Boosted by a new race that proved extremely popular at the entry box, a record-breaking 221 horses have been pre-entered for the 2018 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at on November 2-3 at Churchill Downs.
The complete fields were revealed on Wednesday, October 24th, just over a week before the much-anticipated championships will begin. The complete lists of pre-entrants for each race can be viewed on the Breeders’ Cup website.
We’ll have lots of handicapping previews coming during the next week, but in the meantime, let’s take a quick “by the numbers” look at the Breeders’ Cup pre-entries….
2 – The number of Kentucky Oaks winners set to face off in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, those being Abel Tasman (2017) and Monomoy Girl (2018). Their matchup will mark the first meeting of two Kentucky Oaks winners at the Breeders’ Cup since 1999.
5 – The number of past Breeders’ Cup champions pre-entered in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup, those being Oscar Performance (2016 Juvenile Turf, entered in the Mile), Mendelssohn (2017 Juvenile Turf, entered in the Classic), Roy H (2017 Sprint, entered in the Sprint), Stormy Liberal (2017 Turf Sprint, entered in the Turf Sprint) and Talismanic (2017 Turf, entered in the Turf).
6 – The number of Breeders’ Cup pre-entrants sired by North America’s perennial leading turf sire Kitten’s Joy, whose top runner—Roaring Lion—is ironically expected to run on dirt in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
8 – The number of international pre-entrants in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, including seven from Europe. Leading the charge is the two-time Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) winner Enable, who could start as one of the shortest-priced favorites of the championships.
9 – The number of horses pre-entered by the two-time Triple Crown-winning trainer Bob Baffert, including the likely Breeders’ Cup Juvenile favorite Game Winner and the leading Breeders’ Cup Distaff contender Abel Tasman.
11 – The number of horses pre-entered in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, the least of any Breeders’ Cup race.
18 – The number of horses pre-entered by Ireland’s leading trainer Aidan O’Brien, who has already won a dozen previous Breeders’ Cup races. In his ongoing quest to win the Classic, O’Brien will saddle Mendelssohn in the finale of the championships.
19 – The number of horses pre-entered in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, including the four-time Grade 1 winner Accelerate, the champion West Coast, and the European sensation Roaring Lion.
28 – The number of horses pre-entered in the inaugural running of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, the most of any Breeders’ Cup race. Only twelve will be allowed to start.
41 – The number of horses trainer John Sadler has saddled in previous renewals of the Breeders’ Cup. Sadler has yet to reach the winner’s circle in a Breeders’ Cup event, but he’ll send out two probable favorites this year: Catalina Cruiser in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile and Accelerate in the Classic.
51 – The number of international raiders pre-entered in the fourteen Breeders’ Cup races, representing 23% of all pre-entrants.
30,000,000 – The total amount of purse money that will be distributed among the fourteen races, including $6,000,000 in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.