Knicks Go, Essential Quality Draw Center Posts In Breeders’ Cup Classic

A total of nine horses were entered Monday for the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Classic, led by the Brad Cox-trained duo of Knicks Go and Essential Quality. The two talented grays had their final breezes at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. on Sunday, and were scheduled to fly to Del Mar for the World Championships on Monday.

Each has won two Grade 1 races this year, and both enter the Classic off victories: 5-year-old Knicks Go put on a dominant show in the G3 Lukas Classic at Churchill on Oct. 2, and the 3-year-old Essential Quality won the G1 Travers by a neck on Aug. 28 at Saratoga. Joel Rosario will ride 5-2 favorite Knicks Go from post 5, while Luis Saez will be aboard Essential Quality at 3-1 in gate 4.

Embattled trainer Bob Baffert will send out this year’s Kentucky Derby first-place finisher and recent G1 Awesome Again Stakes winner Medina Spirit from post 8 (4-1), with John Velazquez in the irons.

Doug O’Neill will saddle his G1 Pennsylvania Derby winner Hot Rod Charlie, with regular rider Flavien Prat to ride the 3-year-old from post 3 (4-1). Rounding out the group of sophomores taking on their elders is longshot Stilleto Boy for trainer Ed Moger, Jr.; the Awesome Again runner-up will break from post 7 under Kent Desormeaux.

Other Grade 1 winners in this year’s edition include Whitney winner Art Collector (Bill Mott, Mike Smith, post 6, 8-1), Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Max Player (Steve Asmussen, Ricardo Santana, Jr., post 9, 8-1), and Pacific Classic winner Tripoli (John Sadler, Irad Ortiz, Jr., post 1, 15-1).  Rounding out the Classic field is G2 San Diego winner Express Train (John Shirreffs, Victor Espinoza, post 2, 20-1).

Complete list of entries

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One of heaviest morning line favorites over the two days is St. George Stable’s Letruska at 8-5 for the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) in which she heads a field of 11 fillies and mares.

Trained by Fausto Gutierrez, Letruska has won her past five starts and is six for seven in 2021 with the victories coming at six tracks and the past three at the 1 1/8-mile distance of the Distaff. Four of her victories came in Breeders’ Cup Challenge races. Irad Ortiz Jr. has the mount and will break from post six.

The second richest race of the Championships, the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) which drew a full gate of 14 and two also-eligibles, is headed by Tarnawa (IRE), who beat the boys in this race last year at Keeneland.

Owned by the H.H. Aga Khan Studs and trained by Dermot Weld, Tarnawa (9-5 on the morning line) has won one of three starts in 2021 and enters this year’s race off a runner-up finish in the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1). Colin Keane, who was aboard for the victory at Keeneland last year, will ride Saturday and break from post position 13.

Also back to defend a title is Mrs. A.M. Swinburn’s Audarya (FR) in the $2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) to be contested at 1 3/8 miles over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course with a field of 12.

Trained by James Fanshawe, Audarya (5-1 on the morning line in the field of 12) comes into this year’s race off a fourth-place finish in the Prix de l’Opera Longines (G1). William Buick has the mount and will break from post 12.

The morning line favorite for the race at 7-2 is George Krikorian’s War Like Goddess. War Like Goddess has won her past four starts and is undefeated in three starts at the 1 3/8-mile distance for trainer Bill Mott. Julien Leparoux has the mount and will break from post position seven.

The $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) presented by PDJF, drew a field of 14 and two also-eligibles headed by 3-1 morning line favorite Space Blues (IRE). Owned and bred by Godolphin and trained by Charlie Appleby, Space Blues enters the Mile off a victory in the Qatar Prix de la Foret (G1) last month. William Buick has the mount and will break from post position three.

Topping the U.S. contingent is Bardy Farm and OG Boss’ Mo Forza. Trained by Peter Miller and 5-1 on the morning line, Mo Forza has compiled a 6-3-2-0 record at Del Mar and has won the past two renewals of the Del Mar Mile (G2). Flavien Prat will ride from post six.

Two of Saturday’s heaviest morning line favorites are in the $2 million Qatar Racing Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) going 6 furlongs and the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) going 7 furlongs.

