Much is on the line in the Breeders’ Cup Longines Turf for Bricks and Mortar, who can lock up Horse of the Year with a victory. A field of 12 horses will look to take him down and get a piece of the $4,000,000 purse while covering 1 1/2 miles on the lawn. The event is scheduled for race 11 on Saturday, November 2, at Santa Anita Park.
The full field from the rail out includes:
#1 Zulu Alpha – He has shown up in many of the big American turf stakes this season, earning three victories. The 6-year-old gelding picked up back-to-back victories at Gulfstream Park to kick off his season before winning the Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes (G3) two starts back at Kentucky Downs.
#2 Acclimate – The speedy California-based gelding has won four races this season, including the Del Mar Handicap (G2) at Del Mar two races back. After that victory, he brought his speed to Santa Anita Park last time out and finished second in the John Henry Stakes (G2). Count on him to be part of the early pace.
#3 United – Since moving to the Richard Mandella barn this year, this gelding has won two of six starts. He has also hit the board in a pair of stakes events, including a close third-place finish in the John Henry Stakes (G2) last time out at Santa Anita Park.
#4 Mount Everest – Trainer Aidan O’Brien brings this horse over from Europe after winning a small stakes by a head last time out. Overall, he has won two of seven starts, but this race looks like a major jump up in class.
#5 Anthony Van Dyck – The 3-year-old Galileo colt has been running in classy races all season long. Four starts back, he won the Investec Derby Stakes (G1) at Epsom, the biggest of his career. Most recently, he was third to Magical in the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes (G1), which speaks to his talent level. However, his one start in this country was a ninth-place finish in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1).
#6 Channel Cat – The biggest win of his career came three starts back at Saratoga in the Bowling Green Handicap (G2), as he dug down deep to prevail by a 1/2-length. He was solid once again at Saratoga next time out, finishing third in the Sword Dancer Stakes (G1). Last time out, he was a competitive fourth in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park.
#7 Alounak – He made his North American debut last time out in the Canadian International Stakes (G1) at Woodbine, finishing second by a 1/2-length to Desert Encounter. That strong effort gave his connections confidence to try this spot next. The French-bred and German-based colt’s biggest win thus far was the Preis der Sparkassen Finanzgruppe Stakes (G3) at Baden-Baden two starts back.
#8 Bandua – This horse will always try to be part of the pace up front with solid early speed out of the gate. He used those tactics to win the Arlington Handicap (G3) three starts back before an eventual third-place finish in the Arlington Million (G1).
#9 Bricks and Mortar – It all comes down to this for Bricks and Mortar, who can potentially lock up Horse of the Year honors with a win. He has won six straight coming into this event, including five against graded stakes foes. He kicked off his year by winning the inaugural Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational Stakes (G1), while last time out, he won the Arlington Million (G1).
#10 Old Persian – This classy European invader made his North American debut a winning one last time out, shipping to Woodbine to easily defeat his rivals in the Northern Dancer Stakes (G1). That was his third win of the season and his first since taking the Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) at Meydan. This 1 1/2-mile distance is where he truly excels.
#11 Arklow – After several close losses this season, Arklow got back into the winner’s circle last time out, taking home the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park. The hard-knocking son of Arch always shows up with a solid effort, having hit the board in five straight starts. He was fourth in this event last year.
#12 Channel Maker – He’ll give this race a try for the second straight year after finishing 11th in 2018. He’s picked up just one win this season, which came at Belmont Park in the Man o’ War Stakes (G1). However, he has been within a couple of lengths of winning several more major races this season.
Bricks and Mortar will have quite a challenge on his hands in this spot with a field that features several tough international horses. He has proven to be simply be better than all of the American horses this year; however, the European horses will give him a difficult new challenge. There is no doubt that this contest is one of the major “can’t miss” races of this year’s event.