McKinzie Draws Post Eight, Tabbed As 3-1 Morning Line Favorite For Breeders’ Cup Classic

by | 10.28.2019 | 8:27pm

Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman's McKinzie has been installed as the 3-1 morning-line favorite in a field of 11 3-year-olds and up for Saturday's $6 million Longines Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) to be run at 1 ¼ miles on the main track, the climax of the 36th Breeders' Cup World Championship races to be run Friday and Saturday at Santa Anita Park.

The Classic is the richest of 14 Championship races, worth more than $30 million in purses and awards, to be run over the two days at Santa Anita and will be televised live by NBCSN and NBC. The Classic will be broadcast live at 8:44 p.m. ET on NBC.

Five Championship races will be run on Future Stars Friday with all Breeders' Cup tests that day being for 2-year-olds. Highlighting the afternoon will be the $2 million TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) and the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), races that will determine early favoritism for the 2020 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1), respectively.

The 168 horses entered include nine also-eligibles. Included in the entries are two winners from last year's Championships at Churchill Downs: Sistercharlie (IRE) in the $2 million Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) and Stormy Liberal, the back-to-back winner of the $1 million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1).

Trained by three-time Classic winner Bob Baffert, McKinzie has compiled a 6-2-4-0 record in 2019 with the victories coming in the Alysheba (G2) at Churchill Downs and the Whitney (G1) at Saratoga.

Second in the Awesome Again (G1) at Santa Anita in his most recent start, McKinzie will be ridden by Joel Rosario and break from post position eight.

Co-second choices on the morning line at 4-1 are W.S. Farish's homebred Code of Honor and Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable's Vino Rosso.

Trained by Shug McGaughey, Code of Honor brings a three-race win streak into the Classic including Grade 1 scores in the Travers against 3-year-olds and the Jockey Club Gold Cup via disqualification of Vino Rosso in his first race against older rivals.

John Velazquez has the mount and will break from post position 11.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Vino Rosso won the Gold Cup (G1) at Santa Anita in May at the Classic distance. Irad Ortiz Jr. has the mount and will break from post position 10.

Adding a splash of intrigue into this year's Classic is the presence of Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider's 5-year-old mare Elate.

Coming on the 10th anniversary of Zenyatta becoming the first mare to win the Classic, the Bill Mott-trained Elate will be challenging the boys for the first time in her career, racing at a distance at which she never has lost in three tries. Listed at 6-1 on the morning line, Elate will break from post position six and be ridden by Jose Ortiz.

Here is the full field:

  1. Math Wizard – Saffie Joseph, Jr. – Ricardo Santana, Jr. – 30-1
  2. Seeking The Soul – Dallas Stewart – Brian Hernandez, Jr. – 20-1
  3. Owendale – Brad Cox – Javier Castellano – 15-1
  4. War of Will – Mark Casse – Tyler Gaffalione – 20-1
  5. Yoshida – Bill Mott – Mike Smith – 8-1
  6. Elate – Bill Mott – Jose Ortiz – 6-1
  7. Higher Power – John Sadler – Flavien Prat – 8-1
  8. McKinzie – Bob Baffert – Joel Rosario – 3-1
  9. Mongolian Groom – Enebish Ganbat – Abel Cedillo – 12-1
  10. Vino Rosso – Todd Pletcher – Irad Ortiz, Jr. – 4-1
  11. Code of Honor – Shug McGaughey – John Velazquez – 4-1

Bloom Racing Stable, Madaket Stable and Allen Racing's Midnight Bisou is the heaviest morning-line favorite of the Championships at 6-5 for the $2 million Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) in which she heads a field of 11 fillies and mares.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, Midnight Bisou was third in last year's Distaff at Churchill Downs and has not lost since. She is seven-for-seven in 2019 with her two most recent victories coming at the Distaff distance of 1 1/8 miles.

Mike Smith has the mount and will break from post position four.

