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Homeracing

Are All the top Horses for 2016 Out West?

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TwinSpires Staff

November 9th, 2015

by LAURA PUGH

With Grade 1 winners Constitution, Honor Code, Lea, and Liam’s Map retiring from the East Coast-based ranks of the older male division, it is difficult to look past West Coast-based horses as the early leaders of the handicap division for 2016.

In addition to champions California Chrome and Shared Belief returning as five-year-olds, Firing Line and Dortmund—second and third, respectively, behind American Pharoah in the Kentucky Derby—will look to emerge from the Triple Crown champion’s shadow as four-year-olds next season. Dortmund could even give a preview of what to expect in the Clark Handicap later this month at Churchill Downs.

With names like that starring in the West Coast older male division it is very hard not to get excited about potential match ups, however, the older male division isn’t the only one with talent. In fact, just about every division will feature a champion.

The three-year-old divisions will star a pair of undefeated Breeders’ Cup winners in Juvenile winner Nyquist and Juvenile Fillies winner Songbird. While it is possible that a couple of East Coast fillies could improve to challenge, none have show the ability to do so thus far.

The slick combo of Beholder and Stellar Wind heads the Distaff division. The former on the precipice of her third championship while the latter Grade 1 winner exits a near-miss runner-up finish to Stopchargingmaria in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

With all of talent taking residence in the West, the East will be hard pressed to come up with worthy challengers. In the eternal battle of East vs West, round 2016 looks like will go to the West by way of knock out.

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