10/28/2010 11:23AM

BC Pre-entries: First Look


The 184 horses pre-entered for the Breeders' Cup have combined to win 865 races from 2,286 career starts, including 132 Grade 1 or Group 1 races, and earned $125,803,733.

The table below is my first step in the intensive but highly enjoyable annual ritual of handicapping the Cup races, which have drawn bigger and more contentious fields this year with the eight main-track races back on dirt at Churchill Downs. This first iteration of an oversized cheat sheet lists each horse's age, sex, starts, victories, earnings, highest winning level and number of career Grade or Group 1 victories: 

(I do this by hand, with the past performances on one side of the computer screen and the spreadsheet on the right, so please feel free to draw any errors or omissions to my attention.)

Here's a little leaderboard from the statistics above:


A few scattered notes and observations:

--With 4 of the 14 races now being for 2-year-olds, juveniles account for 56 of the 184 pre-entries, just over 30 percent. I was struck that while the BC Juvenile will have only 10 starters, an astounding 7 of them are already Grade 1 winners: All five winners of the five G1 races to date in the U.S. for 2-year-old males (Boys at Toscanova, J P's Gusto, Jaycito, J. B. 's Thunder and Uncle Mo) plus the undefeated foreign Group 1 winners Biondetti from Great Britain and Murjan from Peru. Can anyone think of a 2-year-old race that ever had seven G1 winners it? I can't.

--In addition to the 56 2-year-olds, the pre-entries include 32 3-year-olds, 46 4-year-olds,, 32 5-year-olds, 12 6-year-olds and five 7-year-olds -- the geldings Awesome Gem, Silver Timber and Stradivinsky,, and the horses Alcomo and Society's Chairman.

--Note that there's been some tinkering with the order of races on both days based on expected field size. The Juvenile Fillies and F&M Turf were switched on Friday as were the Sprint and Dirt Mile on Saturday. So now the race order is as follows:

Friday: Marathon, Juvenile Fillies Turf, F&M Sprint, Juvenile Fillies, F&M Turf, Ladies' Classic.

Saturday: Juvenile Turf, Sprint, Turf Sprint, Juvenile, Mile, Dirt Mile, Turf, Classic.

So get to work, though you're allowed time off for Game 2 of the World Series tonight. Of course I'm delighted the Giants took Game 1 last night, but after the Great Collapse of 2002, no Giants fan is exactly cocky.

Note to the 3 million Cablevision subsribers in the New York area who are blacked out of the World Series on cable because of the ongoing Cablevision/Fox dispute: Did you know that you most of you can still get Fox over the air simply by attaching that old rabbit-ear antenna you never threw out to your HD-ready monitor? The over-the-air hi-def picture is as sharp as cable or sattellite and it sure beats trying to watch it on your computer via Major League Baseball's "enhanced Postseason coverage," which gives you a choice of camera angles but provides no graphics or replays.