10/29/2017 12:10PM

Diversify will not run in BC Classic, trainer says

Barbara D. Livingston
Diversify, under Irad Ortiz Jr., wins the Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes at Belmont Park on Oct. 7.

ARCADIA, Calif. - As expected, Diversify, the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup winner, will skip Saturday’s $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, trainer Rick Violette said Sunday.

Diversify earned a fees-paid berth into the Classic with his front-running victory in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park on Oct. 7. But the Classic field has several speed or close-to-the-pace types, including top-flight contenders, Arrogate, Collected and Gun Runner, which would make it extremely hard on Diversify to get the trip he desires.

“In some ways it’s very disappointing, the opportunity to run in the Classic doesn’t come around every year,” Violette said by phone from New York. “But it’s the best thing for Diversify and [owners Ralph and Lauren Evans] to be a little conservative and do what’s right and run Diversify where he has a better shot to win.”

Violette also noted that Diversify does better with more time between races and if he ran in the Classic it would mean coming back in four weeks after a career-best effort.

“It’s tough to take a crack against the best horses in the world on short rest off his best performance,” Violette said.

Violette said the Grade 1 Clark at Churchill Downs on Nov. 25 or the Grade 1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on Dec. 2 are the two options he will consider for Diversify’s next start.