Post positions for the Distaff are:

  1. Paradise Woods – John Shirreffs – Abel Cedillo – 5-1
  2. Ollie's Candy – John Sadler – Joel Rosario – 15-1
  3. Street Band – Larry Jones – Sophie Doyle – 10-1
  4. Midnight Bisou – Steve Asmussen – Mike Smith – 6-5
  5. Dunbar Road – Chad Brown – Jose Ortiz – 6-1
  6. Wow Cat – Chad Brown – Irad Ortiz, Jr. – 15-1
  7. Secret Spice – Richard Baltas – John Velazquez – 10-1
  8. La Force – Paddy Gallagher – Drayden Van Dyke – 30-1
  9. Serengeti Empress – Tom Amoss – Flavien Prat – 12-1
  10. Mo See Cal – Peter Miller – Paco Lopez – 30-1
  11. Blue Prize – Ignacio Correas – Joe Bravo – 6-1

The second richest race of the Championships, the $4 million Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) that drew a field of 12, features the fifth matchup of the weekend of runners from the powerhouse stables of Chad Brown and Aidan O'Brien.

Brown will send out Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence's Bricks and Mortar. Listed as the 9-5 favorite on the morning line, Bricks and Mortar has won his past six starts dating to 2018, but on Saturday will be testing the 1 ½-mile distance the first time. Irad Ortiz Jr. has the mount and will break from post position nine.

O'Brien counters with two 3-year-olds, Group 1 winner Anthony Van Dyck (IRE) (the 3-1 second choice)  and Mount Everest (IRE) (15-1). Ryan Moore has the call on Anthony Van Dyck and break from post five while Wayne Lordan will be aboard Mount Everest and break from post four.

Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith own Anthony Van Dyck and are joined in the partnership by Flaxman Holdings Limited on Mount Everest.

Post positions for the Turf are as follows:

  1. Zulu Alpha – Mike Maker – Jose Ortiz – 20-1
  2. Acclimate – Phil D'Amato – Martin Garcia – 20-1
  3. United – Richard Mandella – Flavien Prat – 20-1
  4. Mount Everest – Aidan O'Brien – Wayne Lordan – 15-1
  5. Anthony Van Dyck – Aidan O'Brien – Ryan Moore – 3-1
  6. Channel Cat – Todd Pletcher – Luis Saez – 15-1
  7. Alounak – Waldemar Hickst – Clement Lecoeuvre – 20-1
  8. Bandua – Jack Sisterson – Tyler Gaffalione – 20-1
  9. Bricks And Mortar – Chad Brown – Irad Ortiz, Jr. – 9-5
  10. Old Persian – Charles Appleby – William Buick – 4-1
  11. Arklow – Brad Cox – Javier Castellano – 12-1
  12. Channel Maker – Bill Mott – John Velazquez – 10-1

Brown and O'Brien will square off again in the $2 million TVG Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) with slight favoritism going to the O'Brien-trained Circus Maximus (IRE) at 3-1 in the field of 14 with two also-eligibles.

A two-time Group 1 winner in Europe for the ownership of Flaxman Holdings Limited and Smith, Magnier and Tabor, Circus Maximus won the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (G1) in his most recent start Sept. 8. Ryan Moore has the mount on Circus Maximus who will break from post position nine.

Brown counters with Uni (GB), who comes into the Mile off a course record-smashing victory in the First Lady (G1) at Keeneland on Oct. 5. The 5-year-old mare, listed as the co-second choice at 7-2 on the morning line, will be ridden by Joel Rosario and break from post position 11.

The other co-second choice at 7-2 is the 4-year-old filly Got Stormy, who beat the boys in the Fourstardave Handicap (G1) at Saratoga in August. Owned by Gary Barber, Got Stormy is trained by Mark Casse who won the Mile in 2015 with the 4-year-old filly Tepin.

Tyler Gaffalione has the call on Got Stormy and break from post position six.

