The 2016 Breeders’ Cup World Championships are set to be held at Santa Anita this Friday and Saturday.
Some of the world’s best thoroughbreds will do battle in a 13 race series worth a gross total of $28 million.
It is the 33rd running of this great championship series, which was first held in 1984.
The Breeders’ Cup has produced a number of outstanding sires, with subsequent top sires winning various Breeders’ Cup races, including Wild Again, Last Tycoon, Sunday Silence, Unbridled, Awesome Again and A P Indy.
The Breeders’ Cup has also produced a number of outstanding broodmares, including Miesque, Personal Ensign and Dance Smartly, while former Distaff winner, Sacahuista (Raja Baba), produced outstanding sire, Hussonet (Mr Prospector) and Gr1 hero Ekraar (Red Ransom); former F&M Turf winner, Banks Hill (Danehill), is dam of Gr1 winner, Romantica (Galileo), and successful SA sire, Ideal World (Kingmambo).
Pulpit set for strong showing
Descendants of Claiborne Farm’s late sire, Pulpit, could well feature prominently at the 2016 Breeders’ Cup meeting.
Not only is the late son of AP Indy responsible for leading Twin Spires Sprint hope, Lord Nelson, and long-shot Classic hope, Win The Space, but his son, Lucky Pulpit, is responsible for the brilliant Classic favourite, California Chrome.
He has all but wrapped up the title of US Horse Of The Year with Pulpit’s greatest son, Tapit, looking sure to enjoy more Breeders’ Cup success (he has already five BC winners to his credit) this year.
His multiple Gr1 winning son, Frosted (who landed the Gr1 Met Handicap by 14.25 lengths earlier this year), is among the fancied runners in the $6 million Classic, while another Gr1 winning son of the champion sire, Ring Weekend, is set to take his chance in the Gr1 Breeders’ Cup Mile.
Tapit’s daughter, Sweet Loretta, who dead-heated with fellow Tapit filly, Pretty City Dancer, in the Gr1 Spinaway Stakes, will represent her dominant sire in the Hands Winery Juvenile Fillies.
Shaman Ghost bids to make Classic history
Should recent Gr1 Woodward Stakes winner, Shaman Ghost, upset the 2016 Gr1 Breeders’ Cup Classic field, he will become the third generation of his male line to succeed in this 2000m contest.
His grandson, Awesome Again (Deputy Minister), scored over a star studded field in 1998, while Shaman Ghost’s brilliant sire, Ghostzapper (surely one of the finest US gallopers in recent history) thrashed subsequent G1 Dubai World Cup hero, Roses In May (Devil His Due) when running out a three length winner of the 2004 Classic.
Ghostzapper, already sire of a Breeders’ Cup winner in Judy The Beauty, also has top contenders for the Gr1 Breeders’ Cup F&M Sprint in Gloryzapper and Paulassilverlining. (Ghostzapper’s half brother, City Zap, has also enjoyed Breeders Cup success with the likes of Work All Week, Dayathespa and Catch A Glimpse having all captured BC races).
Awesome Again, sire of Ghostzapper, has more than made his mark on Breeders’ Cup races, with his other BC winners including Ginger Punch, Round Pond and WIlko, Awesome Again’s half brother, and former BC Juvenile hero, Macho Uno, has also a Breeders Cup winner to his credit- Macho Uno’s son, Mucho Macho Man, having captured the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic.
SA sire relatives set to compete
Coup De Grace, who stood his first season at Klawervlei Stud this season, has a Gr1 winning half sister, Dancing Rags (Union Rags), lining up in the Gr1 14 Hands Winery Juvenile Fillies, where she looks to be among the leading contenders.
Another local sire with a half sister competing in a Breeders’ Cup contest this year is the Scott Bros’ Gr1 Middle Park Stakes winner, Crusade (Mr Greeley).
The latter’s dual Gr1 winning half sister, Seventh Heaven (Galileo), who thrashed subsequent Arc hero, Found, when victorious in the Gr1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks, looks a leading contender for the Filly& Mare Turf.
Rathmor Stud’s Noble Tune (Unbridled’s Song) is another local sire with a link to Breeders’ Cup hopes. The Gr2 With Anticipation Stakes winner, Made You Look (More Than Ready), is a hopeful for the Gr1 Juvenile Turf. Made You Look is out of a daughter of US champion, and Hall of Fame Member, Serena’s Song (Rahy), who rates as the third dam of the handsome Noble Tune.
Drakenstein Stud’s champion sire, Trippi (End Sweep), was broodmare sire of a Breeders’ Cup winner last year, when his maternal grandson, Liam’s Map, waltzed home in the Gr1 BC Dirt Mile.
The latter’s half brother, Not This Time (Giant’s Causeway), looks a big contender in the 2016 Sentient Jet Juvenile, having romped home to win the recent Gr3 Iroquois Stakes by 8.75 lengths.
Canadian Champion Marchfield (A P Indy) hails from the same family as recent Gr1 Breeders’ Futurity winner, Classic Empire (Pioneerof the Nile), who looks a big runner in the Juvenile. Both Classic Empire and Marchfield are descended directly in female line from the great mare, Alablue (Blue Larkspur).
Another Breeders’ Cup entry with ties to South Africa is the blue blooded Pretty Perfect (Galileo), who has been cross entered in both the F&M Turf and the Turf itself. She is a full sister to Lammerskraal’s exciting broodmare, Cantabella, and is out of a full sister to champion and successful sire Holy Roman Emperor.
Distorted Humor to make his mark
Distorted Humor, sire of SA sires, Pathfork and Flower Alley, is another sire who could enjoy a big day at the 2016 Breeders’ Cup meeting.
Not only is the son of Forty Niner sire of Breeders’ Cup hopes, Joking (Sprint), and Ironicus (Mile), but Distorted Humor’s son, Any Given Saturday, is responsible for Classic hope, and recent Gr1 Jockey Club Gold Cup winner, Hoppertunity.
Distorted Humor himself also features as the damsire of two top Breeders’ Cup contenders this year in the form of dual Gr1 winner, Practical Joke (who runs in the Juvenile) and brilliant Travers Stakes hero Arrogate, who looks a legitimate threat to California Chrome in the Classic.
- Sarah Whitelaw