10/18/2014 11:40AM

V. E. Day pointing to Breeders’ Cup Classic

Barbara D. Livingston
V. E. Day (left) beats stablemate Wicked Strong by a nose in the Grade 1 Travers.

ELMONT, N.Y. – Travers Stakes winner V. E. Day is being pointed to the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 1 at Santa Anita, trainer Jimmy Jerkens said Saturday.

Jerkens said the combination of a race that appears to have plenty of speed and the fact that owner Magalen Bryant “wants to take a shot” led to the decision to likely run.

Jerkens cautioned that a final decision wouldn’t be made until Monday, when owners have to pay a fee to pre-enter their horses, but all indications are that the horse will run.

V. E. Day is another 3-year-old in a race that already is expected to include Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome, Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist, the undefeated multiple Grade 1 winner Shared Belief, and Haskell Invitational and Pennsylvania Derby winner Bayern.

V. E. Day, a son of English Channel, had a four-race win streak snapped in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup, where he finished sixth, beaten 8 1/2 lengths. V. E. Day was wide down the backstretch and then lost a little more ground after horses tried to avoid the fallen jockey, Rajiv Maragh, who had gotten unseated from his mount, Wicked Strong, 4 1/2 furlongs from the wire.

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V. E. Day made a wide move to get into contention at the quarter pole but couldn’t sustain his run through the lane. Jerkens said the horse came out of the race in good order, and he worked a half-mile in 49.89 seconds over Belmont’s main track Tuesday.

“He seems good to me,” Jerkens said. “He’s kind of workmanlike all the time. He’s the same all the time.”

Coming out of the Gold Cup, Jerkens had initially discounted the Classic in part because he feared that Santa Anita’s main track would be too speed-favoring.

“Everyone tells me, at least recently, it’s been pretty fair,” Jerkens said. “It looks like horses have come from out of it.”

Jerkens likely will need to find a rider for V. E. Day since Javier Castellano, who rode V. E. Day in the Travers and Gold Cup, is committed to Moreno. Jose Lezcano, aboard V. E. Day for three wins this year, is scheduled to ride Zivo.

The addition of V. E. Day to the Classic field brings the likely number of pre-entrants to at least 17. Horses who could be relegated to the also-eligible list include Big Cazanova, Prayer for Relief, and Noble Moon.