Post positions for the Mile are:

  1. Suedois – David O'Meara – Javier Castellano – 20-1
  2. Lucullan – Kiaran McLaughlin – Luis Saez – 12-1
  3. Space Traveller – Richard Fahey – Daniel Tudhope – 12-1
  4. Trais Fluors – Ken Condon – William James Lee – 20-1
  5. True Valour – Simon Callaghan – Drayden Van Dyke – 20-1
  6. Got Stormy – Mark Casse – Tyler Gaffalione – 7-2
  7. Bolo – Carla Gaines – Julien Leparoux – 30-1
  8. El Tormenta – Gail Cox – Eurico Rosa da Silva – 12-1
  9. Circus Maximus – Aidan O'Brien – Ryan Moore – 3-1
  10. Without Parole – Chad Brown – Irad Ortiz, Jr. – 20-1
  11. Uni – Chad Brown – Joel Rosario – 7-2
  12. Lord Glitters – David O'Meara – Jamie Spencer – 12-1
  13. Hey Gaman – James Tate – Frankie Dettori – 12-1

Five other Championship races are on the Saturday program topped by the $2 million Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) and the $2 million Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1).

White Birch Farm's Sistercharlie (IRE) will try to become the first horse to win the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf in consecutive years when she headlines a field of 12 for the 1 1/4-mile race.

Owned by Peter Brant and trained by Brown, Sistercharlie has compiled a 9-7-2-0 mark since coming to the United States in 2017 and has won her past six starts, all in Grade 1 races. Listed at 8-5 on the morning line, Sistercharlie will break from post position two and be ridden by John Velazquez.

Among her challengers is the O'Brien-trained Fleeting (IRE). Multiple Group stakes-placed in 2019, Fleeting, the 6-1 second choice, will be ridden by Ryan Moore and break from post position three.

Post positions for the Filly & Mare Turf are:

  1. Iridessa – Joseph O'Brien – Wayne Lordan – 8-1
  2. Sistercharlie – Chad Brown – John Velazquez – 8-5
  3. Fleeting – Aidan O'Brien – Ryan Moore – 6-1
  4. Billesdon Brook – Richard Hannon – Sean Levey – 10-1
  5. Mirth – Phil D'Amato – Mike Smith – 20-1
  6. Thais – Chad Brown – Manny Franco – 30-1
  7. Vasilika – Dan Ward – Flavien Prat – 8-1
  8. Castle Lady – Henri-Alex Pantall – Mickael Barzalona – 15-1
  9. Villa Marina – Carlos Laffon Parias – Olivier Peslier – 8-1
  10. Mrs. Sippy – Graham Motion – Joel Rosario – 8-1
  11. Just Wonderful – Aidan O'Brien – William Buick – 20-1
  12. Fanny Logan – John Gosden – Frankie Dettori – 15-1

Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt's Mitole is the 9-5 morning-line favorite for the 10-horse Sprint (G1) going six furlongs that is one of the most anticipated races of the Championships.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, Mitole has three Grade 1 victories in 2019 including a victory over Classic favorite McKinzie in the Metropolitan Handicap. In his most recent start, Mitole won the Forego (G1) at Saratoga by three lengths.

Never worse than third in 13 career starts, Mitole will be ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr. and break from post position four.

Three horses are listed as 4-1 second choices beginning with Raymond Malone's Imperial Hint who has chased Roy H in the past two editions of the race with second- and third-place finishes. Javier Castellano rides Imperial Hint and will break from post position nine.

Also at 4-1 are Hronis Racing's Catalina Cruiser and Crawford Farms Racing's Shancelot.

Catalina Cruiser, a winner of seven of eight career starts and undefeated at Santa Anita, is trained by John Sadler. Joel Rosario has the mount and will break from post position one.

Shancelot has won three of five starts and comes off a narrow loss to Omaha Beach in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1) on Oct. 5. Trained by Jorge Navarro, Shancelot will be ridden by Jose Ortiz and exit post six.

Post positions for the Sprint are:

  1. Catalina Cruiser – John Sadler – Joel Rosario – 4-1
  2. Hog Creek Hustle – Vickie Foley – Mike Smith – 20-1
  3. Firenze Fire – Jason Servis – Irad Ortiz, Jr. – 12-1
  4. Mitole – Steve Amussen – Ricardo Santana, Jr. – 8-5
  5. Engage – Steve Asmussen – John Velazquez – 15-1
  6. Shancelot – Jorge Navarro – Jose Ortiz – 4-1
  7. Whitmore – Ron Moquett – Flavien Prat – 15-1
  8. Landeskog – Doug O'Neill – Abel Cedillo – 12-1
  9. Imperial Hint – Luis Carvajal, Jr. – Javier Castellano – 4-1
  10. Matera Sky – Hideyuki Mori – Yutaka Take – 30-1

The $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) going seven furlongs drew a field of nine headlined by LNJ Foxwoods' Covfefe and Blue Devil Racing Stable's Come Dancing.

