By Richard Rosenblatt
As usual, it’s all about Bob — mostly.
Horses were pre-entered Wednesday for the 14 Breeders’ Cup races at Keeneland on Nov. 6-7, with Preakness-winning filly Swiss Skydiver cross-entered in the $6 million Classic and the $2 million Distaff.
The post-position draw is Monday (Nov. 2), and sometime before then owner Peter Callahan and trainer Kenny McPeek will have to declare which race their 3-year-old star will run in. The Distaff has been designated as her first preference.
Despite the filly drama, the Classic will be THE race of 2020 – the year of the COVID-19 pandemic that re-configured the racing schedule.
That brings us back to Bob, as in Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, as in Breeders’ Cup top-earning trainer at $30 million – with three Classic wins.
Baffert pre-entered three of his top horses in the Classic: likely favorite and Awesome Again (G1) winner Improbable, Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Authentic; and Saudi Cup and Pacific Classic (G1) winner Maximum Security.
Eleven horses were pre-entered in the 1 ¼-mile Classic, the showcase event likely to determine several Eclipse Award winners including Horse of the Year. Others entered were By My Standards, Global Campaign, Higher Power, Tacitus, Title Ready, Belmont Stakes (G1) and Travers (G1) winner Tiz the Law and Stephen Foster (G1) winner Tom’s d’Etat.
If Swiss Skydiver runs in the Distaff against her own sex, the Classic field would be reduced to 10. A field of 11 was pre-entered for the Distaff, including likely favorite Monomoy Girl, winner of three straight this year in her remarkable comeback from a two-year layoff.
The $4 million Turf (G1) has 11 pre-entries, including European runners Magical, Lord North, and Mehdaayih and top American turf horses Arklow and Channel Maker.
A full field of 14 was pre-entered for the $2 million Juvenile (G1), with one also-eligible. The likely favorite will be unbeaten Jackie’s Warrior for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen. The 2-year-old is 4-for-4, including victories in the Hopeful (G1) and the Champagne (G1).
Also pre-entered by Baffert are Gamine in the $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) and Princess Noor in the $2 million Juvenile Fillies (G1).
The $31 million Breeders’ Cup begins Friday with five races, all for 2-year-olds. On Saturday, the remaining nine races take place.
Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff
10th Race, Post Time 3:54 pm (ET)
The LONGINES BREEDERS’ CUP DISTAFF (GI) is a 1 1/8-mile race for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up.
The race carries a guaranteed purse of $2 million, including travel awards. Horses pre-entered are:
There’s A Chance Stable (Cameron Beatty), Paradise Farms Corp. (Peter Proscia) & David Staudacher
& Bethlehem Stables (Michael J. Caruso)
Total Horses in Race: 11
Harvey’s Lil Goil has first preference in the Filly & Mare Turf
Swiss Skydiver has second preference in the Classic
♦ denotes Breeders’ Cup Challenge Winner