Bob Baffert has six entries, including three in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Aidan O’Brien counters with 10 entries. And just like that with Wednesday’s pre-entries, lineups for the 14 Breeders’ Cup World Championships races are falling into place.

Magical-BC Entries
Magical missed last year’s Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita due to a fever. But the 2020 three-time Group 1 winner is the likely favorite for the Breeders’ Cup Turf. (Image: Caroline Norris)

All told, 201 horses pre-entered into the Nov. 6-7 racing festival at Keeneland.

Baffert’s powerful trio of Kentucky Derby winner Authentic, Awesome Again and Whitney winner Improbable and Pacific Classic champion Maximum Security comprise more than a quarter of the 11-horse Classic field. The $6 million Classic is the event’s flagship race.

Joining that trio are the likes of Belmont Stakes and Travers Stakes champion Tiz the Law, standout 7-year-old Tom’s d’Etat and Preakness Stakes winner Swiss Skydiver. That filly is pre-entered in the Classic, but likely will bow out and run the Distaff against her own gender.

That sets up a great showdown between Swiss Skydiver and Monomoy Girl.

Improbable First Among Equals in Powerhouse Field

Filling out that field is By My Standards, Global Campaign, Higher Power, Tacitus and Title Ready. After beating Maximum Security in the Awesome Again, Improbable sits as the current betting favorite in what is a loaded field. He’s +325 on Circa Sports’ Breeders’ Cup Futures board and 4/1 in Europe. TIz the Law is your second favorite at 9/2, while Authentic and Maximum Security sit at 5/1.

This is the second time Baffert sends three horses from his endless barn of stakes winners to the Classic starting gate. He sent four in 2017, when the event was at Del Mar. Entering 2014, the Classic was the lone high-profile race missing from Baffert’s resume. He rectified that oversight with Bayern, then captured the next two with American Pharoah and Arrogate.

Baffert’s other Breeders’ Cup contenders include Gamine (5/2 overseas) in the Filly & Mare Sprint. The talented 3-year-old allegedly tested positive for a substance that should have been out of her system before her third-place finish in the Sept. 4 Kentucky Oaks. Baffert cut the two-time Grade 1 winner’s distance back to seven furlongs. That’s why Gamine is here and not in the Distaff.

Princess Noor Reigns Over Strong Juvenile Fillies Field

His other powerhouse is Juvenile Fillies favorite Princess Noor, who destroyed her competitors by a combined 17 ¾ lengths in her three career races. Even with fellow Grade 1 winners Dayoutattheoffice, Simply Ravishing and Vequist, you can find her anywhere from 3/2 to 2/1 in Europe, according to Oddschecker.

Baffert’s sixth entry is Classier in the Juvenile. That’s a bit of a surprise, considering his highest-profile juvenile is Spielberg. But Baffert benched the $1 million purchase for the duration of the year after his also-ran finish in the American Pharoah Stakes last month at Santa Anita.

As for O’Brien, his star entries are multiple Grade 1 winner Magical and 3-year-old Mogul in the Turf, considered the second-most prestigious Breeders’ Cup race. The 5-year-old Magical captured three Group 1 wins in 2020 and is your 11/4 favorite in Europe. She finished second to Enable in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Turf.

Mogul, meanwhile, won the Grand Prix de Paris for his first major victory. He was one of O’Brien’s scratches from the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe due to the feed contamination episode.

Art Collector Seeks Atonement for Preakness Miss

O’Brien’s other entries include Circus Maximus, Lope Y Fernandez and Order of Australia in the Mile. He sends out Peaceful in the Filly & Mare Turf and Battleground in the Juvenile Turf. Mother Earth and Snowfall will go in the Juvenile Fillies Turf and Lipizanner in the Juvenile Turf Sprint.

Elsewhere, the Dirt Mile shapes up as one of the best races to watch and wager on. Even with standout Vekoma likely headed to the Sprint, you’ve got Art Collector, Complexity, War of Will and Knicks Go to handicap in an oversubscribed field. As the second-favorite, Art Collector finished a distant fourth to Swiss Skydiver in the Preakness.

Speaking of Vekoma, he leads a likely 11-horse field into that Sprint. There, Yaupon, C Z Rocket, Diamond Oops and the sizzling Nashville await.

The Mile is also oversubscribed, but bettors have the likes of Raging Bull, Uni, Kameko and Siskin to pick through in what is an international field of contenders. Expect the same in the Filly & Mare Turf, with Rushing Fall, Audarya, Mean Mary, Sistercharlie and Cayenne Pepper leading the parade.

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