A winner of five of seven starts, Covfefe's biggest victory came in the Test (G1) at Saratoga. Trained by Brad Cox, the 3-year-old Covfefe (2-1) will be ridden by Joel Rosario and break from post position one.

Carlos Martin trains Come Dancing, who has posted daylight victories in the Ballarina (G1) and Gallant Bloom (G2) in her past two starts. Listed at 5-2 on the morning line, Come Dancing will break from post position four under Javier Castellano.

Post positions for the Filly & Mare Sprint are:

  1. Covfefe – Brad Cox – Joel Rosario
  2. Danuska's My Girl – Dan Ward – Geovanni Franco
  3. Heavenhasmynikki – Bob Hess – Ricardo Santana, Jr.
  4. Come Dancing – Carlos Martin – Javier Castellano
  5. Lady Ninja – Richard Baltas – Drayden Van Dyke
  6. Bellafina – Simon Callaghan – Flavien Prat
  7. Selcourt – John Sadler – Luis Saez
  8. Dawn The Destroyer – Kiaran McLaughlin – Tyler Gaffalione
  9. Spiced Perfection – Peter Miller – John Velazquez

Omaha Beach, the morning-line favorite for this year's Kentucky Derby, and Improbable, the actual favorite for the Derby, headline a field of 10 for the $1 million Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1).

Trained by Richard Mandella, Fox Hill Farms' Omaha Beach was scratched days before the Derby and did not return to the races until Oct. 5 when he won the Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1). Mike Smith has the mount on the 8-5 morning-line favorite who will break from post position five.

WinStar Farm, China Horse Club International Limited and Starlight Racing Stable's Improbable, placed fourth in the Kentucky Derby, has won one of six starts this year and finished a length behind Omaha Beach in the Arkansas Derby (G1). Listed at 3-1 on the morning line, Improbable will break from post position two under Rafael Bejarano.

Post positions for the Dirt Mile are:

  1. Giant Expectations – Peter Eurton – Jose Ortiz – 12-1
  2. Improbable – Bob Baffert – Rafael Bejarano – 3-1
  3. Spun to Run – Juan Guerrero – Irad Ortiz, Jr. – 6-1
  4. Mr. Money – Bret Calhoun – Gabriel Saez – 6-1
  5. Omaha Beach – Richard Mandella – Mike Smith – 8-5
  6. Ambassadorial – Jane Chapple-Hyam – Jamie Spencer – 30-1
  7. Coal Front – Todd Pletcher – Javier Castellano – 6-1
  8. Blue Chipper – Kim Young-Kwan – Flavien Prat – 20-1
  9. Diamond Oops – Pat Biancone – Julien Leparoux – 15-1
  10. Snapper Sinclair – Steve Asmussen – Ricardo Santana, Jr. – 30-1

The main storyline for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at five furlongs is Rockingham Ranch and David Bernsen's Stormy Liberal's bid for a third consecutive victory in the race. Trained by Peter Miller, Stormy Liberal is listed at 8-1 on the morning line with John Velazquez to ride out of post position six.

Favoritism at 9-2 for the field of 12 goes to Phillip Wood and Jim Hailey's Eddie Haskell. Trained by Mark Glatt, Eddie Haskell has not been worse than third in his past 13 starts dating to June 2018. Joel Rosario has the mount on Eddie Haskell, who will break from post position 10.

Post positions for the Turf Sprint are:

  1. Totally Boss – Rusty Arnold – Jose Ortiz
  2. Pure Sensation – Christophe Clement – Paco Lopez
  3. Imprimis – Joe Orseno – Frankie Dettori
  4. Shekky Shebaz – Jason Servis – Irad Ortiz, Jr.
  5. Stubbins – Doug O'Neill – Flavien Prat
  6. Stormy Liberal – Peter Miller – John Velazquez
  7. Leinster – Rusty Arnold – Tyler Gaffalione
  8. Legends of War – Doug O'Neill – Rafael Bejarano
  9. Final Frontier – Tom Albertrani – Luis Saez
  10. Eddie Haskell – Mark Glatt – Joel Rosario
  11. Om – Peter Miller – Manny Franco
  12. Belvoir Bay – Peter Miller – Javier Castellano

A trio of highly regarded 2-year-olds headlines a field of nine entered for the $1 million TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) to be run at 1 1/16 miles.

