Although all three are pointed to separate races to prepare for the Breeders’ Cup Longines Turf at Santa Anita in November, Postponed, Flintshire, and Mondialiste are the major contenders for the 1-½ mile $4-million Grade I turf route.
Of the three, Postponed looks like the early favorite, since he is currently riding a six-race winning streak — including victories in four group 1 races, to go with two group 2 wins.
A five-year old Irish-bred son of Dubawi out of the British mare Ever Rigg, the Roger Varian-trained horse is pointed to the Group 1 Qatar Prix de L’arc de Triomphe, which is being held for the first time at Chantilly on Oct. 2.
Although Postponed has yet to run in North America, let alone at Santa Anita (home again to this year’s Breeders’ Cup Championships), he sports quite a formidable recent race record and has won nine of his 17 career starts to date.
Joining Postponed as early major contenders for the B.C. Longines Turf are two six-year old horses that have had success in North America.
Flintshire, the Chad Brown charge owned by Juddmonte Farms, has eight career victories, including three in a row. He won last out at Saratoga in the Grade I Longines Sword Dancer as a prohibitive favorite that paid $2.40 to win on August 27th.
A Great Britain-bred horse by Dansill out of British mare Dance Routine, he also won two back (also at Saratoga) in the Grade II Bowling Green Stakes at the end of July, and three back in the Grade I Woodford Reserve Manhattan Stakes at Belmont in June.
Having finished second to Main Sequence in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Turf, Flintshire has experience on the Santa Anita lawn. Chad Brown is the premier turf conditioner in North America, and with jockey Javier Castellano aboard, Flintshire is scheduled to run in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont on Oct. 1 before heading to California.
Mondialiste was last seen winning the Arlington Million over two possible B.C. Turf rivals in Kasaqui and Deauville.
The Irish-bred son of Galileo out of an Irish mare named Occupandiste, the David O’Meara-trained six-year old has five victories on his resume, including last year’s Ricoh Woodbine Mile — in which he bested favored Lea by half a length. Although Mondialiste has never run at Santa Anita, he does have Breeders’ Cup experience, having finished second to Tepin in last year’s B.C. Mile at Keeneland.
O’Meara is targeting the Grade I Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes at Keeneland on Oct. 8.
Winners of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge — the “Win And You’re In” series — which reserves spots for winners of certain races throughout the year include:
- Almanzor, the French-bred winner of the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown.
- Ashleyluvssugar, a five-year old gelding who won the Del Mar Handicap for trainer Peter Eurton.
- Don Inc, an Argentina-bred four-year old who won the Gran Premio 25 de Mayo at San Isidro.
- Highland Reel, who finished only one length behind Postponed in the Juddmonte International Stakes at York, and won the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot.
- Iquitos, winner of the Longines Grosser Preis Von Baden at Baden Baden.
- Marialite, who capture the Takarazuka Kinen at Sha Tin Racecourse.
- My Cherie Amour, victor at Hipodromo da Gavea in the Gran Premio Brasil.
Other contenders for the race are Da Big Hoss, Dartmouth, Found, Money Multiplier, The Grey Gatsby and World Approval.