By Richard Rosenblatt
The pre-entries are in, a total of 188 horses from around the world are just about set to run in 14 Breeders’ Cup races on Nov. 1-2 at Santa Anita Park, and the $6 million BC Classic is chock full of betting options, especially with Elate taking on males.
The 5-year-old mare was among 11 horses pre-entered Wednesday for the 1 ¼-mile Classic, which includes likely top choices McKinzie and rising 3-year-old star Code of Honor.
Elate, owned by Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider and trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, was cross-entered in the $2 million BC Distaff, but the Classic is listed as first preference.
The Classic makes perfect sense. Elate has been beaten three times this year by BC Distaff favorite Midnight Bisou (7-0 this year), but has won all three of her races at the Classic distance of 1 ¼ miles. Elate has finished in the top 3 in 16 of her 18 career starts.
Since other Breeders’ Cup races will feature most Horse of the Year contenders, Elate running in the Classic is an added bonus. The only female to win the Classic was Zenyatta, who accomplished the feat 10 years ago over this same racetrack.
The post-position draw and morning-line odds will be announced Monday.
$6 Million BC Classic Pre-entries
(Horse, Trainer, Jockey)
McKinzie (Bob Baffert, Joel Rosario)
Code of Honor (Shug McGaughey, John Velazquez)
Vino Rosso (Todd Pletcher, Irad Ortiz, Jr.)
Yoshida (Bill Mott, Mike Smith)
Higher Power (John Sadler, Flavien Prat)
Elate (Bill Mott, Jose Ortiz)
Mongolian Groom (Enebish Ganbat, Abel Cedillo)
Seeking the Soul (Dallas Stewart, Brian Hernandez, Jr.)
Owendale (Brad Cox, Javier Castellano)
War of Will (Mark Casse, Tyler Gaffalione)
Math Wizard (Saffie Joseph, Jr., TBD)
Over the years while working at The Associated Press, Rich Rosenblatt became a familiar name to legions of the horse racing fans and industry insiders with his award-winning articles on horse racing and his stories from the backstretch.
In addition to being an astute observer of sports, Rosenblatt is the co-author of The All-American Chili Cookbook. His work has been seen in just about every publication in the world, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Time Magazine.