The Breeders’ Cup, held on Nov. 3-4 at Santa Anita, is one of the most significant horse racing events worldwide, enticing top thoroughbreds to compete. They participate in the Win & You’re In Series, a collection of races guaranteeing a spot into select Breeders’ Cup races, like the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
The race is primarily the crown jewel of the Breeders’ Cup every year. In this blog post, let’s discuss the horses who might compete in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Slow Down Andy
Slow Down Andy is the recent Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes winner, earning an all-expenses-paid and automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The 4-year-old colt, trained by Doug O’Neil, went strongly from start to finish to win the $300,000 stakes race by an impressive two ¼ lengths.
When the gate opened, jockey Mario Gutierrez and Slow Down Andy went right to the lead. Owner Paul Reddam was very surprised as he thought the two Baffert-trained horses would go.
However, Slow Down Andy outbroke and outpaced them. Gutierrez just let the colt go, dictating the pace and direction. Defunded and Celestial Moon stuck within earshot to Slow Down Andy, but the colt kept at least a length advantage at every turn.
The Grade 1 Awesome Again is the colt’s fourth stakes victory. Previously, Slow Down Andy has won the 2021 Grade 2 Los Alamitos Futurity, the 2022 Grade 2 Del Mar Derby, and the Grade 3 Sunland Park Derby.
The horse’s outstanding performance suggests he’s all set and primed to be a powerful contender in the demanding ¼-mile Breeders’ Cup Classic race. Keep tabs on the breeders cup 2023 race odds to learn how Slow Down Andy’s doing.
Forte’s connections believe there’s still enough time to Prepare the colt for a start in the Classic. But here’s the catch: the horse has not had any training since the Grade 1 Travers Stakes in August, where he finished fourth, and he’s been enduring a quarter crack.
Trainer Todd Pletcher thinks they’re still in a position to come by some good breezes, but Forte needs to get into the right shape before doing that. Pletcher said he’d like at least three good breezes into Forte before running him in the Breeders’ Cup. It would mean getting Forte back into the field by October 14.
Having Forte run at the Classic would ante up the excitement and drama of the race. If healthy and uninjured, this talented horse is a force to be reckoned with.
Trained by Jena Antonucci, Arcangelo has a 4-1-0 record in six starts with at least $1.8 million in earnings. The colt is the clear-cut favorite to win the Breeders Cup Classic. There are several reasons for this ranking.
First, Arcangelo’s laudable quality and consistency of the last two races he’s in: the 2023 Grade 1 Belmont Stakes and Grade 1 Travers Stakes, where he finished first. Secondly, the prudent, fine horsewoman’s eye that Jena Antonucci has displayed in her meticulous conditioning of the horse.
Another reason is the innate DNA-based skill and talent that Arcangelo has. He was sired by Arrogate, a US Hall of Fame Thoroughbred racehorse, out of Modeling. The last reason is the superb pilot work that jockey Javier Castellano brings in.
As such, everyone will observe Arcangelo as he prepares for the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Although unraced and unseen since the May 6 Kentucky Derby, where he finished in sixth place, Derma Sotogake is aiming for the Classic despite not completing his targeted prep race. The three-year-old colt skipped his planned return race because of a foot injury.
That original race was supposed to be the Nippon TV Hai. The good news is that Derma Sotogake has now returned to training, according to trainer Hidetaka Otonashi. The colt’s most recent timed training was on September 22, running in a sloped course covering four furlongs in 53.6 seconds.
Otonashi plans to do more exercises while confined at Miho Training Center. Seeing Derma Sotogake racing again with fellow talented thoroughbred horses will be exciting.
White Abarrio’s commanding and authoritative win in Grade 1 Whitney Stakes earned him an automatic and all-expense-paid berth to the Classic. Trainer Rick Dutrow said that the colt would set foot early at Santa Anita to start preparation for the event.
Dutrow restated that the four-year-old colt will not race again before the $6-million Breeders’ Cup Classic. He believes White Abarrio does outstanding running with at least three months between starts.
Can the colt successfully run the one ¼ mile of the Breeders’ Classic? White Abarrio only tried this arduous distance when he finished 16th place in the Kentucky Derby.
Let’s all wait and see on November 4.
The 2023 edition of the Breeders’ Cup Classic promises to be another remarkable renewal, mainly because it celebrates the 40th year of the race. All the horses listed in this post are talented and primed for this event. They have the speed and determination to conquer this challenging race. Only time will tell who will be the winner. So tune in!