Breeders’ Cup Pre-Entries: Baffert has 3 for the Classic; Distaff likely for Swiss Skydiver

By Richard Rosenblatt

As usual, it’s all about Bob — mostly.

A total of 201 horses were pre-entered Wednesday for the 14 Breeders’ Cup races at Keeneland on Nov. 6-7, with Preakness-winning filly Swiss Skydiver cross-entered in the $6 million Classic and the $2 million Distaff.

Swiss Skydiver – Photo Courtesy of Pimlico

The post-position draw is Monday (Nov. 2), and sometime before then owner Peter Callahan and trainer Kenny McPeek will have to declare which race their 3-year-old star will run in. The Distaff has been designated as her first preference.

Despite the filly drama, the Classic will be THE race of 2020 – the year of the COVID-19 pandemic that re-configured the racing schedule. Pre-entries are up 7% from last, even the with pandemic that turned the Triple Crown races from a five-week sprint in May and June to a 15-week marathon from June-October.

“We’re going to see how the Classic looks,’’ McPeek said on a Breeders’ Cup conference call. “We haven’t been able to sit down and check the past performances, but we’ll do that next week. It isn’t a decision set in stone yet. All along me and owner Peter Callahan said the Distaff was the likely spot. We’ll probably make the decision in the next couple of days.”

That brings us back to Bob, as in Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, as in Breeders’ Cup top-earning trainer at $30 million – with three Classic wins.

Baffert pre-entered three of his top horses in the Classic: likely favorite and Awesome Again (G1) winner Improbable, Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Authentic; and Saudi Cup and Pacific Classic (G1) winner Maximum Security.

Eleven horses were pre-entered in the 1 ¼-mile Classic, the showcase event likely to determine several Eclipse Award winners including Horse of the Year.

Others entered were By My Standards, Global Campaign, Higher Power, Tacitus, Title Ready, Belmont Stakes (G1) and Travers (G1) winner Tiz the Law and Stephen Foster (G1) winner Tom’s d’Etat.

Baffert believes all three of his horses are coming into the race in top form.

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“[Improbable] always showed a lot of talent as a 3-year-old, but he wasn’t physically or mentally mature. But what a difference a year makes,’’ Baffert said. “[Authentic] is another one who’s maturing. He was a late foal, and I think he’s still a little bit green. I think he ran a good race in the Preakness (second), but the filly got the first move on him and he couldn’t get by her. I just think he needs to be ridden aggressively from the gate.”

If Swiss Skydiver runs in the Distaff against her own sex, the Classic field would be reduced to 10. A field of 11 was pre-entered for the Distaff, including likely favorite Monomoy Girl, winner of three straight this year in her remarkable comeback from a two-year layoff. A choice to go in the Classic would put the Belmont, Derby and Preakness winners in the same field.

The $4 million Turf (G1) has 11 pre-entries, including European runners Magical, Lord North, and Mehdaayih and top American turf horses Arklow and Channel Maker.

A full field of 14 was pre-entered for the $2 million Juvenile (G1), with one also-eligible. The likely favorite will be unbeaten Jackie’s Warrior for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen. The 2-year-old is 4-for-4, including victories in the Hopeful (G1) and the Champagne (G1).

Also pre-entered by Baffert are Gamine in the $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) and Princess Noor in the $2 million Juvenile Fillies (G1).

The $31 million Breeders’ Cup begins Friday with five races, all for 2-year-olds. On Saturday, the remaining nine races take place.

A total of 39 international horses were pre-entered, according to the Breeders’ Cup – down from 47 a year ago.

Pre-entry notes:

A total of 48 horses pre-entered earned fees-paid berths the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” series of automatic qualifiers.

In addition to Swiss Skydiver, others cross-entered are Metropolitan Mile (G1) winner Vekoma – Sprint (first preferences), Dirt Mile (second preference); Frank’s Rockette — Sprint (first preference), Filly & Mare Sprint (second preference).

Also announced Wednesday is the order of races (all times ET):

Friday (Nov. 6)

Juvenile Turf Sprint, 2:30 p.m.

Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), 3:10 p.m.

Juvenile Fillies (G1), 3:50 p.m.

Juvenile Turf (G1), 4:30 p.m.

Juvenile (G1), 5:10 p.m.

Saturday (Nov. 7)

Filly & Mare Sprint (G1), 12:02 p.m.

Turf Sprint (G1), 12:39 p.m.

Dirt Mile (G1), 1:18 p.m.

Filly & Mare Turf, 1:57 p.m.

Sprint, 2:36 p.m.

