Korea Racing Authority’s 5-year-old Knicks Go, a front-running winner of the Whitney (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 7, has maintained the top spot in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings, a weekly poll of the top 10 horses in contention for the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). This year’s Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic will be run at Del Mar racetrack in Del Mar, California, on Nov. 6 as the final race of the 38th Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
Knicks Go, trained by Brad Cox, received 286 votes in his second week at No. 1. Knicks Go has won three of five starts this year, which in addition to the Whitney includes the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) at Gulfstream Park in January and the Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (G3) in July.
Godolphin’s 3-year-old Essential Quality, also trained by Cox, is in second place with 259 votes. Essential Quality won the Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) at Saratoga and the Belmont Stakes (G1) in his last two starts.
Maxfield, second in the Whitney and winner of the Stephen Foster Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs, is in third place with 244 votes. Owned by Godolphin and trained by Brendan Walsh, the 4-year-old Maxfield gained a free berth into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic with his win in the Stephen Foster.
Boat Racing, Gainesway Stable, Roadrunner Racing, and William Strauss’s 3-year-old Hot Rod Charlie, trained by Doug O’Neill, is in fourth place with 192 votes.
St. George Stable’s 5-year-old mare Letruska improved one position to fifth place with 109 votes. Letruska, trained by Fausto Gutierrez, has won four of five starts this year, including the Ogden Phipps (G1) at Belmont Park and the Fleur de Lis Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs.
Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton Racing’s 4-year-old Silver State rose from seventh to sixth place with 94 votes. Trained by Steve Asmussen, Silver State finished third in the Whitney after winning his first four races this year.
CRK Stable’s 4-year-old Express Train, winner of the San Diego Handicap (G2) at Del Mar, is in seventh place with 90 votes.
George E. Hall and SportBLX Thoroughbreds Corp.’s 4-year-old Max Player, trained by Asmussen, is in eighth place with 65 votes. Max Player won the Suburban (G2) at Belmont Park in July.
Wertheimer and Frere’s Happy Saver, third in the Suburban, is in ninth place. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Happy Saver has 54 votes.
Another horse trained by Pletcher, St. Elias Stable’s Dr Post, has joined the top 10 for the first time. A winner twice in three starts this year, Dr Post, who captured the Monmouth Cup Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park on July 17, has 53 votes.
Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings – Aug. 17, 2021*
|Rank||Horse||Votes||First-Place Votes||Previous Week|
|4||Hot Rod Charlie||192||0||4|
*Note – The Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings have no bearing on qualification or selection into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic.
The 2021 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic, which will be run at 1 ¼ miles on the main track, is limited to 14 starters. The race will be broadcast live on NBC.
The Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings are determined by a panel of leading Thoroughbred racing media, horseplayers, and members of the Breeders’ Cup Racing Directors/Secretaries Panel. Rankings will be announced each week through Oct. 11. A list of voting members can be found here.
In the Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings, each voter rates horses on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 system in descending order.
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