We're less than a week from Breeders' Cup weekend and today the post positions were drawn for each of the fourteen championship races.
The most prestigious race and the most anticipated is the Classic. Run at 1 ¼ mile on Saturday evening, a field of 10 will run for their piece of the $6 million purse. The Kentucky Derby winner, AUTHENTIC, finds himself in a tough spot between IMPROBABLE (8) and MAXIMUM SECURITY (10) in the 9 post and at 6-1 odds. These three horses from the Baffert barn are going to be hard to beat. We'll see how TIZ THE LAW fares from being so close to the rail. We know AUTHENTIC and MAXIMUM SECURITY can go the distance, but will they be able to get from the outside to the rail in time to challenge the Belmont winner to the wire? It's going to be one heck of an exciting race.
In the $4 million Turf, another field of 10 will be going a mile and a half on the grass. The 5 year old MAGICAL was runner up to the incredible ENABLE in 2018. This race is a great mix between the Europeans and the American-bred turf horses.
The $2 million Distaff is going to be one heck of a race between the girls. You've got the 2018 star and Eclipse Award-winning MONOMOY GIRL favored. This mare not only won in 2018, but underwent colic surgery in 2019 and missed the entire year. She came back in 2020 with a vengeance and is ready to reclaim her title, but she is breaking from the 10 spot. On the other hand, you have the Preakness winning SWISS SKYDIVER who took on the boys and beat the Derby winner by a nose.
The $2 million Mile (Turf) will be another battle of the US and European horses. Last year, Chad Brown's UNI took the title. This year, she contends with the KITTEN'S JOY colt, KAMEKO. He has been saving his energy just for this race. She's also breaking from the 12 spot out of a field of 14.
The $2 million Sprint will feature a field of 15 with CZ ROCKET and YAUPON both favored at 7-2. Then there's VEKOMA at 3-1. He's 5-for-5, but hasn't raced since winning the Met Mile back in July. YAUPON is a 4-for-4 three year old trained by Steve Asmussen, who wins at six furlongs. However, this is his first Grade 1 race. Then there's FRANK'S ROCKETTE at 10-1, WHITMORE at 15-1 with Irad Ortiz, Jr. on board and FIRENZE FIRE at 8-1 - all seasoned Breeders' Cup horses. This one will be over in a flash, who will cross the finish line first?
The $2 million Filly & Mare Turf runs at 1 3/16 miles. For the lat nine years, Chad Brown or a Euro horse has won. This year, RUSHING FALL is back and she's ready to win it again. She's also already won a G1 at Keeneland this year. Chad Brown has four horses in the field of 14. It will be interesting to see how this race plays out.
The Dirt Mile has an all star lineup as well with 13 horses vying for their piece of $1 million. Running a mile at Keeneland is a little different as the track is 1 1/16 miles. After the horses break at nearly the finish line, they only have 110 yards to the clubhouse turn. The race will finish at the sixteenth pole. The winner will need to break sharp, get to the lead and be ready to not get lost in the crowd on the turn. ART COLLECTOR has post 1. WAR OF WILL, KNICKS GO and MR. MONEY are all together in the 4, 5, 6 and 6 posts. Then you have COMPLEXITY, JESUS' TEAM and OWENDALE in the 10, 11 and 12th posts. It's beginning to feel like everyone of these races is going to be a must see event!
There's a field of 14 in the $1 million Turf Sprint. The favored GOT STORMY drew the 12 post, which made trainer Mark Casse happy. LEINSTER is a five-year-old with two Grade 2 victories over the same distance of 5 ½ furlongs. IMPRIMIS won the G3 Turf Sprint at Kentucky Downs in September and could easily be in contention.
The $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint is run at 7 furlongs and will feature the powerful GAMINE at 7-5. This field is significantly smaller with only 9 running. SERENGETI EMPRESS is 3-1.
Now, for the juveniles. They may be young, but they are prepping for an exciting three year old season. While the veteran's will run on Saturday, these young ones are running on Friday.
The $2 million Juvenile is at 1 1/16 miles and will feature JACKIE'S WARRIOR. The colt has led the field and won in his last three starts, but he's never gone around two turns. He will break from the 7 post. Brad Cox's ESSENTIAL QUALITY has run two turns and won the G1 Breeders' Futurity and will break from the 5 spot. REINVESTMENT RISK leaves from the 3rd spot with 9-2 odds.
The Juvenile Fillies Turf is run at one mile for $1 million. Chad Brown has five in the race and Brad Cox has a filly that has already won at 1 1/16 mile. Then there's the foreign horses that were Group 1 and Grade 2 winners in CAMPANELLE and PLUM ALI.
The $2 million Juvenile Fillies features a smaller field of seven with PRINCESS NOOR breaking from the 7 spot at 9-5. She has won a G1 and G2 this year, but has not started outside of California. SIMPLY RAVISHING and DAYOUTOFTHEOFFICE are both at 5-2.
The Europeans are really hoping to take the $1 million Juvenile Turf at the mile. History is not on O'Brien's side, but has big hopes for BATTLEGROUND.
Last but not least is the $1 million Juvenile Turf Sprint. GOLDEN PAL is the favorite at 8-5 but is breaking from the far outside 14th post.