The Breeders’ Cup comes “home” to Kentucky next week and there’s record interest for the 2018 World Championships at Churchill Downs. A record 221 horses, including 51 overseas runners, were pre-entered for the Nov. 2-3 Breeders’ Cup that features 14 races worth a record $30 million in purses.
The number of pre-entries is a sharp increase from the 187 pre-entered for last year’s inaugural edition at Del Mar, which featured 13 races. The addition of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint swelled the program to 14 races and is part of a five-race Championship Friday card exclusively for 2-year-olds. The remaining nine races, led by the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, will be run Saturday.
Other highlights of the two-day event include the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile being run Saturday for the first time in its 12 runnings and the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff being run Saturday for the first time since 2007.
Twelve of the races were oversubscribed, Ireland’s Aidan O’Brien pre-entered 18 horses, the most among trainers, and Coolmore partnerships lead all owners with 20 horses pre-entered.
Five former or defending champions were pre-entered – Mendelssohn (2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf), Oscar Performance (2016 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf)), Roy H (2017 TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint), Stormy Liberal (2017 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint) and Talismanic (2017 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf).
Friday’s Breeders’ Cup races will air on the NBC Sports Network from 3-7 p.m. EDT with the start of Saturday’s card also on NBCSN from 1-3:30 p.m., with the remainder of the card on NBC from 3:30-6 p.m. The races will also be broadcast through the Horse Racing Radio Network from 3-6:30 p.m. Friday and noon to 6 p.m. Saturday.
Final entries for the 14 Breeders’ Cup races are due at 10 a.m. Monday and post positions will be drawn that day. A maximum of 14 starters are allowed in all but the Juvenile Turf Sprint, which is limited to 12.
Here’s a look at the pre-entries for each of the 14 races:
Breeders’ Cup Friday
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint. $1 million. 3:21 p.m. ET.
Bulletin, Its Gonna Hurt, Pocket Dynamo, Queen Of Bermuda, Sergei Prokofiev, Shang Shang Shang, So Perfect, Soldier’s Call, Stillwater Cove, Strike Silver, Uncle Benny, Well Done Fox. Not selected and listed in order of preference: Chelsea Cloisters, Moonlight Romance, Big Drink Of Water, Comedy, Van Beethoven, Legends Of War, Stellar Agent, Whooping Jay, Mae Never No, Backtohisroots, Never No More, Tracksmith, Dragic, Order And Law, Sovereign Impact, All About It.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. $1 million. 4 p.m.
Belle Laura, Concrete Rose, East, Hermosa, Just Wonderful, La Pelosa, Lily’s Candle, My Gal Betty, Newspaperofrecord, Pakhet, So Perfect, Summering, The Mackem Bullet, Varenka. Not selected and listed in order of preference: Stellar Agent, Lady Pracealot, Pivottina, Princesa Carolina, Winning Envelope.
Tito’s Handmade Vodka Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. $2 million. 4:40 p.m.
Baby Nina, Bellafina, Cassies Dreamer, Cookie Dough, Jaywalk, Reflect, Restless Rider, Serengeti Empress, Sippican Harbor, Splashy Kisses, Vibrance.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. $1 million. 5:22 p.m.
Anthony Van Dyck, Arthur Kitt, Broome, Current, Forty Under, Henley’s Joy, King Of Speed, Line Of Duty, Marie’s Diamond, Opry, Somelikeitbrown, The Black Album, Uncle Benny, War Of Will. Not selected and listed in order of preference: Much Better, Louder Than Bombs, Bulletin, Tracksmith, Order And Law, Flying Scotsman, Empire Of War, Pico Entry.
Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. $2 million. 6:05 p.m.
Code Of Honor, Complexity, Dueling, Game Winner, Gunmetal Gray, Knicks Go, Mind Control, Mr. Money, Signalman, Standard Deviation, Tight Ten, Topper T, Trophy Chaser, Well Defined. Not selected and listed in order of preference: Derby Date.
Breeders’ Cup Saturday
Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. $1 million. Noon
Anonymity, Chalon, Dream Tree, Finley’sluckycharm, Golden Mischief, Highway Star, Kirby’s Penny, Marley’s Freedom, Mia Mischief, Miss Sunset, Selcourt, Shamrock Rose, Skye Diamonds, Stormy Embrace. Not selected and listed in order of preference: Mopotism, Happy Like A Fool, Dream Pauline, Bixby Lou.
Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. $1 million. 12:38 p.m.
Bucchero, Chanteline, Conquest Tsunami, Disco Partner, Havana Grey, Hembree, Lost Treasure, Rainbow Heir, Richard’s Boy, Ruby Notion, Storm Liberal, Vision Perfect, Will Call, World Of Trouble. Not selected and listed in order of preference: Pay Any Price, Extravagant Kid, Blind Ambition, El Astronaute, Insta Erma, B Squared.
Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. $1 million. 1:16 p.m.
Awesome Slew, Bravazo, Catalina Cruiser, City Of Light, Firenze Fire, Giant Expectations, Isotherm, Limousine Liberal, Lone Sailor, Promises Fulfilled, Seeking The Soul, Seven Trumpets, Warrior’s Club, Whitmore. Not selected and listed in order of preference: Trigger Warning, Dak Attack.
Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf. $2 million. 2:04 p.m.
A Raving Beauty, Athena, Eziyra, Fourstar Crook, Magic Wand, Magical, Mom’s On Strike, Paved, Princess Yaiza, Santa Monica, Sistercharlie, Smart Choice, Thais, Wild Illusion. Not selected and listed in order of preference: Fuhriously Kissed.
TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint. $2 million. 2:46 p.m.
Always Sunshine, Distinctive B, Firenze Fire, Happy Like A Fool, Imperial Hint, Limousine Liberal, Mind Your Biscuits, Mr. Crow, Promises Fulfilled, Roy H, Seven Trumpets, Warrior’s Club, Whitmore, X Y Jet. Not selected and listed in order of preference: B Squared.
Breeders’ Cup Mile. $2 million. 3:36 p.m.
A Raving Beauty, Analyze It, Catapult, Expert Eye, Gustav Klimt, Happily, Hunt, I Can Fly, Lightning Spear, Next Shares, One Master, Oscar Performance, Polydream, Sharp Samurai. Not selected and listed in order of preference: Mustashry, Almanaar, Divisidero, Clemmie, Qurbaan, Great Wide Open, Hembree.
Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff. $2 million. 4:16 p.m.
Abel Tasman, Blue Prize, Champagne Problems, Fuhriously Kissed, La Force, Midnight Bisou, Monomoy Girl, Mopotism, Vale Dori, Verve’s Tale, Wonder Gadot, Wow Cat.
Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf. $4 million. 4:56 p.m.
Arklow, Channel Maker, Crystal Ocean, Enable, Glorious Empire, Hi Happy, Hunting Horn, Magical, Quarteto de Cordas, Roaring Lion, Robert Bruce, Sadler’s Joy, Talismanic, Waldgeist. Not selected and listed in order of preference: Liam The Charmer.
Breeders’ Cup Classic. $6 million. 5:44 p.m.
Accelerate, Axelrod, Catholic Boy, City Of Light, Discreet Lover, Lone Sailor, McKinzie, Mendelssohn, Mind Your Biscuits, Pavel, Roaring Lion, Thunder Snow, West Coast, Yoshida, Bravazo, Gunnevera, Seeking The Soul, Collected, Toast Of New York.