Field of Potential Winners for the 2019 Breeder’s Cup Classic

Written By Cheryle Kaus on October 9, 2019 - Last Updated on January 25, 2020

Is there a specific horse that you think will be the winner when it comes to next month’s $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park?

It’s nearly impossible to eliminate any of the contenders that will make their way to the starting gate on November 2, 2019 in a horse racing event that usually comes with implications for Horse of the Year.

Obviously, there is a significant number of automatic qualifiers that will participate in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. S

ome of them might be worthy, while others not so much, but all of them are definitely Grade 1 winners at the end of the day. There is always a handful of horses with the potential to produce one spectacular run that will make history.

However, this year’s field certainly lacks the necessities to produce a star.

In 2018, when Justify retired after his Triple Crown campaign, no one was in doubt regarding the Horse of the Year vote. Accelerate was a distant second for the voting of Horse of the Year.

However, in 2019, none of the horses that managed to win Triple Crown races are participating in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, including Country House (Kentucky Derby winner), War of Will (Preakness winner), or Sir Winston (Belmont Stakes winner). War of Will is likely to participate in the BC Dirt Mile or the Classic.

The most phenomenal stars in this season’s racing calendar won’t be participating in the Classic.

Top-ranked in the NTRA poll, Bricks and Mortar, will participate in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, Midnight Bisou as the second-ranked runner will make his way to the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, and Mitole who is currently ranked third will probably head to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint while the BC Mile is also a huge possibility.

This essentially means that, regardless of who claims victory at the Breeders’ Cup Classic, none of them will have a shot at earning the prestigious Horse of the Year award. Not for Vino Rosso, Code of Honor, or even McKinzie for that matter.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the contenders for the Classic and see who has the necessary potential to win one of the most exciting races of the year.

McKinzie – Even though he placed second behind Mongolian Groom during the Awesome Again racing event, the son of Street Sense still managed to win the Whitney and Alysheba events and managed to claim 4 runner-up finishes this season. It’s also impossible to ignore the duo of Mike Smith and Bob Baffert. In addition, it doesn’t look like Mongolian Groom will run in the Classic this year as his connections need to provide a $200,000 entry fee.

Vino Rosso – The son of Curlin managed to outperform Code of Honor to claim victory at the Jockey Club Gold Cup. However, he was unfortunately disqualified due to interference. Vino Rosso also managed to win the Gold Cup Stakes in May at Santa Anita Park.

Code of Honor – The 3-year-old managed to claim victory at the Jockey Club Gold Cup due to disqualification and won the Travers Stakes. Shug McGaughey certainly has one of the best horses at the moment and could claim his fifth victory in only 8 starts.

Higher Power – This 4-year-old colt managed to place third during the Awesome Again racing event and fifth in the Gold Cup behind Vino Rosso. He also managed to claim victory in the Pacific Classic.

Preservationist – This 6-year-old managed to place fourth in the Jockey Club Gold Cup and won the Woodward in August at Saratoga.

Tacitus – The son of Tapit was the runner-up in the Jim Dandy, Travers Stakes, and Belmont Stakes and placed third in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Even though he only won the Wood Memorial and the Tampa Bay Derby, he still has a great chance to win the Classic this year.

Math Wizard – The 16,000 maiden claimer won the Pennsylvania Derby and is likely to enter the Classic as well. Does he have what it takes to cause an upset?

Maximum Security – This 3-year-old won the Derby only to be disqualified for interference. He also finished second during the Pegasus and won the Haskell Invitational. If he is healthy, he might be the champion this year for the Classic.

Seeking the Soul – This incredible 6-year-old won the Stephen Foster to get a place in the Classic and placed fourth in the Awesome Again event. He also placed seventh in the Pacific Classic event, so its difficult to say where he will end up in the Classic this year.

Draft Pick – The 4-year-old placed fifth in the Awesome Again event and placed second during the Pacific Classic. He also has top three finishers in 9 of his 13 career starts.

Yoshida – This 5-year-old who was bred in Japan managed to finish second during the Whitney event and third in the Woodward event. This makes him a huge contender for the Classic this year.

Gunnevera, Owendale – Both horses arrived late on the scene, but you cannot avoid them for the Classic this year. Both of them performed well in in several races, making them true contenders for the Classic as well.

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