Maxfield Tops Essential Quality In Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings

For the sixth consecutive week, Godolphin’s 4-year-old Maxfield is the No. 1 rated horse 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.

Maxfield, trained by Brendan Walsh, received 22 first-place votes and 280 total votes. Maxfield earned an automatic berth into this year’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic when he won the Stephen Foster Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs on June 26.

Godolphin’s 3-year-old Essential Quality, last year’s TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner, remained in second place with 273 votes. Trained by Brad Cox, Essential Quality won Saturday’s 1 1/8-mile Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) at Saratoga by a half-length over Keepmeinmind. The victory was Essential Quality’s fourth in five starts this year and was his first start since winning the Belmont Stakes (G1) on June 5.

Boat Racing, Gainesway Stable, Roadrunner Racing, and William Strauss’s 3-year-old Hot Rod Charlie, trained by Doug O’Neill, is in third place with 225 votes.

Korea Racing Authority’s 5-year-old Knicks Go, winner of the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) at Gulfstream Park in January and the Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (G3) on July 2, moved up one spot to fourth place with 163 votes.

Also trained by Cox, Knicks Go is expected to face Maxfield and Silver State in this Saturday’s Whitney (G1) at Saratoga, which is a “Win and You’re In” for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Juddmonte’s 3-year-old Mandaloun drops one spot to fifth place with 161 votes. Also trained by Cox, Mandaloun finished a nose behind Hot Rod Charlie in the July 17 Haskell Stakes (G1) at Monmouth Park, but was declared the race winner following the disqualification of Hot Rod Charlie for interference in the stretch.

Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton Racing’s 4-year-old Silver State remained in sixth place with 105 votes. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Silver State is unbeaten in four starts this year, which includes victories in the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) and Belmont’s Hill ‘N’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap (G1).

St. George Stable’s 5-year-old mare Letruska stayed in seventh place with 85 votes. Trained by Fausto Gutierrez, Letruska won the Ogden Phipps (G1) at Belmont Park and the Fleur de Lis Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs in her last two starts.

CRK Stable’s 4-year-old Express Train, winner of the San Diego Handicap (G2) at Del Mar, rose from 10th to eighth place with 66 votes. George E. Hall and SportBLX Thoroughbreds Corp.’s 4-year-old Max Player, winner of Belmont’s Suburban (G2), is tied in ninth place with Wertheimer and Frere’s 4-year-old Happy Saver, who finished third in the Suburban. Max Player, also trained by Asmussen, and Happy Saver, trained by Todd Pletcher, have 59 points apiece.

Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings – Aug. 3, 2021*

Rank Horse Votes First-Place Votes Previous Week
1 Maxfield 280 22 1
2 Essential Quality 273 7 2
3 Hot Rod Charlie 225 1 3
4 Knicks Go 163 0 5
5 Mandaloun 161 0 4
6 Silver State 105 0 6
7 Letruska 85 0 7
8 Express Train 66 0 10
9 Happy Saver 59 0 9
9 Max Player 59 0 8

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

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.

The post Maxfield Tops Essential Quality In Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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