Eight Breeders' Cup champions are among the 180 horses that have been pre-entered for the 29th Breeders' Cup World Championships set for Nov. 2-3 at Santa Anita. Final entries will be taken Monday.
Game On Dude, a multiple Grade I winner trained by Hall of Fame member Bob Baffert, leads the candidates for the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic, which will be the last of 15 races featuring purses of more than $25 million.
The $2-million Ladies' Classic is shaping up as one of the top races of the two-day event, with defending champion Royal Delta expected to be challenged by unbeaten My Miss Aurelia, last year's Juvenile Fillies winner, and unbeaten Awesome Feather, the 2010 Juvenile Fillies winner.
The $2-million Mile on the turf has drawn an elite field, including Wise Dan, the top turf horse in America; European star Excelebration; 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom; Arlington Million winner Little Mike; and West Coast standout Obviously.
There will be five races featuring 2-year-olds, and all will be required to run without Lasix, a drug that has been routinely given to horses to help prevent bleeding. Only 2-year-olds are part of the Lasix ban. Next year, all Breeders' Cup horses will be barred from using Lasix.
The $2-million Juvenile will have unbeaten Shanghai Bobby, trained by Todd Pletcher.
There were 29 international horses entered, but absent at the Breeders' Cup will be the world's No. 1 thoroughbred, Frankel, who won his 14th consecutive race last week in England and has been retired.
Five winners from last year's Breeders' Cup are scheduled to return — Royal Delta, My Miss Aurelia, St Nicholas Abbey in the Turf, Amazombie in the Sprint, and Musical Romance in the Filly and Mare Sprint.
On Friday, Nov. 2, the Juvenile Sprint will go off as race No. 4 of a 10-race program, followed by the Marathon, Juvenile Fillies Turf, Juvenile Fillies, Filly and Mare Turf, and Ladies' Classic.
On Saturday, Nov. 3, the Juvenile Turf will start the Breeders' Cup portion of the 12-race card with race No. 4, followed by the Filly and Mare Sprint, the Dirt Mile, Turf Sprint, Juvenile, Turf, Sprint, Mile and Classic.