LEXINGTON, KY – GMB Racing’s 7-year-old Tom’s d’Etat, winner of the Stephen Foster Stakes (G2), retained the top spot in the latest 2020 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings, a weekly rating of the top 10 horses in contention for the $7 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington on November 7.
The Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings are determined by a panel of leading Thoroughbred racing media (including Racing Dudes’ Aaron Halterman and Jared Welch), horseplayers and members of the Breeders’ Cup Racing Directors/Secretaries Panel. Rankings will be announced each week through October 13. A list of voting members can be found here.
In the Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings, each voter rates horses on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 system in descending order.
Trained by Al Stall, Jr., Tom’s d’Etat, who is scheduled to run at Saratoga in this Saturday’s Whitney (G1), a “Win and You’re In” for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), leads all Classic contenders with 312 votes. A bay son of Smart Strike, Tom’s d’Etat earned a free berth into the Classic on June 27 when he won the Stephen Foster Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs.
Gary and Mary West, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s 4-year-old Maximum Security (272) remains in second place in the Classic Rankings following his dramatic win by a nose over Midcourt in last Saturday’s San Diego Handicap (G2) at Del Mar. In his first start for trainer Bob Baffert, the San Diego win was Maximum Security’s first race since taking the inaugural $20 million Saudi Cup in February.
W. S. Farish’s 4-year-old Code of Honor (219 votes), also a candidate for the Whitney, has switched places with Sackatoga Stable’s 3-year-old Tiz the Law (207 votes) in this week’s poll. Trained by Shug McGaughey, Code of Honor, now ranked No. 3, won the Westchester Stakes (G3) and finished third in Metropolitan Handicap (G1) in his 2 starts this year.
Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Tiz the Law, ranked fourth, is unbeaten in 3 starts this year for trainer Barclay Tagg. Tiz the Law, being pointed to the Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1) on August 8, won the Holy Bull (G3) and the Florida Derby (G1) prior to his Belmont Stakes triumph.
Bloom Racing, Madaket Stables and Allen Racing’s 5-year-old mare Midnight Bisou (175 votes), the only female in the top 10, remains in fifth place. The Steve Asmussen-trained dark bay daughter of two-time Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) winner Midnight Lute dominated last month’s Fleur de Lis (G2) at Churchill Downs, romping to an 8 1/4-length victory. Midnight Bisou is slated to run in Saturday’s Personal Ensign Stakes (G1) at Saratoga.
C R K Stable’s 3-year-old Honor A. P. (121 votes) stays in sixth place in this week’s rankings. Trained by John Shirrreffs, the dark bay son of Honor Code won the Runhappy Santa Anita Derby (G1) on June 6 in his last start.
Another likely starter for Saturday’s Whitney, Allied Racing Stable’s By My Standards (118 votes), is next in seventh place. Trained by Bret Calhoun, By My Standards won the New Orleans Handicap (G2) and the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) before finishing second to Tom’s d’Etat in the Stephen Foster.
Juddmonte Farms’ 4-year-old Tacitus (99 votes) retains eighth place in the Classic Rankings. Trained by Bill Mott, Tacitus rolled to an 8 3/4-length victory in the Suburban Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park on July 4.
WinStar Farm, China Horse Club International and SF Racing’s Improbable (82 votes) moves up to ninth place this week, switching places with R. A. Hill Stable and Gatsas Stable’s Vekoma (69 votes). Trained by Bob Baffert, Improbable, winner of the 1 1/4-mile Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) at Santa Anita on June 6, is headed to Saratoga for Saturday’s Whitney.
Rounding out the top 10 is the 4-year-old Vekoma, trained by George Weaver. Vekoma is unbeaten in three starts this year, including wins in two Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races: the Runhappy Carter Handicap (G1) (for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint [G1]) and the Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap (G1) (for the Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile [G1]).