Racehorse.
Eighteen horses have been pre-entered for the Classic, a truly international affair led by Blue Rose Farm’s Arcangelo, who took command of the 3-year-old male division with four consecutive wins, highlighted by back-to-back scores in the Belmont Stakes (G1) and Travers Stakes (G1) for trainer Jena Antonucci. A son of the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Arrogate, Arcangelo was also voted No. 1 in the final poll of the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings.
Two California-based 3-year-olds also figure prominently in the Classic picture. Zedan Racing Stables, Inc.’s Arabian Knight defeated Pin Oak Stud LLC’s Geaux Rocket Ride by a neck in the Sept. 2 FanDuel Racing Pacific Classic Stakes (G1). Arabian Knight earned an automatic berth into the Breeders’ Cup Classic with that victory.
Prior to the Pacific Classic, Geaux Rocket Ride earned a Breeders’ Cup Challenge victory in the Classic division when he defeated Arabian Knight in the July 22 TVG.com Haskell Stakes (G1) at Monmouth Park. Geaux Rocket Ride is trained by Richard Mandella, who won the 2003 Breeders’ Cup Classic with Pleasantly Perfect at Santa Anita, and completed an unprecedented day of four Breeders’ Cup wins by a trainer on a single card.
The deep list of 3-year-olds continues with Mage, winner of the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1); Saudi Crown, who captured the Pennsylvania Derby (G1); and Japanese contender Derma Sotogake (JPN), who won the UAE Derby Sponsored By Atlantis The Royal (G2) at Meydan.
The top performance by an older horse in the East this year was by C2Racing Stable, LLC and La Milagrosa Stable, LLC’s 4-year-old White Abarrio, who scorched the Aug. 5 Whitney Stakes (G1) in Saratoga by 6 1/4 lengths and gained a Win and You’re In berth for the Classic.
Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable’s 4-year-old Bright Future was also a big winner at Saratoga this summer, capturing the Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes (G1) and gaining a free berth into the Classic.
The pre-entries for the Classic are completed by Charge It, Clapton, Dreamlike, King of Steel, Missed the Cut, Proxy, Senor Buscador, Skippylongstocking, and Zandon.
Dreamlike and Skippylongstocking are also pre-entered with a first preference in the Dirt Mile, while the first preference for King of Steel is the Turf.
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