2021 Breeders’ Cup: See the pre-entries in all 14 races

2021 Breeders’ Cup: See the pre-entries in all 14 races
Photo: Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire

Fields for all 14 Breeders’ Cup races came into clearer focus with the revealing Wednesday of the pre-entries for the 2021 championships, which will be run Nov. 5 and 6 at Del Mar.

There were 196 horses named, down from 201 last year and well off the record 221 in 2018. A record 56 international horses were pre-entered; the old high was 41 in 2018. Seven returning champions, including Knicks Go, Essential Quality, Tarnawa, Audarya, Gamine, Glass Slippers and Golden Pal were included. So was 2020 Mile winner Order of Australia, but trainer Aidan O'Brien said Wednesday afternoon that he suffered "a setback" in morning training and would not be shipped to California.

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The post-position draw will happen Monday at 5:30 p.m. EDT at Del Mar. It will be shown by TVG and streamed at BreedersCup.com and on the Breeders' Cup app.

Classic

Brad Cox stablemates Knicks Go (5-2), first in the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) and Whitney (G1), and Essential Quality (7-2), the Belmont Stakes and Travers (G1) winner, have been the top two choices in futures betting since mid-summer. In the past week Art Collector (7-1) has shortened to a joint third choice with Hot Rod Charlie (7-1).

Turf

Last year’s winner Tarnawa (3-2) arrives at Del Mar coming off a second-place finish this month in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1). Domestic Spending (4-1) will try to give trainer Chad Brown his second victory in the last three runnings of this race.

Distaff

Letruska (1-1) has answered every test since her five-race winning streak began with a victory over two-time champion Monomoy Girl in the Apple Blossom Handicap (G1). A win in the Distaff could propel her to the Eclipse Award as Horse of the Year.

Mile

Space Blues (5-2) has won two consecutive Group 1 races to continue a hot streak for Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby. Hoping to keep the trophy at home in Southern California, Peter Miller brings Mo Forza (4-1) to Del Mar on the crest of a four-race winning streak.

Sprint

After failing as the favorite in last year’s Juvenile, Jackie’s Warrior (6-5) has found his niche going one turn. His three-race winning streak includes the H. Allen Jerkens Memorial (G1) during the Saratoga summer.

Filly & Mare Turf

Training for two months up to this race, War Like Goddess (7-2) is favored to fend off European shippers. The 4-year-old filly’s 6-for-7 record is headlined by her victory last month in the Flower Bowl (G1) at Saratoga.

Dirt Mile

Transferred this spring from Bob Baffert to the barn of Todd Pletcher, Life Is Good (1-1) returns to California with a 4-for-5 record. He broke his maiden with a debut victory last fall at Del Mar.

Turf Sprint

Golden Pal (8-5) is looking to complete a Breeders’ Cup double for trainer Wesley Ward, having won the 2020 Juvenile Turf Sprint. He has won his last four starts on U.S. soil, most recently the Woodford (G2) at Keeneland.

Filly & Mare Sprint

In what may be the smallest Breeders’ Cup field in recent memory, 2020 winner and division champion Gamine (2-3) is expected to be the heaviest favorite next week at Del Mar. Last year’s victory at Keeneland for Baffert began Gamine’s five-race winning streak, which remains intact.

Juvenile

A budding rivalry between Jack Christopher (2-1) from the east and Corniche (3-1) from the west begins Nov. 5. Jack Christopher is 2-for-2 for Brown, who is sending him into his first two-turn race. Corniche is 3-for-3 for Baffert, including a route-going victory in the American Pharoah (G1).

Juvenile Fillies

Echo Zulu (8-5) is 3-for-3 with Beyer Speed Figures of 92, 90 and 90, according to Daily Racing Form. Trained by Asmussen, she has Grade 1 wins since Labor Day in the Spinaway and Frizette, the latter by 7 1/4 lengths.

Juvenile Turf

Appleby trains the top two choices in this race, which he won in 2013 and 2018. Modern Games (3-1) has a record of 5: 3-1-0 with a Group 3 victory last time out in England. Albahr (4-1) has won his last four races, the latest being the Summer Stakes (G1) at Woodbine.

Juvenile Fillies Turf

Three of the top choices in the futures market were not pre-entered for this race, leaving black-type-stakes winner Consumer Spending (8-1) to be the shortest priced. He will carry Brown’s hopes for a sixth training victory in this race.

Juvenile Turf Sprint

Averly Jane (2-1) brings in a 4-for-4 record for Ward, who is bidding for his third consecutive victory in this race. The Midshipman filly set a stakes record in winning her most recent start, the listed Indian Summer this month at Keeneland.

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