The stars will be out in force in less than two weeks time when the Breeders' Cup World Championships returns to Santa Anita Park for a record ninth time and for the sixth time since 2008. Pre-entries for the 13 Breeders' Cup races were announced Wednesday and the group of 185 includes the likes of California Chrome, Tepin, Arrogate, Songbird, Stellar Wind and Beholder along with a sizable contingent from overseas.
Seven of the races were oversubscribed with more than 14 pre-entries, including the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint with 28 and the Breeders' Cup Mile with 23. A maximum of 14 horses are allowed in 12 of the Breeders' Cup races, with the Dirt Mile limited to 12 starters.
The other races that oversubscribed were the Juvenile Turf (19), Juvenile Fillies Turf (21), Filly and Mare Turf (16), Turf (17) and Filly and Mare Sprint (17).
Nearly all of the Breeders' Cup races will be shown on the NBC Sports Network on cable Friday (5-8 p.m. ET) and Saturday (2:30-8 p.m. ET), with the Classic broadcast on NBC from 8-9 p.m. ET. The races will also be broadcast on the radio through the Horse Racing Radio Network from 5-8 p.m. Friday and 3-9 p.m. Saturday.
The headlining $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic attracted 14 pre-entries, led by California Chrome, Metropolitan Handicap and Whitney winner Frosted, Travers winner Arrogate and Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist.
California Chrome, North America's all-time leading earner with a bankroll of $13,432,650, will attempt to lock up Horse of the Year honors and improve on his third-place finish in the 2014 Classic. He's won all five of his starts this year, including the $10 million Dubai World Cup in March and the Grade 1 Pacific Classic in August.
- Past performances for the Breeders' Cup Classic.
Champion Tepin is one of several defending champions pre-entered and she headlines the overflow field for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile along with a strong international contingent led by Alice Springs, Mondialiste and Spectre. Other top threats from the U.S. include Ironicus, Miss Temple City and Tourist.
- Past performances for the Breeders' Cup Mile.
Defending champ and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Found is among the 17 pre-entered for the $4 million Breeders' Cup Turf, although the 4-year-old filly appears more likely to start on dirt against males in the Classic. That leaves multiple 2016 Grade 1 winner and 2014 runner-up Flintshire as the probable favorite, against the likes of Ectot, Highland Reel, Money Multiplier and Ulysses.
- Past performances for the Breeders' Cup Turf.
The first two finishers in the Grade 1 Front Runner - Gormley and Klimt - take on the first two from the Grade 1 Champagne - Practical Joke and Syndergaard - in the $2 million Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile. The loaded race for 2-year-olds also features the 1-2 finishers from the Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity in Classic Empire and Looking At Lee and the promising duo of Not This Time and Theory.
- Past performances for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
- Past performances for the 14 Hands Winery Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.
- Past performances for the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf.
- Past performances for the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.
- Past performances for the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.
- Past performances for the Twin Spires Breeders' Cup Sprint.
Breeders' Cup Friday
Easily the most anticipated race of the weekend is the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff, which anchors a four-pack of championship races Friday.
The Distaff features undefeated champion Songbird, last year's champion 3-year-old filly Stellar Wind, three-time champion Beholder and Grade 1 winners Forever Unbridled, I'm A Chatterbox, Curalina and Carina Mia.
- Past performances for the Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff.
- Past performances for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.
- Past performances for the Las Vegas Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.
- Past performances for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.
- All past performances courtesy of Equibase.