10/30/2017 3:06PM

O'Brien readying his largest BC contingent to date


DEL MAR, California – Two trainers, barring the unfortunate before Friday and Saturday, will have 13 runners in Breeders’ Cup races, the most of any horsemen this year. One of them, Chad Brown, is based in New York. The other goes about his business in Ireland.

Aidan O’Brien had 11 Breeders’ Cup runners in 2011 and 12 last year at Santa Anita, but the first Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar has brought out the largest shipment of O’Brien runners yet. Fourteen in all were en route to California on Monday, with Declarationofpeace slated for the Juvenile Turf Sprint and the other 13 in Breeders’ Cup races.

O’Brien will have runners in the Classic, Turf, Mile, Filly and Mare Turf, Juvenile, Juvenile Turf, Juvenile Fillies Turf, and Turf Sprint. It will be a surprise if he does not win at least one race.

O’Brien already has set a record this year winning 26 Group 1 or Grade 1 races, surpassing the 25 Bobby Frankel won in 2003. And with 111 Breeders’ Cup starters going into this year’s races, O’Brien has run more horses in the Breeders’ Cup than any trainer save Wayne Lukas (164) and Todd Pletcher (128).

The Breeders’ Cup refers to its races as World Championships, and Aidan O’Brien, all by himself, is lending plenty of weight to that characterization.