Fortunately the wait for the 2016 Breeders' Cup World Championships is down to days. Pretty soon it will be hours, then minutes, then seconds. You get the picture, but still, we wait.
The wait as of this writing - not long after the post positions were set for the 13 races Monday afternoon at Santa Anita Park - is just four days. The action gets underway Friday, starting with an appetizer of four races topped by a potential blockbuster in the Breeders' Cup Distaff, before the main course of nine heats led by the Breeders' Cup Classic Saturday.
The races, worth a total of $28 million in purses and awards, drew large fields for the most part. All but two - the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile and Breeders' Cup Sprint - attracted double-digit fields. Full fields of 14 were drawn for four of the races - Friday's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf and Saturday's Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint and Breeders' Cup Mile.
The stars going into this year's Breeders' Cup are firmly established - Songbird, Beholder, Stellar Wind for Friday's $2 million Distaff and California Chrome, Arrogate and Frosted for Saturday's $6 million Classic.
They're not alone, however, with the likes of defending champions Tepin in the Mile, Wavell Avenue in the Filly and Mare Sprint, Mongolian Saturday in the Turf Sprint, Found in the Turf and last year's Sprint winner Runhappy in the Dirt Mile.
The action gets underway at 5:25 p.m. ET Friday with the $1 million Juvenile Turf leading the way. The Distaff caps the day Friday with a 7:35 p.m. post. Saturday's Breeders' Cup action begins with the $2 million 14 Hands Winery Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies at 3:05 p.m., with the Classic slated to go off at 8:35 p.m.
The races will be broadcast live on 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 fields, in post position order, for the Breeders' Cup races (past performances courtesy of Equibase):
Breeders' Cup Friday
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (5:25 p.m.): Lancaster Bomber, Keep Quiet, Channel Maker, Favorable Outcome, Made You Look, Big Score, J. S. Choice, Intelligence Cross, Wellabled, Bowies Hero, Good Samaritan, Rodaini, Oscar Performance, Ticonderoga (Also eligible: Kitten's Cat, Harbour Master). Past performances.
Las Vegas Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (6:05 p.m.): Vyjack, Tom's Ready, Dortmund, Point Piper, Accelerate, Texas Chrome, Runhappy, Tamarkuz, Gun Runner. Past performances.
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (6:50 p.m.): Hydrangea, Lull, New Money Honey, Spain Burg, Victory To Victory, Coasted, Intricately, Madam Dancealot, Cavale Doree, Happy Mesa, Rymska, La Force, Roly Poly, La Coronel (Also eligible: Con Te Partiro, Sweeping Paddy). Past performances.
Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (7:35 p.m.): Songbird, Land Over Sea, Curalina, Corona Del Inca, Stellar Wind, Forever Unbridled, I'm A Chatterbox, Beholder. Past performances.
Breeders' Cup Saturday
14 Hands Winery Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (3:05 p.m. ET): Colorful Charades, With Honors, Valadorna, Yellow Agate, Sweet Loretta, Champagne Room, Jamyson 'n Ginger, Dancing Rags, Union Strike, Noted And Quotes, Daddys Lil Darling, American Gal. Past performances.
Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (3:43 p.m.): Sea Calisi, Catch A Glimpse, Seventh Heaven, Avenge, Al's Gal, Zipessa, Sentiero Italia, Lady Eli, Ryans Charm, Kitcat, Queen's Trust, Pretty Perfect, Nuovo Record. Past performances.
TwinSpires Breeders' Cup Sprint (4:21 p.m.): Mind Your Biscuits, Drefong, Delta Bluesman, Joking, A.P. Indian, Lord Nelson, Masochistic, Noholdingback Bear, Limousine Liberal. Past performances.
Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (5:05 p.m.): Pure Sensation, Obviously, Mongolian Saturday, Home Of The Brave, Kargar, Calgary Cat, Suedois, Washington DC, A Lot, Ambitious Brew, Undrafted, Om, Holy Lute, Celestine (Also eligible: Lady Shipman, Green Mask). Past performances.
Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile (5:43 p.m.): Klimt, Syndergaard, Term Of Art, Theory, Classic Empire, Three Rules, Gormley, Star Empire, Practical Joke, Not This Time, Lookin At Lee. Past performances.
Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (6:22 p.m.): Ralis, Da Big Hoss, Ectot, Flintshire, Ashleyluvssugar, Mondialiste, Ulysses, Twilight Eclipse, Money Multiplier, Found, Texas Ryano, Highland Reel, Metaboss. Past performances.
Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (7:01 p.m.): Paola Queen, Haveougoneaway, Tara's Tango, Gomo, Wonder Gal, By The Moon, Gloryzapper, Carina Mia, Paulassilverlining, Wavell Avenue, Irish Jasper, Finest City, Spelling Again. Past performances. Past performances.
Breeders' Cup Mile (7:40 p.m.): What A View, Alice Springs, Spectre, Miss Temple City, Tourist, Photo Call, Dutch Connection, Tepin, Ironicus, Limato, Ring Weekend, Hit It A Bomb, Midnight Storm, Cougar Mountain. Past performances.
Breeders' Cup Classic (8:35 p.m.): Effinex, Frosted, Keen Ice, California Chrome, Win The Space, Melatonin, War Story, Shaman Ghost, Hoppertunity, Arrogate. Past performances.