10/26/2011 10:35PM

BC Pre-Entry Cheat Sheet, Version 1.0


Here's the first version of Breeders' Cup Cheat Sheet I'll be updating over the next 10 days, providing an at-a-glance summary of the fields for the 15 races at Churchill Downs Nov. 4 and 5.

The most striking thing about this year's first entry round was how many horses were cross-entered in two races and how the final decisions about who goes where could radically change the complexion of some races. Everyone expects Havre de Grace and Uncle Mo to run in the Classic, but both would be strongly favored if for some reason they instead entered their "backup" races -- the Ladies' Classic and Dirt Mile, respectively -- when final fields are drawn Monday. There are several similar situations involving cross-entries between the Sprint and Dirt Mile, the Ladies' Classic and F&M Sprint, and even between the dirt and grass versions of the 2-year-old races. Horsemen may spend the next few says reconsidering some of their initial preferences.

For this initial exercise, though, let's take everyone at his word. The pre-entries below are organized as if each horse is going to run in his first-preference race (designated in the first column of each line). I've listed each horse's starts, wins, earnings and highest-winning-level (HWL) within the first-preference race only rather than repeating the information in the second-choice races.

In overflow races, I've listed the pre-entries in three groups when relevant: first the ones who have qualified or been selected into the body of each race; then the second-preference horses, who would displace also-eligibles if they are entered in their second-preference races; and finally the also-eligibles in the order they would draw in as spots open up through defections or second-preference horses in fact being entered into their first-choice races.

Let's take the Juvenile Fillies Turf as an example. The two numbers number after each race name -- "17/5" in this case -- means 17 were entered in the race as their first preference, while 5 others designated the race as their second preference. Nine first-preference entrants are listed first, followed by the five second-preference entrants, all of whom were ranked above the eight who at the moment are technically also-eligibles. If the five second-preference fillies all enter their first-choice race, the first five also-eligibles would draw in, with the three other also-eligibles then able to get in only if there are further defections.

Crystal clear? I didn't think so. The good news is that this example race is the worst-case one, with exclusions unlikely in most of the other races despite some lingering uncertainty over who will go where.

I enter all this stuff by hand, so please feel free (like you wouldn't anyway) to call any typos to my attention. I like to spend pre-entry day swimming in a pool of raw data, familiarizing myself with this mass of horseflesh that I'll be analyzing over the next week. This is the template I'll be using for final entries next week, eventually to be expanded for comments, picks, and A/B/C selections for multirace wagers.

So here they are, your 193 pre-entrants for the 15 Breeders' Cup races of 2011. First impressions?