J. Kirk and Judy Robison’s Jackie’s Warrior is a neck away from being undefeated in one-turn races in 2021 and enters Saturday’s Sprint off a 6 ¾-length romp in the Gallant Bob (G2) at Parx on Sept. 25. Listed at 6-5 on the morning line in the field of nine, Jackie’s Warrior is trained by Steve Asmussen and will be ridden by Joel Rosario from post two.

In the Filly & Mare Sprint, Michael Lund Petersen’s Gamine is the 3-5 morning line favorite to repeat in the race she won by 6 ¼ lengths in track-record time last year at Keeneland. Trained by Bob Baffert and to be ridden by John Velazquez from post five in the six-horse field, Gamine is undefeated in four starts at the 7-furlong distance.

WinStar Farm and CHC Inc.’s Life Is Good is the 4-5 morning line favorite for the $1 million Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) that drew a field of eight.

A neck away from being perfect in five starts, Life Is Good won the 1-mile Kelso Handicap (G2) by 5 1/2 lengths in front-running fashion. Now trained by Todd Pletcher, Life Is Good will break from post five and be ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr.

Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Westerberg’s Golden Pal, who kicked off last year’s World Championships at Keeneland with a gate-to-wire victory in the Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2), is the 7-2 morning line favorite in a field of 12 with six also-eligibles for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) to be contested over 5 furlongs.

Trained by Wesley Ward, Golden Pal will be attempting to become the fifth horse to win different Breeders’ Cup races. He comes into Saturday’s race off a 2 ¼-length victory in the Woodford (G2) at Keeneland last month. Irad Ortiz Jr. has the mount and will break from post three.

An East-West matchup of undefeated Grade 1 winners headlines a field of 12 entered for the $2 million TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance to be run at 1 1/16 miles.

Jim Bakke, Gerald Isbister, Coolmore Stud and Peter Brant’s Jack Christopher is 2-for-2 and owns a victory in the Champagne (G1) for trainer Chad Brown. Listed at 9-5 on the morning line and breaking from post one, Jack Christopher will be ridden by Jose Ortiz who teamed with Brown to win the 2017 Juvenile with Good Magic.

Speedway Stables’ Corniche is 2-for-2 and owns a victory in the American Pharoah (G1) for four-time Juvenile winning trainer Bob Baffert. Listed at 5-2 on the morning line, Corniche will be ridden by Mike Smith from post position 12.

The $2 million NetJets Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) to be run at 1 1/16 miles drew a field of six headlined by L and N Racing and Winchell Thoroughbreds’ undefeated Echo Zulu.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, the two-time Grade 1 winner has won her three starts by a combined 16 ¾ lengths. Listed at 4-5 on the morning line, Echo Zulu will break from post six and be ridden by Joel Rosario.

The top challengers to Echo Zulu are 5-2 co-second choices Juju’s Map, winner of the Alcibiades (G1), and Hidden Connection, winner of the Pocahontas (G3).

Albaugh Family Stables’ Juju’s Map has won her past two starts by a combined 10 lengths under Florent Geroux. Trained by Brad Cox, who won this race in 2019 with British Idiom, Juju’s Map will break from post position five.

Hidden Brook Farm and Black Type Thoroughbreds’ Hidden Connection is 2-for-2 with the victories coming by a combined 16 ¾ lengths. Trained by Bret Calhoun, Hidden Connection will be ridden by Reylu Gutierrez and break from post two.

Completing the Friday lineup is:

$1 million TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) — Rabbah Bloodstock’s Dubawi Legend (IRE) is the 4-1 morning line favorite for the 1-mile test that drew a field of 14 and two also-eligibles. Trained by Hugo Palmer, Dubawi Legend will be ridden by James Doyle and break from post position 14.

$1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) — Bobby Flay’s homebred Pizza Bianca is the lukewarm 5-1 morning line favorite in a field of 14 for the 1-mile race. Runner-up in the Natalma (G1) at Woodbine in her most recent start, Pizza Bianca is trained by Christophe Clement and will be ridden by Tyler Gaffalione from post position one.

