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BREEDERS' CUP 2011 CONTENDERS: Three Weeks Out

Goldikova (IRE)
Goldikova (IRE)

I've gone through and updated the Breeders' Cup Contenders file with the most recent Win and You're In information, along a list of the possible entries based on points earned in graded stakes races.  Horses can gain entry into the Breeders' Cup through two mechanisms: win a Breeders' Cup Challenge race, or accumulate points in graded stakes races during the years. 

On the linked file below, horses in bold and underlined have won a Breeders' Cup Challenge race.  All the other horses are listed in order of points accumulated in graded stakes races.

2011 Breeders' Cup Contenders

Looking through the contenders, we can already see a few races where horses are going to get squeezed out of a place in the starting gate. The final entries for some of the other races will depend greatly on which horses decide to make the trip across the Atlantic from Europe.  Classic contender So You Think just finished 2nd in the Champion Stakes on British Champions Day, and would appear to be unlikely for the Breeders' Cup at this time.  Ditto former Filly & Mare Turf champion Midday (GB), following her run in the same Champion Stakes.

Despite the defection of Blind Luck, the Ladies' Classic / Distaff is still looking like a very good race.  Zazu, Plum Pretty, It's Tricky, Royal Delta, etc, etc. That race looks like it will end up very deep, from top to bottom.

After The Factor fell flat in his final Breeders' Cup tune-up, the Sprint looks like it will once again be a highly competitive affair.  Smiling Tiger tends to run very well fresh, and he'll be coming into the Sprint off of a nice layoff.  Defending Champion Big Drama, who has only raced sparingly this year, will also come in off of a layoff after missing his final prep race due to a spiked temperature.  Amazombie, Giant Ryan, Aikenite, Justin Phillip, and a host of other horses, add some real quality to this race.

Wagering in the Juvenile will likely lean heavily towards the top East Coast and West Coast horses: Creative Cause and Union Rags.  Both colts looked very good in their final prep races, and the improvement Creative Cause displayed after switching to dirt certainly makes him a big player.

There has been some criticism of the Breeders' Cup for adding two races for juveniles on the turf, but when you look at the entries for those races that past few years, along with the potential contenders for this year's events, it's hard not to admit that there is a clear demand for both.

According to the Racing Post, Sarafina (FR), the betting favorite in the Arc earlier this month, is targeting the Breeders' Cup Turf.