News and STORIES

Final Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings Have McKinzie On Top

Author: Don Mckee
Published: Thursday October 17, 2019
Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman’s McKinzie took the top spot in the last poll for the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings. The list is compiled by the leading Thoroughbred racing media, horseplayers, and members of the Breeders’ Cup Racing Directors/Secretaries Panel. 

The 4-year-old McKinzie won the Alysheba Stakes (G2) and the “Win and You’re In” Whitney (G1). She has been the constant leader of the Classic Rankings since June, and she now has 253 votes. 

McKinzie had six more votes than William S. Farish’s 3-year-old Code of Honor (247 votes), who took the Runhappy Travers (G1) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1). 

The Bob Baffert-trained McKinzie has 11 first-place votes compared to Code of Honor’s 10 in the latest rankings. 

The $6 million, 1 1/4-mile Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park will run on Nov. 2. McKinzie and Code of Honor are set to be the top two horses in the race, which will close out the 36th Breeders’ Cup World Championships. 

Other Top Horses in the Rankings

Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable’s 4-year-old Vino Rosso is the third horse in the poll with 224 votes. He finished first in The Jockey Club Gold Cup before being disqualified and moved to second for interference with Code of Honor in the stretch. He also won the Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1) in May. Vino Rosso is trained by Todd Pletcher. 

China Horse Club International, WinStar Farm, and Head of Plains Partners’ 5-year-old, Yoshida, received 158 votes to come in at fourth. He finished second behind McKinzie in the Whitney as well as fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic last year. Yoshida is trained by Bill Mott.

Following behind Yoshida in the rankings is Hronis Racing’s TVG Pacific Classic (G1) winner Higher Power with 129 votes. Coming in at fifth, Higher Power is trained by John Sadler. 

Bottom Five Horses

Omaha Beach, the 3-year-old out of Fox Hill Farms, is sixth with 100 votes. He took six months off of racing, but he returned with a victory in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship Stakes (G1) on Oct. 5. 

Omaha Beach is trained by Richard Mandella, and he was scratched in this year’s Kentucky Derby after coming in as the morning-line favorite. He also took the Arkansas Derby (G1) in April. 

Coming in at the seventh spot is Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider’s 5-year-old mare Elate with 95 votes. Elate is also trained by Mott, and she took both the “Win and You’re In” Fleur de Lis (G2) at Churchill Downs as well as the Delaware Handicap (G2) at Delaware Park. She also finished second in the Juddmonte Spinster (G1) at Keeneland. 

The eighth spot in the poll is held by Mongolian Stable’s 4-year-old Mongolian Groom with 72 votes. Mongolian Groom took the Awesome Again Stakes (G1) for trainer Enebish Ganbat after upsetting McKinzie. 

Charles Fipke’s 6-year-old Seeking the Soul has 54 votes and is in ninth place for the final poll. He won the Stephen Foster (G2) at Churchill and finished fourth in the Awesome Again for trainer Dallas Stewart. 

Finally, the 10th spot of the poll is occupied by Rupp Racing’s 3-year-old Owendale with 45 votes. He is trained by Brad Cox and has a few wins, including the Lexington Stakes (G3), the Ohio Derby (G3), and the Oklahoma Derby (G3), this year. In the Preakness Stakes (G1), Owendale finished in third. 

This final Breeders’ Cup Classic Ranking comes after they were announced each week starting on June 11. They are the top horses in contention for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), and each horse is assigned votes by the voters using a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 system.