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The Big Daddies Of The Breeders’ Cup
More Than Ready

The Big Daddies Of The Breeders’ Cup

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?


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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?

Five Breeders’ Cup Winners

City Zip

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

into mischief

Goldencents – 2013 & 2014 Dirt Mile

Covfefe – 2019 Filly/Mare Sprint

Gamine – 2020 Filly/Mare Sprint

Authentic – 2020 Classic

kris s.

Prized – 1989 Turf

Hollywood Wildcat – 1993 Distaff

Brocco – 1993 Juvenile

Soaring Softly – 1999 Filly/Mare Turf

Action This Day – 2003 Juvenile

smart strike

Curlin – 2007 Classic

English Channel – 2007 Turf

Furthest Land – 2009 Dirt Mile

My Miss Aurelia – 2011 Juvenile Fillies

Battle of Midway – 2017 Dirt Mile

storm cat

Desert Stormer – 1995 Sprint

Cat Thief – 1999 Classic

Storm Flag Flying – 2002 Juvenile Fillies

Sweet Catomine – 2004 Juvenile Fillies

Life Is Sweet – 2009 Distaff

Six Breeders’ Cup Winners

sadler’s wells

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’s song (winner: 1996 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

Seven Breeders’ Cup Winners

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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