By Ray Wallin
In the history of the Breeders’ Cup there have been 302 races that have produced a total of 303 winners, including the dead heat in the 2003 Turf between High Chaparral and Johar. Of those 303 winners, there have been 216 sires that have produced a winner in the Breeders’ Cup.
Of those 216 sires to produce a winner, there have been 147 one-hit wonders, or sires that have produced one Breeders’ Cup winner. Thirty-eight sires have produced a pair of winners, while 15 have a trio to their credit. Six sires have managed four winners.
This leaves us the elite of the Breeders’ Cup sires. While seven sires have won with five of their progeny, there have been two sires to produce six winners, but only one that produced a record seven Breeders’ Cup wins.
Who are they?
Work All Week – 2014 Sprint
Dayatthespa – 2014 Filly & Mare Turf
Catch a Glimpse – 2015 Juvenile Fillies Turf
Finest City – 2016 Filly & Mare Sprint
Bulletin – 2018 Juvenile Turf Sprint
Chief’s Crown – 1984 Juvenile
Dance Smartly – 1991 Distaff
Lure – 1992 & 1993 Mile
War Chant – 2000 Mile
Red Rocks (IRE) – 2006 Turf
Magician (IRE) – 2013 Turf
Found (IRE) – 2015 Turf
Highland Reel (IRE) – 2016 Turf
Line of Duty (IRE) – 2018 Juvenile Turf
Prized – 1989 Turf
Hollywood Wildcat – 1993 Distaff
Brocco – 1993 Juvenile
Soaring Softly – 1999 Filly & Mare Turf
Action This Day – 2003 Juvenile
Curlin – 2007 Classic
English Channel – 2007 Turf
Furthest Land – 2009 Dirt Mile
My Miss Aurelia – 2001 Juvenile Fillies
Battle of Midway – 2017 Dirt Mile
Desert Stormer – 1995 Sprint
Cat Thief – 1999 Classic
Storm Flag Flying – 2002 Juvenile Fillies
Sweet Catomine – 2004 Juvenile Fillies
Life Is Sweet – 2009 Distaff
Stardom Bound – 2008 Juvenile Fillies
Tapitsfly – 2009 Juvenile Fillies Turf
Hansen – 2011 Juvenile
Tapizar – 2012 Dirt Mile
Utapable – 2014 Distaff
In The Wings (GB) – 1990 Turf
Barathea (IRE) – 1994 Mile
Northern Spur (IRE) – 1995 Turf
High Chaparral (IRE) – 2002 and 2003 Turf
Islington (IRE) – 2003 Filly & Mare Turf
Unbridled Elaine – 2001 Distaff
Midshipman – 2008 Juvenile
Unrivaled Belle – 2010 Distaff
Liam’s Map – 2015 Dirt Mile
Arrogate – 2016 Classic
Forever Unbridled – 2017 Distaff
The lone sire to have seven winners in Breeders’ Cup races is More Than Ready. The son of Southern Halo finished with seven wins in his 17 starts, retiring at the age of 3. This Grade 1 winner did manage a fifth-place finish in the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Sprint. He has had a much more productive career off the track.
Winner #1: More Than Real (2010 Juvenile Fillies Turf)
Owned by chef Bobby Flay, this gritty filly would rally after a wide trip to win by two lengths over the favorite, Winter Memories under Garrett Gomez returning a healthy $29.20 to win. This would be the first of three wins that Gomez and trainer Todd Pletcher would each enjoy in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup.
Winner 2 (Pluck, 2010 Juvenile Turf)
Pletcher and Gomez would team up the next day as this colt would overcome a 14-length deficit and a troubled trip to rally from sixth in the stretch. This would be the last race where Pluck finished in the money.
Winner 3 (Regally Ready, 2011 Turf Sprint)
This chestnut gelding dueled early and led the rest of the way as the favorite with Corey Nakatani in the irons for trainer Steve Asmussen. Regally Ready would never win another graded stakes race after this victory, but raced successfully through his 2016 campaign.
Winner 4 & 5 (Roy H, 2017 and 2018 Sprint)
Ridden by Kent Desormeaux in 2017 and Paco Lopez in 2018, this Peter Miller trainee didn’t look like much until he took a long layoff and re-emerged in 2017. He rattled off three straight wins including the True North (G2) at Belmont Park before a second place finish in the Bing Crosby Stakes (G1) at Del Mar. He would then dominate the Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita and the BC Sprint in each successful fall effort. He retired in 2019 after coming back to win the Palo Verdes Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita like he did after his 2017 win.
Winner 6 (Rushing Fall, 2017 Juvenile Fillies Turf)
Trainer Chad Brown and jockey Javier Castellano won this race back to back in 2016 and 2017. Still active, this mare is a contender in the 2020 Filly & Mare Turf and hopes to give More Than Ready another record-setting victory. She boasts an impressive 11 wins in 14 starts with two places and only finishing out of the money once and is a multiple Grade 1 stakes winner.
Winner 7 (Uni, 2019 Mile)
She will be back in 2020 to defend her Breeders’ Cup title after defending her First Lady Stakes (G1) at Keeneland and could give her sire another winner after upsetting favorite Got Stormy in the 2019 edition of the race. She is another Chad Brown trainee and will be one of the stronger betting choices to repeat.
Not only does More Than Ready have the chance to tack on a few more wins as a sire, he has the chance to pick up a few wins with his grandkids here this year. In the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, winner of the Iroquois Stakes (G3), Sittin On Go, is out of Brody’s Cause and Set’n On Ready whose sire was More Than Ready.
Whether you are a casual player or you make your living playing the races, the Breeders’ Cup always brings value and excitement. Records are broken each year. So with the Breeders’ Cup only a few weeks away, who do you like?
Ray Wallin is a licensed civil engineer and part-time handicapper who has had a presence on the Web since 2000 for various sports and horse racing websites and through his personal blog. Introduced to the sport over the course of a misspent teenage summer at Monmouth Park by his Uncle Dutch, a professional gambler, he quickly fell in love with racing and has been handicapping for over 25 years.
Ray’s background in engineering, along with his meticulous nature and fascination with numbers, parlay into his ability to analyze data; keep records; notice emerging trends; and find new handicapping angles and figures. While specializing in thoroughbred racing, Ray also handicaps harness racing, Quarter Horse racing, baseball, football, hockey, and has been rumored to have calculated the speed and pace ratings on two squirrels running through his backyard.
Ray likes focusing on pace and angle plays while finding the middle ground between the art and science of handicapping. When he is not crunching numbers, Ray enjoys spending time with his family, cheering on his alma mater (Rutgers University), fishing, and playing golf.
Ray’s blog, which focuses on his quest to make it to the NHC Finals while trying to improve his handicapping abilities can be found at www.jerseycapper.blogspot.com Ray can also be found on Twitter (@rayw76) and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.