Mile, 3:15 p.m.

Distaff, 3:54 p.m.

Turf, 4:33 p.m.

Classic, 5:13 p.m.

Breeders’ Cup Classic

12th Race, Post Time 5:13 pm (ET)

The BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC (GI) is a 1 1/4-mile race for 3-year-olds and up.

The race carries a guaranteed purse of $6 million, including travel awards. Horses pre-entered are:

Horse
Owner
Trainer
Breeder
Authentic
Spendthrift Farm LLC (B. Wayne Hughes), MyRaceHorse.com (Michael Behrens),
Madaket Stables LLC (Sol Kumin & Jason Monteleone), Starlight Racing Stable (Jack Wolf et al.)
Bob Baffert
Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds, LLC
By My Standards
Allied Racing Stable, LLC (Chester Thomas)
W. Bret Calhoun
Don Ladd
Global Campaign
Sagamore Farm (Kevin Plank) and WinStar Farm LLC (Kenny Troutt)
Stanley M. Hough
WinStar Farm, LLC
Higher Power
Hronis Racing, LLC (Kosta Hronis)
John W. Sadler
Pin Oak Stud, LLC
Improbable
WinStar Farm, LLC (Kenny Troutt), CHC Inc. (Ah Khing Teo), SF Racing, LLC (Gavin Murphy)
Bob Baffert
St. George Farm LLC & G. Watts Humphrey Jr.
Maximum Security
Gary & Mary West, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith
Bob Baffert
Gary & Mary West Stables Inc.
Swiss Skydiver
Peter J. Callahan
Kenneth G. McPeek
WinStar Farm, LLC
Tacitus
Juddmonte Farms, Inc (Khalid Abdullah)
William I. Mott
Juddmonte Farms Inc.
Title Ready
Charles E. Fipke
Dallas Stewart
Dallas Stewart
Tiz the Law
Sackatoga Stable (Jack Knowlton)
Barclay Tagg
Twin Creeks Farm
Tom’s d’Etat
G M B Racing (Gayle Benson)
Albert M. Stall Jr.
SF Bloodstock LLC

Total Horses in Race: 11

Global Campaign has second preference in the Dirt Mile
Swiss Skydiver has first preference in the Distaff

♦ denotes Breeders’ Cup Challenge Winner

Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff

10th Race, Post Time 3:54 pm (ET)

The LONGINES BREEDERS’ CUP DISTAFF (GI) is a 1 1/8-mile race for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up.

The race carries a guaranteed purse of $2 million, including travel awards. Horses pre-entered are:

Horse
Owner
Trainer
Breeder
Ce Ce
Bo Hirsch, LLC (Bo Hirsch)
Michael W. McCarthy
Bo Hirsch, LLC (Bo Hirsch)
Dunbar Road
Peter M. Brant
Chad C. Brown
Jeffery J. Drown
Harvest Moon
Alice Bamford , Michael Tabor
Simon Callaghan
Alice Bamford
Harvey’s Lil Goil
Estate of Harvey A. Clarke (Donna Clarke) & Paul Braverman
William I. Mott
Harvey A. Clarke
Horologist
Medallion Racing (Phillip Shelton), Abbondanza Racing, LLC (Bing Bush), Parkland Thoroughbreds (Steve Weston),
There’s A Chance Stable (Cameron Beatty), Paradise Farms Corp. (Peter Proscia) & David Staudacher
William I. Mott
Holly Crest Farm
Lady Kate
Anderson Stables, LLC (Brad Anderson)
Eddie Kenneally
Eileen H. Hartis and Godolphin
Monomoy Girl
Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables LLC (Sol Kumin), The Elkstone Group, LLC (Stuart Grant)
& Bethlehem Stables (Michael J. Caruso)
Brad Cox
FPF LLC & Highfield Ranch
Ollie’s Candy
Paul and Karen Eggert
John W. Sadler
Paul Eggert & Karen Eggert
Point of Honor
Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners (Aron Wellman) & Stetson Racing LLC (Chris Connelly)
George Weaver
Siena Farms LLC
Swiss Skydiver
Peter J. Callahan
Kenneth G. McPeek
WinStar Farm, LLC
Valiance
Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners (Aron Wellman), Martin S. Schwartz , CHC Inc. (Ah Khing Teo)
Todd A. Pletcher
China Horse Club International Limited

Total Horses in Race: 11

Harvey’s Lil Goil has first preference in the Filly & Mare Turf
Swiss Skydiver has second preference in the Classic

♦ denotes Breeders’ Cup Challenge Winner

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