Maxfield Remains On Top Of Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings

For the fourth consecutive week, Godolphin’s Maxfield is rated No. 1 in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings, a weekly poll of the top 10 horses in contention for the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). This year’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic will be run at Del Mar racetrack in Del Mar, California, on Nov. 6 as the final race of the 38th Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

The 4-year-old Maxfield, who has won three of four starts this year, including the Stephen Foster Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs on June 26, leads the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings with 20 first-place votes and 299 total votes. Godolphin’s 3-year-old Essential Quality, the Belmont Stakes (G1) winner, retained second place with 276 votes. Trained by Brad Cox, Essential Quality won last year’s TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (G1). Boat Racing, Gainesway Stable, Roadrunner Racing, and William Strauss’s Hot Rod Charlie moved from fourth to third place this week with 219 votes. Trained by Doug O’Neill, Hot Rod Charlie crossed the wire first in Saturday’s Haskell Stakes (G1) but was disqualified for interference and placed seventh. Juddmonte’s 3-year-old Mandaloun finished a nose behind Hot Rod Charlie in the Haskell and was declared the race winner following the stewards’ ruling. Mandaloun, also trained by Cox, jumped from ninth to fourth in the rankings with 172 votes.

Places five through eight in the rankings remained unchanged. Korea Racing Authority’s Knicks Go, the third Cox-trained horse in the top 10, is in fifth place with 147 votes. This year, Knicks Go has won the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) at Gulfstream Park and the Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (G3) on July 2, which he captured by 10 ½ lengths. Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton Racing’s 4-year-old Silver State is in sixth place with 128 votes. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Silver State is unbeaten in four starts this year, including victories in the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) and Belmont’s Hill ‘N’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap (G1). WinStar Farm’s 4-year-old Country Grammer, winner of the Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) at Santa Anita Park, is in seventh place with 87 votes.

St. George Stable’s 5-year-old mare Letruska, trained by Fausto Gutierrez, is in eighth place with 84 votes. Letruska has won four of five starts this year, including a 5 ¾-length victory in the Fleur de Lis Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs on June 26. Wertheimer and Frere’s 4-year-old Happy Saver, trained by Todd Pletcher, moved from 10th to ninth this week. Happy Saver, who lost his first race in six starts when he finished third in the Suburban (G2) at Belmont Park on July 3, has 64 votes. George E. Hall and SportBLX Thoroughbreds Corp.’s 4-year-old Max Player, who won the Suburban, is in 10th place. Also trained by Asmussen, Max Player has 63 votes. Godolphin’s Mystic Guide, who was third in last week’s rankings, has been taken out of training due to an injury.

Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings – July 20, 2021*

Rank Horse Votes First-Place Votes Previous Week
1 Maxfield 299 20 1
2 Essential Quality 276 8 2
3 Hot Rod Charlie 219 1 4
4 Mandaloun 172 0 9
5 Knicks Go 147 1 5
6 Silver State 128 0 6
7 Country Grammer 87 2 7
8 Letruska 84 0 8
9 Happy Saver 64 0 10
10 Max Player 63 0 12

*Note – The Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings have no bearing on qualification or selection into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic.

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The 2021 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic, which will be run at 1 ¼ miles on the main track, is limited to 14 starters. The race will be broadcast live on NBC.

The Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings are determined by a panel of leading Thoroughbred racing media, horseplayers and members of the Breeders’ Cup Racing Directors/Secretaries Panel. Rankings will be announced each week through Oct. 11. 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.

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