ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) - Curlin, undefeated Casino Drive from
Japan and European stars Duke of Marmalade, Henry the Navigator and
Raven's Pass were among a full field of 14 horses pre-entered
Thursday for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita on
A record 180 horses, including seven former champions and 35
foreigners, were pre-entered in the 14 races worth $25.5 million
over two days.
Curlin will try to join Tiznow as the only back-to-back winners
of the 1¼-mile race, and a victory would likely help the 4-year-old
claim Horse of the Year honors for the second consecutive year.
Final entries and the post-position draw are Tuesday.
Curlin is undefeated this year on dirt, including wins in the
Dubai World Cup, Stephen Foster, Woodward and Jockey Club Gold Cup.
The Breeders' Cup will be run for the first time on Santa Anita's
new synthetic surface. He has won 11 of 15 career starts and became
North America's leading thoroughbred money winner with more than
$10 million in earnings.
Among Curlin's 13 challengers in the Classic is 3-year-old
Casino Drive, who is undefeated in three starts and who missed the
Belmont Stakes because of a hoof injury; Santa Anita Derby winner
Colonel John; and Pacific Classic winner Go Between.
Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien has pre-entered 10 horses in this
year's event, including Henry the Navigator, winner of four races
this year in England and Ireland; and Duke of Marmalade from
Ireland, who won five consecutive Group 1 races in Europe this
Raven's Pass from Britain, owned by Princess Haya of Jordan,
defeated Henry the Navigator in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at
Ascot in his most recent start.
Besides Curlin in the Classic, other defending or former
champions entered were: Midnight Lute (2007 Sprint); Kip Deville
(2007 Mile); Indian Blessing (2007 Juvenile Fillies); Ginger Punch
(2007 Ladies' Classic); Better Talk Now (2004 Turf); and Red Rocks
For the first time, Friday's five Breeders' Cup races will
showcase all female horses, led by undefeated Zenyatta in the $2
million renamed Ladies' Classic at 1 1-8 miles.
The 4-year-old filly, owned by former A&M Records co-founder
Jerry Moss and his wife Ann, Zenyatta is 8-0, including three Grade
1 wins. She'll be challenged by defending champion Ginger Punch,
who has won 5-of-7 races this year and is trained by Hall of Famer
Other Ladies' Classic entrants were Cocoa Beach of Chile, who
beat Ginger Punch in her last start; Music Note, winner of three
Grade 1 races this year; and 5-year-old Hystericlady, who has four
wins this year and was recently second to Zenyatta.
The $2 million Juvenile, which usually determines the early
favorite for next year's Kentucky Derby, includes Square Eddie from
Britain and American horses Street Hero and Midshipman, trained by
The $3 million Turf includes Better Talk Now, a 9-year-old
gelding who was the oldest horse pre-entered in the Breeders' Cup.
He'll be making his 48th career start and fifth consecutive in the
race, something only two other horses have done.
The 1½-mile Turf also includes several international horses, led
by Soldier of Fortune, trained by O'Brien; Conduit of Ireland, who
beat Curlin in the Man O'War; and Red Rocks.
In the $2 million Mile on the turf, Goldikova of Ireland will
challenge the boys. Her main rival will be Kip Deville, trained by
Rick Dutrow, who had expected Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner
Big Brown to run in the Classic until he was suddenly retired this
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)