McKinzie leads inaugural Breeders' Cup Classic rankings

Edited Press Release
June 12, 2019 04:09pm

Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman’s 4-year-old McKinzie has earned the No. 1 position in the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings, a weekly rating of the Top 10 horses in contention for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park.

The Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings are determined by a panel of 36 leading Thoroughbred racing media, horseplayers and members of the Breeders’ Cup Racing Directors/Secretaries Panel. Rankings will be announced each week through October 15 and can be found on the Breeders’ Cup website along with the list of voting members.

In the Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings, each voter ranks horses by assigning their allotted votes on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 system in descending order. The release of the first Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings precedes Saturday's Stephen Foster (G2), a "Win and You're In" race at Churchill Downs.

“With the 3-year-olds and older horses setting their sights on the Classic during the second half of the year, we expect the Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings to spark additional interest and conversation on a weekly basis from the votes of a dynamic group of media, horseplayers and racing officials,” said Craig Fravel, Breeders’ Cup President and CEO.

McKinzie, a 4-year-old son of 2006 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Street Sense, trained by Bob Baffert, earned 239 votes in the first poll, 17 votes greater than Godolphin’s 5-year-old Thunder Snow. McKinzie won the 1 1/16-mile Alysheba Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs on May 3 and was second to Mitole in last Saturday’s one-mile Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap (G1) at Belmont Park.

Thunder Snow, a bay son of Helmut trained by Saeed Bin Suroor, successfully defended his Dubai World Cup (G1) title in March before finishing third in the Met Mile. He also finished third in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Classic and has career earnings of more than more than $16.5 million.

Hronis Racing’s 6-year-old Gift Box, with 186 votes, is third in the Classic Rankings. Trained by John Sadler, Gift Box has won one of two starts this year at Santa Anita Park, taking the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) and finishing second in the Gold Cup  at Santa Anita (G1). Hronis Racing and Sadler teamed up to win last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic with Accelerate.

Gary and Mary West’s Maximum Security is the highest ranking 3-year-old in the poll, with 155 votes, fourth overall. A bay son of 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner New Year’s Day, Maximum Security finished first in the Kentucky Derby but was disqualified for interference and placed 17th.  Maximum Security, trained by Jason Servis, won this year’s Florida Derby (G1). 

Robert LaPenta, Madaket Stables, Siena Farm and Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ 4-year-old Catholic Boy (143 votes) is in fifth place in the Classic Rankings. Trained by Jonathan Thomas, Catholic Boy has won his only start of this year, capturing the Dixie Stakes (G2) on turf at Pimlico.


Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings – June 12, 2019 *

Rank

Horse

Votes

1st Place Votes

1

McKinzie

239

14

2

Thunder Snow

222

7

3

Gift Box

186

3

4

Maximum Security

155

0

5

Catholic Boy

143

3

6

Vino Rosso

132

1

7

Omaha Beach

75

0

8

War of Will

67

1

9

Tacitus

66

1

10

Gunnevera

61

0

 

*Note – The Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings have no official bearing on qualification or selection into the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

 

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