Breeders' Cup roundup: Oct. 25, 2021

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October 25th, 2021

The Nov. 5-6 Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar is less than two weeks away, which means key contenders are busy training and pre-entries will soon be released.

Let’s get up to speed on some of the most newsworthy developments from the past week.

Breeders’ Cup Classic: Three contenders exit, while others continue training

According to reporting from Jay Privman of the Daily Racing Form, three candidates for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) have been removed from consideration for the race. Stephen Foster S. (G2) winner Maxfield, 2020 Belmont S. (G1) runner-up Dr Post, and 2020 Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) victor Happy Saver will all skip the Classic, which leaves 10 horses in the mix for participation.

The latest list of Classic contenders (and their most recent morning workouts) is as follows:

  • Art Collector: The improving four-year-old has breezed twice since he won the Oct. 2 Woodward S. (G1) and most recently clocked five furlongs in 1:01.85 over the Saratoga training track Friday.
  • Essential Quality: The Belmont winner has posted six workouts since he took the Aug. 28 Travers S. (G1), including six furlongs in 1:13 flat at Churchill Downs on Saturday.
  • Express Train: This stretch-running colt has breezed twice since he came in third in the Oct. 2 Awesome Again S. (G1) and most recently traveled five furlongs in 1:01.80 at Santa Anita on Sunday.
  • Hot Rod Charlie: The Pennsylvania Derby (G1) winner has turned in three increasingly stiff workouts this month, capped by seven furlongs in 1:26.60 at Santa Anita on Saturday.
  • Idol: Off a sixth-place finish in the Awesome Again, the Santa Anita H. (G1) winner has bounced back with two sharp workouts, including six furlongs in 1:14.40 Saturday at Santa Anita.
  • Knicks Go: Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner has breezed twice since he dominated the Oct. 2 Lukas Classic (G3). He most recently traversed six furlongs in 1:12.40 Saturday at Churchill Downs.
  • Max Player: The Jockey Club Gold Cup winner traveled to Santa Anita last month and has already posted five workouts in California, including five furlongs in 1:00.40 Sunday.
  • Medina Spirit: The frontrunning three-year-old has posted two fast workouts at Santa Anita since a five-length romp in the Awesome Again, including six furlongs in 1:13 flat Friday.
  • Stilleto Boy: The surprise Awesome Again runner-up returned to the work tab Thursday at Santa Anita, where he clocked five furlongs in 1:02.20.
  • Tripoli: Following a fourth-place effort in the Awesome Again, the Pacific Classic (G1) winner has bounced back with three workouts at Santa Anita, including five furlongs in 1:00 flat Sunday.

Juvenile fields taking shape

The fields for the five juvenile races at the Breeders’ Cup have come into sharper focus.

Breeders’ Futurity (G1) winner Rattle N Roll has been confirmed as a starter for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), joining Champagne S. (G1) victor Jack Christopher and American Pharaoh S. (G1) winner Corniche among the key contenders.

Privman reported in the Daily Racing Form that Del Mar Debutante (G1) winner Grace Adler will skip the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), after she finished fifth in the Chandelier S. (G2).

Unfortunately, Grace Adler won’t be the only high-profile Chandelier starter missing from the Juvenile Fillies. Runner-up Electric Ride was under consideration for the Breeders’ Cup but sadly died of anaphylactic shock.

In advance of the Breeders’ Cup juvenile races, John Mucciolo of TwinSpires has compiled a list of historical handicapping trends to keep in mind when betting the races.

Breeders’ Cup pre-entries due Monday

You know the Breeders’ Cup is getting close when the deadline for pre-entries arrives. Monday is the final day horses can be pre-entered in the 14 Breeders’ Cup races, and the release of pre-entries scheduled for Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. ET. The announcement proceedings will be streamed live on

Early Breeders’ Cup past performances now available

If you want to get a head start on handicapping the Breeders’ Cup, Brisnet is your friend! Breeders’ Cup contender past performances and data files are available from

Stay tuned to TwinSpires Edge for more coverage and analysis as the road to the Breeders’ Cup continues!