Record number of entries for Breeders’ Cup

Oct 17, 2008 2:12 AM
by Kevin Stott |

The Daily Racing Form reports that a total of 180 horses were announced on Thursday as pre-entries for the 25th Breeders’ Cup, scheduled for Oct. 24-25 at Santa Anita Park in Santa Anita, California.

The most well-know of the pre-entries was Curlin, the 2007 Horse of the Year, which was pre-entered in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, where he is the defending champion. Also pre-registered for the $5 million Classic – the richest of the weekend’s 14 races worth a total of $25.5 million – are the unbeaten Japanese colt Casino Drive, Travers winner Colonel John, Pacific Classic winner Go Between and three superb European entries: Henrythenavigator, Duke of Marmalade and Raven’s Pass.

An expected matchup between Curlin and 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown became an impossibility on Monday when trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. announced that a right front hoof injury would force Big Brown into retirement.

European trainer Aidan O’Brien, the trainer of both Duke of Marmalade and Henrythenavigator, leads all European trainers with 10 different horses pre-entered for horse racing’s biggest weekend. A record 35 European horses were pre-entered.

The winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies race, Indian Blessing, was pre-entered in both the Sprint (against males) and the Filly and Mare Sprint where she is expected to race.

Along with Curlin, six other previous Breeders’ Cup winners were pre-entered on Thursday including Better Talk Now, Ginger Punch, Indian Blessing, Kip Deville Red Rocks and Midnight Lute.

The announcement on Thursday was the first of a two-part process for entries. Right now, horses can be entered in two different races. A total of 30 horses are pre-entered in two races.

Final entries are due next Tuesday and all horses cross-entered must be entered into a single race. At that time, post positions will be drawn for all the weekend’s 14 races.

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