$1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G2) — Hat Creek Racing’s undefeated Averly Jane is the 5-2 morning line favorite in a field of 12 and two also-eligibles for the 5-furlong dash. Tyler Gaffalione will be aboard Averly Jane who will exit post position eight for trainer Wesley Ward who has won this race the past two years with Four Wheel Drive and Golden Pal.

Breeders’ Cup Turf 

  1. (15-1) Rockemperor – Javier Castellano – Chad Brown
  2. (20-1) United – John Velazquez – Richard Mandella
  3. (4-1) Domestic Spending – Flavien Prat – Chad Brown
  4. (20-1) Astronaut – Victor Espinoza – John Shirreffs
  5. (20-1) Tribhuvan – Jose Ortiz – Chad Brown
  6. (20-1) Acclimate – Ricardo Gonzalez – Phil D’Amato
  7. (8-1) Walton Street – James Doyle – Charlie Appleby
  8. (20-1) Broome – Frankie Dettori – Aidan O’Brien
  9. (12-1) Sisfahan – Cristian Demuro – Henk Grewe
  10. (12-1) Yibir – William Buick – Charlie Appelby
  11. (8-1) Gufo – Joel Rosario – Christophe Clement
  12. (6-1) Teona – David Egan – Roger Varian
  13. (9-5) Tarnawa – Colin Keane – Dermot Weld
  14. (20-1) Japan – Ryan Moore – Aidan O’Brien

Breeders’ Cup Distaff

  1. (8-1) Private Mission – Flavien Prat – Bob Baffert
  2. (8-1) Royal Flag – Joel Rosario – Chad Brown
  3. (4-1) Malathaat – John Velazquez – Todd Pletcher
  4. (30-1) Blue Stripe – Frankie Dettori – Marcelo Polanco
  5. (12-1) Clairiere – Ricardo Santana, Jr. – Steve Asmussen
  6. (8-5) Letruska – Irad Ortiz, Jr. – Fausto Gutierrez
  7. (30-1) Horologist – Junior Alvarado – Bill Mott
  8. (4-1) Shedaresthedevil – Florent Geroux – Brad Cox
  9. (15-1) As Time Goes By – Luis Saez – Bob Baffert
  10. (30-1) Marche Lorraine – Oisin Murphy – Yoshito Yahagi
  11. (15-1) Dubar Road – Jose Ortiz – Chad Brown

Breeders’ Cup Mile

  1. (12-1) Master Of The Seas – James Doyle – Charlie Appleby
  2. (10-1) Smooth Like Strait – Umberto Rispoli – Michael McCarthy
  3. (3-1) Space Blues – William Buick – Charlie Appleby
  4. (15-1) Raging Bull – Irad Ortiz, Jr. – Chad Brown
  5. (20-1) Vin De Garde – Yuichi Fukunaga – Hideaki Fujiwara
  6. (5-1) Mo Forza – Flavien Prat – Peter Miller
  7. (8-1) In Love – Alex Achard – Paulo Lobo
  8. (15-1) Hit The Road – John Velazquez – Dan Blacker
  9. (8-1) Mother Earth – Ryan Moore – Aidan O’Brien
  10. (8-1) Blowout – Joel Rosario – Chad Brown
  11. (10-1) Got Stormy – Tyler Gaffalione – Mark Casse
  12. (12-1) Pearls Galore – Billy Lee – Paddy Twomey
  13. (15-1) Casa Creed – Junior Alvarado – Bill Mott
  14. (12-1) Ivar – Joe Talamo – Paulo Lobo

Breeders’ Cup Sprint

  1. (6-1) Following Sea – John Velazquez – Todd Pletcher
  2. (6-5) Jackie’s Warrior – Joel Rosario – Steve Asmussen
  3. (12-1) C Z Rocket – Florent Geroux – Peter Miller
  4. (20-1) Matera Sky – Yuga Kawada – Hideyuki Mori
  5. (8-1) Aloha West – Jose Ortiz – Wayne Catalano
  6. (10-1) Firenze Fire – Tyler Gaffalione – Kelly Breen
  7. (20-1) Lexitonian – Jose Lezcano – Jack Sisterson
  8. (6-1) Special Reserve – Irad Ortiz, Jr. – Mike Maker
  9. (4-1) Dr. Schivel – Flavien Prat – Mark Glatt

Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf

  1. (12-1) Going To Vegas – Umberto Rispoli – Richard Baltas
  2. (15-1) Pocket Square – Irad Ortiz, Jr. – Chad Brown
  3. (12-1) Acanella – Colin Keane – Ger Lyons
  4. (6-1) Rougir – Maxime Guyon – Cedric Rossi
  5. (20-1) Queen Supreme – James Doyle – Andrew Balding
  6. (4-1) Love – Ryan Moore – Aidan O’Brien
  7. (7-2) War Like Goddess – Julien Leparoux – Bill Mott
  8. (4-1) Loves Only You – Yuga Kawada – Yoshito Yahagi
  9. (15-1) My Sister Nat – Jose Ortiz – Chad Brown
  10. (20-1) Ocean Road – Oisin Murphy – Hugo Palmer
  11. (30-1) Dogtag – Flavien Prat – Richard Mandella
  12. (5-1) Audarya – William Buick – James Fanshawe

Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile

  1. (7-2) Silver State – Ricardo Santana, Jr. – Steve Asmussen
  2. (12-1) Pingxiang – Yuga Kawada – Hideyuki Mori
  3. (4-1) Ginobili – Drayden Van Dyke – Richard Baltas
  4. (30-1) Jasper Prince – Yuichi Fukunaga – Hideyuki Mori
  5. (4-5) Life Is Good – Irad Ortiz, Jr. – Todd Pletcher
  6. (20-1) Restrainedvengence – Edwin Maldonado – Val Brinkerhoff
  7. (12-1) Snapper Sinclair – Joel Rosario – Steve Asmussen
  8. (10-1) Eight Rings – Juan Hernandez – Bob Baffert

Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint

  1. (6-1) Glass Slippers – Tom Eaves – Kevin Ryan
  2. (5-1) Emaraaty Ana – Andrea Atzeni – Kevin Ryan
  3. (7-2) Golden Pal – Irad Ortiz, Jr. – Wesley Ward
  4. (6-1) Lieutenant Dan – Geovanni Franco – Steve Miyadi
  5. (12-1) Arrest Me Red – John Velazquez – Wesley Ward
  6. (8-1) A Case Of You – Ronan Whelan – Adrian McGuiness
  7. (30-1) Charmaine’s Mia – Flavien Prat – Phil D’Amato
  8. (20-1) Caravel – Jose Ortiz – Graham Motion
  9. (6-1) Kimari – Joel Rosario – Wesley Ward
  10. (5-1) Gear Jockey – Jose Lezcano – Rusty Arnold
  11. (12-1) Fast Boat – Tyler Gaffalione – Joe Sharp
  12. (12-1) Extravagant Kid – Ryan Moore – Brendan Walsh

Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint

  1. (20-1) Proud Emma – Flavien Prat – Peter Miller
  2. (12-1) Estilo Talentoso – Jose Ortiz – Juan Arriagada
  3. (12-1) Edgeway – Joel Rosario – John Sadler
  4. (4-1) Ce Ce – Victor Espinoza – Michael McCarthy
  5. (3-5) Gamine – John Velazquez – Bob Baffert
  6. (5-2) Bella Sofia – Luis Saez – Rudy Rodriguez

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf

  1. (5-1) Modern Games – William Buick – Charlie Appleby
  2. (6-1) Albahr – Frankie Dettori – Charlie Appleby
  3. (8-1) Dakota Gold – Luis Saez – Danny Gargan
  4. (8-1) Tiz the Bomb – Brian Hernandez, Jr. – Ken McPeek
  5. (12-1) Slipstream – Joel Rosario – Christophe Clement
  6. (8-1) Mackinnon – Juan Hernandez – Doug O’Neill
  7. (20-1) Great Max – John Velazquez – Michael Bell
  8. (12-1) Glounthaune – Ryan Moore – Aidan O’Brien
  9. (20-1) Stolen Base – Umberto Rispoli
  10. (6-1) Portfolio Company – Flavien Prat – Chad Brown
  11. (15-1) Grafton Street – Tyler Gaffalione – Mark Casse
  12. (30-1) Credibility – Mike Smith – Mark Casse
  13. (15-1) Coinage – Florent Geroux – Mark Casse
  14. (4-1) Dubawi Legend – James Doyle – Hugo Palmer

