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For the second time in five years, Del Mar Racetrack in California will host the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The 2021 running is the 38th edition and will be conducted on November 5 and 6.
The Breeders’ Cup, first run in 1984 as a single-day affair offering up 7 races, has now evolved into a 2-day spectacle featuring 14 races. Although thoroughbred racing is conducted year-round in the United States, the Breeders’ Cup generally is regarded as the conclusion of the North American racing season and factors heavily into determining year-end champions in several of the Eclipse Award categories.
Over the 37-year history of the Breeders’ Cup, 361 races have produced a total of 362 winners (there was a dead-heat in the 2003 Turf between High Chaparral and Johar). A total of 223 sires are responsible for producing the 362 Breeders’ Cup winners. So, how can we use this historical data to better handicap this year’s Breeders’ Cup?
Before we get into the full breakdown, here is a fascinating statistic: two former top European racehorses, now both deceased – Sadler’s Wells and his son Galileo – have each sired 4 winners in the same event (the Turf). The latter sire could make it 5, with a quartet of runners pre-entered in this year’s edition.
Of those aforementioned 223 sires, 144 produced a single Breeders’ Cup winner. Forty-four sires claim a pair of winners, while 18 proud fathers boast a trio to their credit. Six sires have managed 4 winners.
Remove them from this discussion and we are now left with the elite of the Breeders’ Cup sires. Seven sires have won with 5 of their progenies, while 3 sires have produced 6 winners, but only 1 horse stands alone at the top with a record 7 Breeders’ Cup wins by his offspring.
Who are they?
Work All Week – 2014 Sprint
Dayatthespa – 2014 Filly/Mare Turf
Catch a Glimpse – 2015 Juvenile Fillies Turf
Finest City – 2016 Filly/Mare Sprint
Bulletin – 2018 Juvenile Turf Sprint
Chief’s Crown – 1984 Juvenile
Dance Smartly – 1991 Distaff
Lure – 1992 & 1993 Mile
War Chant – 2000 Mile
Red Rocks (IRE) – 2006 Turf
Magician (IRE) – 2013 Turf
Found (IRE) – 2015 Turf
Highland Reel (IRE) – 2016 Turf
Line of Duty (IRE) – 2018 Juvenile Turf
Goldencents – 2013 & 2014 Dirt Mile
Covfefe – 2019 Filly/Mare Sprint
Gamine – 2020 Filly/Mare Sprint
Authentic – 2020 Classic
Prized – 1989 Turf
Hollywood Wildcat – 1993 Distaff
Brocco – 1993 Juvenile
Soaring Softly – 1999 Filly/Mare Turf
Action This Day – 2003 Juvenile
Curlin – 2007 Classic
English Channel – 2007 Turf
Furthest Land – 2009 Dirt Mile
My Miss Aurelia – 2011 Juvenile Fillies
Battle of Midway – 2017 Dirt Mile
Desert Stormer – 1995 Sprint
Cat Thief – 1999 Classic
Storm Flag Flying – 2002 Juvenile Fillies
Sweet Catomine – 2004 Juvenile Fillies
Life Is Sweet – 2009 Distaff
In The Wings (GB) – 1990 Turf
Barathea (IRE) – 1994 Mile
Northern Spur (IRE) – 1995 Turf
High Chaparral (IRE) – 2002 and 2003 Turf
Islington (IRE) – 2003 Filly/Mare Turf
Stardom Bound – 2008 Juvenile Fillies
Tapitsfly – 2009 Juvenile Fillies Turf
Hansen – 2011 Juvenile
Tapizar – 2012 Dirt Mile
Untapable – 2014 Distaff
Essential Quality – 2020 Juvenile
Unbridled Elaine – 2001 Distaff
Midshipman – 2008 Juvenile
Unrivaled Belle – 2010 Distaff
Liam’s Map – 2015 Dirt Mile
Arrogate – 2016 Classic
Forever Unbridled – 2017 Distaff
The lone sire to have 7 Breeders’ Cup winners is More Than Ready. A winner of his first 5 starts as a juvenile in 1999, the son of Southern Halo then won the 2000 King’s Bishop Stakes (G1) as a 3-year old and finished fifth in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Sprint before retiring. More Than Ready finished in the top 3 in 12 of his 17 lifetime starts, including 7 wins, and has had an equally prolific career in the breeding shed.
More Than Real – 2010 Juvenile Fillies Turf
Pluck – 2010 Juvenile Turf
Regally Ready – 2011 Turf Sprint
Rushing Fall – 2017 Juvenile Fillies Turf
Roy H (2x) – 2017 and 2018 Sprint
Uni – 2019 Mile
With sons Hit the Road (Mile) and Slipstream (Juvenile Turf), as well as daughters Bubble Rock, Consumer Spending, and Koala Princess (all in the Juvenile Fillies Turf), More Than Ready has more than a fair chance to add to his total at this year’s Breeders’ Cup.
Which one do you think has the best chance to do it? Let us know in the comments!
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