Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile 2020: Who are the fastest contenders?

Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile 2020: Who are the fastest contenders?
Photo: Coady Photography

Few Breeders' Cup races have received the increase in depth that the Dirt Mile has during the last few months. Even if Vekoma chooses the Sprint, the Dirt Mile has gotten a boost after strong performances from Complexity, Knicks Go, Mr. Money and Mr Freeze and commitments from War of Will and Art Collector.

The top contenders have a variety of backgrounds. Some are sprinters stretching out, some are distance runners shortening up and some are turf runners switching back to dirt. The easiest way to compare this diverse field is through speed figures. Below we take a look at the speed figures for every Dirt Mile possible through various outlets.

Horse Best/Last Beyer Best/Last    Brisnet Figure Best/Last Timeform Figure 
Vekoma110/104113/103125/124
Complexity 110/110109/109128/128
Art Collector103/91104/98124/116
Knicks Go107/107110/110 131/131
War of Will 100/100101/101123/119
Mr. Money 101/94103/96 124/118
 Rushie 97/91 103/93 118/117
Sharp Samurai  103/102 103/99 126/122
Mr Freeze 107/96107/97 130/114
Pirate's Punch101/99105/100126/122
 Midcourt 101/101106/103 127/125
 Silver Dust 99/99 104/97 122/119
Aurelius Maximus  99/9596/96 115/110
 Jesus' Team  96/91100/98   119/115 
Hog Creek Hustle 103/91 101/99  118/106
True Timber   104/81109/86  123/104

Who is the fastest: Vekoma and Complexity are neck and neck, depending on where one looks. Timeform favors Complexity, while Brisnet gives a slight edge to Vekoma. Knicks Go won only an allowance race last out, but he is the darling of speed figure players as his 107 BSF, 110 Brisnet Figure and 131 Timeform rating put him right in the mix with the top two.

One thing that stands out: Aside from Knicks Go's lofty numbers in his final Breeders' Cup prep, the other thing that stands out is the low figures that Mr. Money and Mr Freeze received in their recent wins. The Ack Ack and Fayette seem like preps to fade as a handicapper.

[Related: Prospective odds and fields for all 14 Breeders' Cup races]

Odds and accomplishments for the 2020 Dirt Mile runners: 

HorseClaim to FameLast RaceHRN Odds 
Vekoma2-time G1 winner1st in Met Mile3-1
 Complexity'19 Champagne (G1) winner1st in Kelso7-2
Art CollectorBlue Grass (G2) winner 4th in Preakness6-1
 Knicks Go'18 Breeders' Futurity (G1) winner  1st in Keeneland allowance10-1
War of Will  Dual surface G1 winner   3rd in Woodbine Mile  10-1
 Mr. Money5-time G3 winner 1st in Ack Ack12-1
RushieG2 winner1st in Pat Day Mile12-1
Sharp Samurai 3-time G2 winner 2nd in City of Hope 12-1 
Mr Freeze  Gulfstream Park Mile (G2) winner 1st in Fayette (G2) 12-1 
Pirate's Punch G3 winner1st in Salvator Mile  15-1  
Midcourt G2 winner3rd in Awesome Again15-1
Silver Dust 3-time G3 winner 3rd in Alysheba20-1
Aurelius Maximus  2nd in Fayette (G2)2nd in Fayette 20-1 
Jesus' Team 3rd in Preakness (G1) 3rd in Preakness30-1
 Hog Creek HustleG1 winner 2nd in Keeneland allowance  30-1 
True Timber Multiple G1 placed 4th in Vosburgh30-1

Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile updates

• Trainer Tom Drury confirmed to HRN on Monday that Art Collector would bypass the Classic in favor of the Dirt Mile.

• Brad Cox has listed Knicks Go among his Breeders' Cup probables.

• John Shirreffs confirmed that Midcourt is headed to the Breeders' Cup and that he will decide between the Classic and Dirt Mile.

• Bill Mott did not list Endorsed as one of his six Breeders' Cup probables.

• Chad Brown's Network Effect has not worked since his runner-up effort in the Met Mile and appears unlikely for the Dirt Mile.

• Jesus' Team is being pointed toward the Dirt Mile after his third-place finish in the Preakness.

• Brad Cox has confirmed that Warrior's Charge and Owendale will not run in the Dirt Mile. 

• Mark Casse will have seven Breeders' Cup runners, including War of Will in the Dirt Mile.

• Bret Calhoun will have three Breeders' Cup runners, including Mr Money and Silver Dust in the Dirt Mile.

• Grant Foster confirmed to HRN that Pirate's Punch would ship to Keeneland and Jorge Vargas Jr. will have the mount.

• Jack Sisterson told HRN that he will have two Breeders' Cup runners, Vexatious in the Distaff and True Timber in the Dirt Mile.

• Michael McCarthy indicated that Pat Day Mile (G2) winner Rushie is on track for the Dirt Mile for his next start.

Who's already going: Mr. Money, Rushie, Pirate's Punch, Silver Dust, True Timber, War of Will, Mr Freeze, Knicks Go, Art Collector, Jesus' Team 

Who could be going: Vekoma, Complexity, Sharp Samurai, Midcourt, Aurelius Maximus, Hog Creek Hustle

2020 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1)

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