Ranking The Top 5 2016 Breeders’ Cup Horses

By Darragh Farrelly September 14, 2016

Things are heating up. We are less than eight weeks away from the biggest international showcase of thoroughbreds in horse racing. Kicking off November 4th at Santa Anita Park in California, the world will stop to take notice of the Breeders’ Cup® and the unprecedented level of racing on show. With a total of 13 races on show and a purse of over $28 million to be won, we rank the top 5 horses headed to racing’s showpiece event.

  • California Chrome, Breeders’ Cup Classic. Undoubtedly the biggest draw over the course of the two days, California Chrome is the leading thoroughbred in the world and the winningest horse of all-time with earnings over $13 million. The mercurial Cal will look to sign off on one of the greatest careers ever in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, the blue riband event of the World Championships. America will come to a standstill as Chrome enters the starting gate as heavy favorite of the 14 starters on November 5th. California Chrome is the Michael Jordan of thoroughbred racing; winner of the 2014 Kentucky Derby® and Preakness Stakes, no one would begrudge one last hurrah for racing’s biggest superstar.


  • Tepin, Breeders’ Cup Mile. In a race that has been dominated by European invaders (see: Goldikova 2008-10) since its initiation in 1984, Tepin proved to be the queen of turf when putting all others to the sword in taking the Breeders’ Cup Mile at last year’s renewal. The best thing about Tepin is she took her exploits further afield, specifically to Royal Ascot and beat the European’s on their own patch when taking the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes. Winner of seven straight races, frankly put the only person who can beat this champion mare is herself when she looks to go back-to-back in this race.
  • Frosted, Breeders’ Cup Classic. If there is any horse that can stop California Chrome’s assault at history, then look no further than Frosted. Fifth to Chrome in March’s Dubai World Cup, many would argue that taking aim at the Mile would enhance this Godolphin-owned colt at a chance of victory. However, wins in the Metropolitan and Whitney Handicaps have shown he is capable of brilliance at his very best. Though the most likely winner of the Classic not named California Chrome, Frosted has earned his right to take a shot at the king. 


  • Flintshire, Breeders’ Cup Turf. A strong favorite for the Turf race, Flintshire has been a model of consistency and a figure of speed since being transferred to US-based trainer Chad Brown this year from France. A brilliant second in the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe in 2015 as a five-year-old, he is 3-for-3 this year and on paper seems to be streets ahead of all other male turf horses in North America. Though he will face a stiff test from the European team, most notably Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien, he will undoubtedly be one of the toughest horses to be at this year’s Breeders’ Cup. 
  • Songbird, Breeders’ Cup Distaff. The only horse on this list who has never lost a race, Songbird is 10-for-10 all-time. The leading filly in 2015 and winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies race last year, Songbird will look to join an elite list of two-time winner of Breeders’ races when going in the Distaff. However, in order for Songbird to keep her unbeaten record intact, she will have to be at her very best in order to top her nearest rival in the market, Breeders’ Cup veteran and two-time winner (Juvenile Fillies, 2012; Distaff, 2013) Beholder.


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