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile

  1. (9-5) Jack Christopher – Jose Ortiz – Chad Brown
  2. (15-1) Jasper Great – Yuichi Fukunaga – Hideyuki Mori
  3. (20-1) Oviatt Class – Kent Desormeaux – Keith Desormeaux
  4. (15-1) Pappacap – Joe Bravo – Mark Casse
  5. (20-1) Double Thunder – Flavien Prat – Todd Pletcher
  6. (30-1) American Sanctuary – Florent Geroux – Chris Davis
  7. (30-1) Giant Game – Joe Talamo – Dale Romans
  8. (10-1) Barossa – Juan Hernandez – Bob Baffert
  9. (8-1) Pinehurst – John Velazquez – Bob Baffert
  10. (5-1) Commandperformance – Irad Ortiz, Jr. – Todd Pletcher
  11. (30-1) Tough To Tame – Sophie Doyle – Chris Davis
  12. (5-2) Corniche – Mike Smith – Bob Baffert

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf

  1. (5-1) Pizza Bianca – Jose Ortiz – Christophe Clement
  2. (12-1) Cairo Memories – Kent Desormeaux – Bob Hess
  3. (12-1) Cachet – Luis Saez – George Boughey
  4. (12-1) Turnerloose – Florent Geroux – Brad Cox
  5. (8-1) Bubble Rock – Irad Ortiz, Jr. – Brad Cox
  6. (10-1) Hello You – John Velazquez – David Loughnane
  7. (8-1) Consumer Spending – Flavien Prat – Chad Brown
  8. (20-1) Sail By – Junior Alvarado – Leah Gyarmati
  9. (6-1) Koala Princess – Joel Rosario – Arnaud Delacour
  10. (30-1) Helens Well – Umberto Rispoli – Phil D’Amato
  11. (10-1) Haughty – Tyler Gaffalione – Chad Brown
  12. (8-1) Malavath – Ryan Moore – Francis-Henri Graffard
  13. (6-1) Mise En Scene – Oisin Murphy – James Ferguson
  14. (8-1) California Angel – Rafael Bejarano – George Leonard, III

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies

  1. (20-1) Desert Dawn – Ricardo Gonzalez – Phil D’Amato
  2. (5-2) Hidden Connection – Reylu Gutierrez – Bret Calhoun
  3. (15-1) Sequist – Junior Alvarado – Dallas Stewart
  4. (12-1) Tarabi – Javier Castellano – Cherie Devaux
  5. (5-2) Juju’s Map – Florent Geroux – Brad Cox
  6. (4-5) Echo Zulu – Joel Rosario – Steve Asmussen

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint

  1. (15-1) Twilight Jet – Leigh Roche – Michael O’Callaghan
  2. (12-1) Kaufymaker – Jose Ortiz – Wesley Ward
  3. (15-1) Go Bears Go – John Velazquez – David Loughnane
  4. (20-1) Vertiginous – Javier Castellano – Brian Meehan
  5. (12-1) Hierarchy – Oisin Murphy – Hugo Palmer
  6. (4-1) Twilight Gleaming – Irad Ortiz, Jr. – Wesley Ward
  7. (6-1) Armor – Ryan Moore – Richard Hannon
  8. (5-2) Averly Jane – Tyler Gaffalione – Wesley Ward
  9. (4-1) One Timer – E. Baird – Larry Rivelli
  10. (15-1) Time To Party – Flavien Prat – Peter Miller
  11. (12-1) Derrynane – Joel Rosario – Christophe Clement
  12. (20-1) Run Curtis Run – Luis Saez – Michael Maker

The post Knicks Go, Essential Quality Draw Center Posts In Breeders’ Cup Classic appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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