2020 Breeders' Cup primer

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September 11th, 2020

The final month of Breeders’ Cup prep races is on the horizon. But, before those begin, let’s look back on the "Win and You’re In" season so far. 

Here’s your handy guide to who has qualified, what they have done since, and who we can expect to see at Keeneland the first weekend in November.


Three Bob Baffert trainees have earned "Win and You’re In" berths.

He has kept Pacific Classic (G1) winner Maximum Security and Whitney (G1) winner Improbable apart in their prep schedules. Jay Privman of the Daily Racing Form reported August 23 that both were under consideration for the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) and the Awesome Again (G1).

Baffert also trains Authentic, who earned his ticket in the Haskell (G1). He most recently won the Kentucky Derby (G1) Sept. 5.

Tom’s d’Etat, who earned his Classic bid in the Stephen Foster (G1), is expected to train up to the race. Other horses who have earned "Win and You’re In" berths to the Classic include February Stakes (G1) winner Mozu Ascot and Juddmonte International (G1) winner Ghaiyyath.


Midnight Bisou, second in this race last year, earned her return bid in the Fleur de Lis (G2). She is working at Saratoga; expect a final prep in the Spinster (G1) at Keeneland October 4.

Personal Ensign (G1) winner Vexatious and Ogden Phipps (G1) winner She’s a Julie were fifth and sixth behind Monomoy Girl in the La Troienne (G1) at Churchill Downs on September 4.

Alabama (G1) winner Swiss Skydiver ran second in the Kentucky Oaks (G1) that same day. Clement Hirsch (G1) winner Fighting Mad is working regularly at Del Mar. She may contest the Zenyatta (G2) Sept. 27 at Santa Anita.

Dirt Mile

Vekoma earned a bid with his victory in the Met Mile (G1). This gives trainer George Weaver and owners R. A. Hill Stable and Gatsas Stables options. Earlier this year, Vekoma already earned a bid to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint in the Carter (G1).

Vekoma returned to the Saratoga worktab Sept. 7 and is nominated to the Vosburgh (G1) at Belmont Sept. 26.

C Z Rocket, winner of the Pat O’Brien (G2), has also earned a Dirt Mile bid. However, trainer Peter Miller said after that race that he might shorten up and target the Sprint instead.


In addition to Vekoma, three-year-old Collusion Illusion earned a bid when he beat older horses in the Bing Crosby (G1). He is working regularly at Del Mar and expected to run in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G2) September 27.

Filly and Mare Sprint

Serengeti Empress earned her bid by winning the Ballerina (G1) at Saratoga. After that race Amoss suggested she may start once more before the Filly and Mare Sprint. She returned with a heroic second in the Derby City Distaff (G1) Sept. 5 at Churchill Downs.


Red King earned a berth by winning the Del Mar Handicap (G2). He may contest the John Henry Turf Championship (G2) before going to Keeneland.

Sword Dancer (G1) winner Channel Maker is not definite for the Breeders’ Cup, though trainer Bill Mott did not rule it out, especially if a soggy track is likely.

2018 Breeders’ Cup Turf champion Enable earned a return berth in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth (G1); she is pointing to the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1) on Oct. 4.

Lord North, who won the Prince of Wales’s (G1), will return in the Irish Champion (G1) on Sept. 12.

Não Da Mais, winner of the Gran Premio International Carlos Pellegrini (G1), and Chrono Genesis, winner of the Takarazuka Kinen (G1), have also earned bids.

Filly and Mare Turf

Three fillies and mares have earned bids to this race so far, all overseas.

Yorkshire Oaks (G1) winner Love, the leading European three-year-old filly, is expected to show down with Enable in the Arc.

Almond Eye has raced just once since earning her berth in the Victoria Mile (G1). She ran second to Gran Alegria in the Yasuda Kinen on June 7.

Queen Supreme won the Paddock (G1) January 11. She has hit the board in two of her three races since, most recently running third in the Princess Charlene Empress Club (G1) June 27.


Halladay, who earned his berth in the Fourstardave (G1), is expected to target the Mile. After the race, trainer Todd Pletcher suggested the Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) as a possibility.

Raging Bull, who earned his bid in the Shoemaker Mile (G1), was most recently fifth behind Halladay in the Fourstardave.

Prix Jacques le Marois (G1) winner Palace Pier is targeting the Queen Elizabeth II (G1) Oct. 17, British Champions Day.

Gran Alegria was last seen in his "Win and You’re In" triumph, the Yasuda Kinen (G1) June 7.

Vardy, who won the first Mile berth of the year in the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate (G1), last ran July 25. He finished 10th in the Durban July (G1).

Mohaather, winner of the Sussex (G1), retired Aug. 25 due to injury.

Turf Sprint

Battaash, who earned his berth in the Nunthorpe (G1), is pointing to the Prix de l’Abbaye (G1) on Oct. 4. The Thoroughbred Daily News reported that he may target the Breeders’ Cup if he comes out well.

Hello Youmzain, who clinched his bid in the Diamond Jubilee (G1) at Royal Ascot, most recently ran fifth in the Haydock Sprint Cup (G1) Sept. 5. Oleksandra won a berth in the Jaipur (G1), though came out of that race with a fractured left front splint bone and has not returned to the worktab.


So far, the only "Win and You’re In" berth has been awarded to Sittin On Go, surprise winner of the Iroquois Stakes (G3).

Trainer Dale Romans remarked after the victory that they were “on to the Breeders’ Cup”, though Romans and owner Albaugh Family Stables have not confirmed whether he will go straight there or take one more prep.

Juvenile Fillies

Romans and Albaugh Family Stables also have the only berth in the Juvenile Fillies so far, with their Pocahontas (G3) winner Girl Daddy. Romans suggested he wanted to go straight to the Breeders’ Cup.

Juvenile Turf Sprint

Campanelle, trained by Wesley Ward, earned her berth in the Prix Morny (G1). Though that earned her a spot in the Juvenile Turf Sprint, her connections are also considering stretching her to a mile for the Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1). The Lir Jet, who won the Norfolk (G2) at Royal Ascot, most recently ran second in the Phoenix (G1) at the Curragh on August 9.

Juvenile Turf

The first berth will be awarded September 12 in the Champions Juvenile (G2) at Leopardstown.

Juvenile Fillies Turf

The first berth will be awarded September 13 in the Moyglare Stud (G1) at the Curragh.