The 29th Breeders' Cup, consisting of 15 races and purses totaling more than $25 million over the two days, will be held at Santa Anita, on Friday, November 2 and Saturday, Nov. 3 - and the entries for all the races are in.
Defending his title in the Breeders' Cup Turf, St. Nicholas Abbey, winner of the Coronation Cup at Epsom earlier this year, is expected to face a stern test from Point Of Entry. Point of Entry has won five in a row and three straight Grade 1 races - the Man 'o War at Belmont in July, Sword Dancer at Saratoga in August and the Turf Classic at Belmont September 29. Trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre trained the first Breeders' Cup Turf winner, Lashkari, in 1984 for HH Aga Khan. This year, they have pre-entered the four-year-old filly Shareta, winner of both the Yorkshire Oaks and the Prix Vermeille at Longchamp. The Japanese-bred Trailblazer, second in his US debut in the Arroyo Seco Mile at Santa Anita, and the winner of the Kyoto Kinen (G2) earlier this year, has also been pre-entered.
The Breeders' Cup Classic, the climactic event of the Championships, will be run on the main track at 1 ¼ miles. The Classic is led by five-year-old Game On Dude, trained by Bob Baffert. In 2011, Game on Dude held the lead into deep stretch in the Classic at Churchill Downs, only to be overtaken in the final yards by Drosselmeyer.
This year, Game On Dude has returned to win four races in six starts, including the Californian, the Hollywood Gold Cup and most recently the Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita Park, where he has won all five of his career starts. Baffert, has won eight Breeders' Cup races in his Hall of Fame career, but has yet to win the Classic.
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott won last year's Classic with Drosselmeyer. Mott, who also trained 1995 Classic winner Cigar, has pre-entered four horses for this year's race: Ron the Greek, Flat Out and To Honor and Serve.
There is strong European interest in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, run at 1 ¼ miles on Championship Friday. Nahrain, second in the race last year, earned a berth into this year's contest with her win in the Flower Bowl at Belmont Park and looks to hold strong claims. As does I'm A Dreamer (IRE), winner of Arlington Park's Beverly D. in August. Ridasiyna (FR), a winner of 4-of-5 starts this year, including the Prix de l'Opera at Longchamp is also entered, along with The Fugue, an impressive winner of the Nassau Stakes earlier in the year.