Albaugh Family Stables' Dennis Moment lost his rider in his debut, but has come back with resounding victories for trainer Dale Romans. Listed at 8-5 on the morning line, Dennis' Moment will break from post one with Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard.

SF Racing, Starlight Racing Stable, Madaket Stables, Fred Hertrich III, John Fielding and Golconda Stables' Eight Rings has posted two daylight victories before a try in the Del Mar Futurity (G1) in which he lost his rider. Trained by Bob Baffert, Eight Rings (2-1) will be ridden by John Velazquez and break from post six.

Also figuring to draw support is Godolphin's undefeated Maxfield. Trained by Brendan Walsh, Maxfield followed up his maiden victory with a 5 ½-length romp in the Breeders' Futurity (G1) at Keeneland. Listed at 3-1 on the morning line, Maxfield will be ridden by Jose Ortiz from post nine.

Post positions for the Juvenile are:

  1. Dennis' Moment – Dale Romans – Irad Ortiz, Jr. – 8-5
  2. Wrecking Crew – Peter Miller – Paco Lopez – 20-1
  3. Shoplifted – Steve Asmussen – Ricardo Santana, Jr. – 20-1
  4. Storm the Court – Peter Eurton – Flavien Prat – 20-1
  5. Scabbard – Eddie Kenneally – Mike Smith – 8-1
  6. Eight Rings – Bob Baffert – John Velazquez – 2-1
  7. Anneau d'Or – Blaine Wright – John Hernandez – 15-1
  8. Full Flat – Hideyuki Mori – Yutaka Take – 30-1
  9. Maxfield – Brendan Walsh – Jose Ortiz – 3-1

The $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) to be run at 1 1/16 miles has a stellar quartet vying for top billing.

Favoritism on the morning line at 3-1 is Kaleem Shah's Donna Veloce who broke her maiden at first asking at Santa Anita on Sept. 28 by 9 ¼ lengths.

Trained by Simon Callaghan, Donna Veloce will be ridden by Flavien Prat and break from post position one.

Three fillies are listed at 7-2 beginning with Baoma Corporation's Bast. Trained by Bob Baffert, the winner of the Chandelier (G1) here will break from post position six with John Velazquez in the saddle.

Invading from Kentucky is the undefeated British Idiom. The Brad Cox-trained British Idiom won the Alcibiades (G1) at Keeneland in her most recent start. Javier Castellano has the mount and will exit post four.

Sporting a similar resume is Alex and JoAnn Lieblong's Wicked Whisper. A perfect two-for-two with her most recent victory coming in the Frizette (G1), Wicked Whisper is trained by Steve Asmussen. Wicked Whisper will break from post position seven under Joel Rosario.

Completing Friday's lineup is:

$1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf-Presented by Coolmore America (Ire) (G1) —This the first of five matchups this weekend between the Brown and O'Brien stables. Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith's Arizona, trained by O'Brien, is the 5-2 morning-line favorite over the Brown-trained Structor (5-1) who is undefeated in two starts for Jeff Drown and Don Rachel. The one-mile test drew a field of 14 with one also-eligible.

$1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) — Flaxman Holdings Limited's Group 1 winner Albigna (IRE) is the lukewarm 9-2 morning-line favorite in a field of 14. Trained by Mrs. John Harrington, Albigna will be ridden by Shane Foley and break from post position nine.

$1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2) —It is trainer Wesley Ward vs. the world in the five-furlong dash that attracted a field of 12 with four also-eligibles. Breeze Easy's undefeated Four Wheel Drive (3-1) and David Mowat's Kimari (7-2) top the three-pronged Ward arsenal that also features the undefeated Cambria (12-1) who is owned by Stonestreet Stables.

Twitter Twitter
Paulick Report on Instagram