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Due in part to his dominating score last time out in the Kelso Handicap (G2), Klaravich Stables’ Complexity was given 2/1 favoritism while drawing post 10 for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile (G1), held in 2020 at Keeneland on Saturday, November 7.
Complexity first appeared at the year-end World Championships in 2018, when he entered the Juvenile (G1) unbeaten but exited a disappointing 10th. He made only 3 starts in 2019, winning once against optional claiming company, but trainer Chad Brown’s patience and handling have turned the Maclean’s Music colt into a potentially elite 4-year-old. After defeating optional claiming rivals at Belmont Park to start the season, he missed by a 1/2-length in the Forego Stakes (G1) before championing the Kelso, but he now faces the tough task of winning his first two-turn event in what will be his final start before retiring to stud.
First in line to challenge the favorite is #5 Knicks Go (7/2), who scorched the local dirt last time out with a track record-setting time of 1:40.79 while covering 1 1/16 miles. Now undefeated in 2 starts since changing to the Brad Cox barn last winter, the 4-year-old Paynter colt (bred in Maryland and now owned by the Korea Racing Authority) returns to the World Championships after finishing second at 40/1 in the 2018 Juvenile. Prior to that, he was a 70/1 upsetter in the local Breeders’ Futurity (G1).
Cox will also saddle #12 Owendale (8/1), whose 4 career stakes wins include the 2019 Lexington (G3), held at 1 1/16 miles on the local dirt. Though he tried making one long, sustained run to the front in most of his first 16 starts, he showed in his 2 most recent appearances that he can be equally effective when pressing the pace, as evidenced by runner-up efforts while going slightly longer in both the Alysheba Stakes (G2) and the Pimlico Special Stakes (G3).
Art Collector could enjoy returning to Keeneland, site of his impressive 3 1/2-length victory in the 1 1/8-mile Blue Grass Stakes (G2) this past July that came against several strong 3-year-olds, including the eventual Preakness Stakes (G1) champion and Longines Distaff (G1) contender Swiss Skydiver. He won his first 4 starts after owner/breeder Bruce Lunsford moved him to current trainer Tommy Drury Jr., but he finished a well-beaten fourth in the Preakness last time out. He drew the rail and is 6/1 on the morning line.
Also receiving slightly chilly morning line odds of 6/1 is the Dale Romans trainee Mr Freeze, who drew post 9 for his first attempt in a Breeders’ Cup event. He began the year auspiciously, finishing second in January’s Pegasus World Cup (G1) before winning the Gulfstream Park Mile (G2) a month later, but then endured a 3-race skid that ended last time out in the 1 1/8-mile Fayette Stakes (G2). He also finished second in the 2019 Fayette and broke his maiden going 7 furlongs on this dirt, so expect another strong effort here.
The 2019 Preakness winner War of Will (10/1) is slated to exit post 4 as he makes his final career start before the breeding shed calls his name. Following a grueling 2019 campaign spent competing against the best runners on dirt, he missed nearly seven months before resurfacing on turf and won the local Maker’s Mark Mile Stakes (G1) in his second of 3 starts this season for Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse.
Rounding out the field are Mark Glatt’s multiple turf stakes champion #2 Sharp Samurai (15/1), who was second in the Pacific Classic Stakes (G1) in his most recent dirt attempt; 3-time Grade 3 winner #3 Silver Dust (30/1) and 5-time Grade 3 winner #6 Mr. Money (20/1), both for Bret Calhoun; last-out Pat Day Mile Stakes (G2) victor #7 Rushie for Michael McCarthy; recent Salvator Mile Stakes (G3) winner #8 Pirate’s Punch (20/1) for Grant Forster; and #11 Jesus’ Team (30/1), who finished third in both the Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) and the Preakness in his last 2 starts for Jose D’Angelo.
Here is the full field for the $1 million Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile:
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