Led by four 2022 Breeders' Cup winners back to defend their titles, the 205 pre-entries for the
2023 edition of the World Championships match the number of last year's event and are up 9% from the previous visit to Santa Anita in 2019.
The four Breeders' Cup winners back to defend their 2022 titles are Caravel in the Turf Sprint (G1T), Cody's Wish in the Dirt Mile (G1), Elite Power in the Sprint (G1), and Goodnight Olive in the Filly & Mare Sprint (G1).
In surpassing 200 pre-entries for a second straight year, Breeders' Cup again saw strong support from its Breeders' Cup Challenge Series, domestic and overseas. This year's pre-entries saw 46 horses that earned automatic starting positions into the World Championships races through the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series pencilled in for this year's event Nov. 3 and 4 at Santa Anita.
"Once again, an outstanding group of horses has been pre-entered for this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships and we look forward to two days of fantastic racing at Santa Anita Park," said Drew Fleming, president and CEO of Breeders' Cup. "The competition has never been stronger and the prestige of entering the Breeders' Cup winner's circle has never been higher."
There were 59 international runners pre-entered, including 11 Japan-based horses.
"We want to thank the talented men and women across the globe who provide the ecosystem of care that enables these magnificent Thoroughbreds to compete at the top of their game. We also thank our extraordinary host, 1/ST Racing and their beautiful venue, Santa Anita Park, and want to recognize our breeders and nominators for their commitment to help underwrite the World Championships," Fleming said. "We also want to thank the bettors and fans around the world for their constant support. We can't wait to gather next weekend to watch the world's best Thoroughbreds put on a spectacular show."
About 29% of this year's pre-entered runners are from overseas as Shadwell Estate Company's Mostahdah, winner of the Aug. 23 Juddmonte International Stakes (G1) last out and a key contender for the Breeders' Cup Turf (G1T), and four-time group 1 winner Paddinton in the FanDuel Breeders' Cup Mile (G1T), lead a stellar slate of 59 pre-entered international contenders.
Leading the way in the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) are Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Arcangelo, Pacific Classic (G1) winner Arabian Knight, and Japan-trained Dubai World Cup (G1) winner Ushba Tesoro.