Breeders' Cup Weekend is Here!


Jackie's Warrior at Keeneland | Breeders' Cup/Eclipse Sportswire


Featuring five deep, competitive fields and plenty of intrigue, Future Stars Friday will get the two-day, 37th Breeders' Cup World Championships festivities underway from historic Keeneland Race Course. First post on the all-stakes card at the bucolic oval, hosting the Breeders' Cup for the second time, is 11:30 a.m. ET, with the first Breeders' Cup race set to run at 2:30 p.m. All in all, 184 horses were entered in the 14 World Championship races, which conclude with the highly-anticipated GI Longines Breeders' Cup Classic, slated for 5:18 p.m. Saturday.

Perfect weather is expected for both days, with sunny skies and temperatures in the low 70s.

Speed will take center stage first in the 5 1/2-furlong GII Juvenile Turf Sprint, which was shaken up when expected heavy favorite Golden Pal (Uncle Mo) drew the 14-hole in a race that features three European shippers and nine stakes winners.

Euro participation picks up significantly in the GI Juvenile Turf, with half of the 14 entrants making their first starts in North America. The one-mile test is one of the most wide open races of the two days, as evidenced by the chilly 5-1 morning-line quote on favored Mutasaabeq (Into Mischief). Aidan O'Brien-trained player Battleground (War Front) is the first foal out of Found (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), winner of the 2015 GI Breeders' Cup Turf at Keeneland.

The GI Juvenile Fillies is next, as a short on quantity, long on quality seven-horse group lines up. The race storyline centers around undefeated 9-5 chalk Princess Noor (Not This Time), who has been dominant in all three starts but is yet to crack an 80 Beyer. Three more unblemished fillies give America a strong hand in the GI Juvenile Fillies Turf, as Wesley Ward's Campanelle (Ire) (Kodiac {GB}) returns home off a Group 1 win in France, and graded stakes winners Aunt Pearl (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}) and Plum Ali (First Samurai) loom large.

The GI TVG Juvenile closes out Friday's action, and all eyes will be on Jackie's Warrior (Maclean's Music). The four-for-four colt has barely broken a sweat in four brilliant outings, including two Grade I triumphs, but faces an abundance of early speed and must navigate two turns for the first time.

Saturday's Breeders' Cup action gets underway with the GI Filly & Mare Sprint at 12:02 p.m. Gamine (Into Mischief), who has been brilliant in conquests of the GI Acorn S. and GI Longines Test S. but has also twice tested positive for a banned substance, is installed as a 7-5 favorite. A wide-open GI Turf Sprint headlined by multiple Grade I-winning mare Got Stormy (Get Stormy) follows, and Complexity (Maclean's Music) drew wide as the favorite in the GI Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile. A deep and international field will contest the GI Maker's Mark Filly & Mare Turf, as six-time Grade I winner Rushing Fall (More Than Ready) looks for her second Breeders' Cup win in her likely career finale.

The GI Sprint, which lost its morning-line choice when Vekoma (Candy Ride {Arg}) scratched Thursday, comes next, and a clash of continents provides one of the deepest fields of the weekend in the GI FanDuel Mile. The marquee matchup of champion Monomoy Girl (Tapizar) and potential Horse of the Year Swiss Skydiver (Daredevil) dominates the intrigue of a 10-horse GI Longines Distaff, and Europe appears to have the GI Longines Turf cornered with a powerful six-horse contingent headed by seven-time Group 1 winner and 2018 Turf runner-up Magical (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}).

The curtain will close with one of the deepest Classic fields in recent memory. Bob Baffert sends out the formidable trio of Improbable (City Zip), thrice a Grade I winner this year, GI Kentucky Derby hero and narrow GI Preakness S. runner-up Authentic (Into Mischief) and controversial champion Maximum Security (New Year's Day). Dazzling GI Runhappy Travers S. and GI Belmont S. conqueror Tiz the Law (Constitution) will try to salt away both the 3-year-old championship and a Horse of the Year crown, and Grade I-winning millionaire Tom's d'Etat (Blame) rounds out the top contenders.

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