Updated on 10/31/2016 2:04PM

Obviously set to join exclusive Breeders' Cup club

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Joe Labozzetta/NYRA
Obviously, 8, won the Poker Stakes at Belmont in June.

ARCADIA, Calif. – He’s back in the Breeders’ Cup – obviously.

Obviously, an 8-year-old gelding, is set to become just the fifth horse to make five Breeders’ Cup starts when he races in the Turf Sprint on Saturday. And this is no vanity entry. Obviously has won only once in four starts this year, but that win was a strong one, in the Poker at Belmont, and his defeats, two seconds and a third, all were admirable performances.

Obviously set a scorching pace in the City of Hope Mile here at Santa Anita last month and still held on for third, and on Saturday, he turns back from a mile to 6 1/2 furlongs to join Kona Gold, Perfect Drift, Better Talk Now, and California Flag as the only horses with five Breeders’ Cup runs.

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“This horse, he has not lost a jump,” said trainer Phil D’Amato. “He’s just a freak, a genetic freak.”

Obviously began his career in 2011 in Ireland, where he was bred, and D’Amato was at the overseas sale when Obviously was purchased by owners Joe Scardino and Tony Fanticola late that year. Obviously has raced only 10 times in the last three calendar years, and D’Amato said it’s his owners’ patience that has combined with Obviously’s constitution to prolong his career.

“They just ask me to let them know when we’re going to run, and they’re happy,” he said.

Obviously’s best try among four Mile starts came in 2012, when he set a fast pace and gallantly held third behind Wise Dan and Animal Kingdom. Obviously set the pace in the last three Miles, finishing fifth in 2013 and 2014 and ninth last year at Keeneland while racing over soft turf, which blunts his brilliance.

But Obviously has looked like his best self again this year. He has raced well down the hill at Santa Anita, and at his best, he fits as well as any horse in the Turf Sprint.

“He’s the kind of horse where every race, he gives you everything he has, and at 8, for him to run as hard as he did last time and bounce out of it like he did, I’m very impressed with that and like my chances,” said D’Amato. “After the Breeders’ Cup, we’ll give him another break and then look for something next year until he says he doesn’t want to compete anymore.”

A 9-year-old graded-stakes horse? Obviously.

A previous version of this article misstated the number of horses to have previously made five Breeders' Cup starts. It is four, not three.