10/30/2017 1:30PM

Baffert's Classic quartet sets record for number of starters

Shigeki Kikkawa
Trainer Bob Baffert with Arrogate, one of the trainer's four starters for the Breeders' Cup Classic.

DEL MAR, Calif. – It’ll be four (for trainer Bob Baffert) against one (for Steve Asmussen) in the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday at Del Mar, with Baffert sending out Arrogate, Collected, Mubtaahij, and West Coast against Asmussen-trained Gun Runner.

“He’s the only thing between me and a big, fat check,” Baffert said of Gun Runner.

Baffert’s quartet marks the first time any trainer has had more than three runners in the Classic.

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“Hopefully they’re all out there trying to win,” said Asmussen, who said he’d instruct Gun Runner’s jockey, Florent Geroux, “to watch the Shared Belief Awesome Again a couple of times.”

In the 2014 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita, Baffert had two horses – Fed Biz and Sky Kingdom – entered against Shared Belief, who was trained by Jerry Hollendorfer. The longshot Sky Kingdom fanned out Shared Belief on both turns before fading to finish last, but Shared Belief gutted out a neck victory over Fed Biz.

In Shared Belief’s next start, Bayern – also trained by Baffert – beat Shared Belief in the Breeders’ Cup Classic in a race that had a controversially messy start between Bayern and Shared Belief. Stewards reviewed video and unanimously ruled no change.