Breeders’ Cup Turf
The Breeders’ Cup Turf is arguably the most popular race in the Breeders’ Cup Championship amongst European fans. It is 1 ½ miles long, following the European Classic thoroughbred racing distance. It also invites some of the top thoroughbreds from Europe to participate, making for one of the world’s biggest horse racing tournaments, with a purse of $4 million.
Del Mar Race Track
The Del Mar will be the venue for the Breeders’ Cup Turf. The track that opened in 1937 has both turf and dirt tracks. The phrase “Where surf meets turf” was coined by actor Bing Crosby, who was part of the partnership of actors that built the race track together. The capacity of the Del Mar is 44,000 making it the second largest in North America.
Breeders’ Cup Turf Regulations
Horses racing must be at least three years old, and they race in the Weight For Age format where conditions such as a horse’s age, weight, and sex are taking into consideration, and the race horses are given weights to make the race more balanced.
In the Turf, runners are limited to 14 entries, with 11 automatic berths. Automatic berths are given at various races during the year, called the “Win and You’re In”, in races that are run worldwide.
The Longines Turf Entries
The California based gelding started his racing career in 2018 and he won in his third start at Los Alamitos. This year he had a gate to wire victory in the San Juan Capistrano Stakes at Santa Anita. Though he has only won in grade 2 stakes, with trainer Phil D’Amato, he is showing good form, and won an automatic berth to the Turf. From 27 starts, he has won 7 races and placed second and third five times respectively.
The colt earned his first grade stakes when he won the Del Mar this year. In the grade 2 Del Mar Handicap, he pulled off a 24-1 upset when he came in from wide to secure victory. This performance earned him a place at the Turf, in which he hopes to recall his strength in a return to Del Mar. With legendary trainer John Shirreffs, this colt has two wins and five runner up places from nine starts, earning him just over $285,000.
Bred in the UK by Highclere Stud, led by Henry Herbert, the 7th Earl of Carnarvon and long-time racing manager to Queen Elizabeth, this young geld has some aristocratic connections. Bursting onto the scene with 6 wins from 8 starts, he has won on firm turf and good turf, and he never races on tracks less than a mile. Combined with trainer Chad Brown, who won four consecutive Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer, from 2016 through 2019, this gelding has a lot of potential going forwards. So far, he has earned over $1.4 million from eight starts where he has 6 wins, 1 second place and 1 third place.
Gufo has never finished less than third place in all his starts. The colt won two grade 1 races in the Sword Dancer Stakes and the Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes. The colt was sired by Declaration of War, a European Group 1 winner, who had only one start in the US, when he achieved third place in the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic. Gufo has seven wins, two second places and four third places in twelve starts, he has earned just under $1.2 million.
The five year old stallion had his best year in 2019, when he won the King Edward VII Stakes, Grand Prix de Paris and International Stakes. He was one of the best three year olds in Europe. Following that season, he failed to win in his five starts last year, but he has picked up wins in two group 3 races in the UK. In his career, he has had twenty starts; winning seven, placing second once and third place four times. He has earned a total of $2.3 million.
Love is an Irish filly, in 2019 she won three of her seven starts, including the Silver Flash Stakes and the Moyglare Stud Stakes. This year, she won the Group 1 Prince of Wales Stake, which put her back in the spotlight. From her fourteen starts, she has seven wins, and placed second and third twice and three times respectively. She has earned a total of $1.8 million in her successful career.
Loves Only You
A Japanese thoroughbred filly, Loves Only You started her career at the age of 2, when she won two out of two starts. She was on a streak of four wins out of four when she tasted her first defeat at the Queen Elizabeth II Cup, taking third place in the race. 2020 was a trying year for her, failing to win from five starts, but she returned to her best in 2021 when she finally won the Queen Elizabeth II Cup. Her career earnings stand at $5.5 million, and from her fourteen starts, she has won six, placed second twice and third place three times.
The Irish thoroughbred, RockEmperor, had two stakes placings in 2021. He won the grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Stakes in October by two lengths. He started his career in 2018, where he won the Prix de Bandol, and has slowly climbed to the higher grades of races. Out of twenty starts, he has won four races, came in second place five times and third six times, racking up over $900,000 in earnings.
Winner of the grade 1 German Derby, Sisfahan enters the Longines Turf on the back of four grade 1 events where he finished no less than third place. Conditioned by German trainer Henk Grewe, the French bred racehorse will want to hit the ground running at his first US race. In six starts he has won two, placed second three times and third once, amassing over $500,000 in his career earnings.
Winner of last year's Longines Turf, this Irish mare has a huge fan following in Europe. She is no stranger to top tier races, winning the Prix Vermeille and Prix de l’Opera Longines last year. This year she is also competing in the top flight, but has yet to win a race. Out of 17 starts she has won nine races, placed second four times and third twice, earning over $4.5 million.
The Irish bred filly enjoyed her first graded win in the Qatar Prix de Vermeille in Longchamps. With only two starts in the grade 1, she is strong on flat Turfs. She has won three out of her six starts, with one second place and third place finish, earning $450,000.
They say third time lucky, United is looking to win his first Longines Turf, having raced here twice already. United’s sire, Giant’s Causeway was a favourite in the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Classic, he only ever finished top or second place in all his 13 starts. Though United has not won a grade 1 event yet, he has done remarkably in the grade 2 tier races, the closest he came to a grade 2 win was at the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Turf, where he finished second place. He is conditioned by trainer Richard Mandella, who has won nine Breeders’ Cups, including four that he won on the same day!
United has ten wins, four second places and one third place out of his twenty two starts, and has earned over $1.8 million.
Seven year old British gelding Walton Street, has hit his career peak this year. He had a slow start, his connections seldom placing him in a race that was graded. This year the gelding entered three grade 1 events, where he won the Canadian International Stakes, and one grade 2 event in the Dubai City Of Gold, which he also won. He has really stepped up and that is what won him an entry to his very first Breeders’ Cup. In his 19 starts, he has won seven and had four second and third places apiece. He has made over $960,000 in his career.
Yibir made his name with two stakes race wins in Europe that invited the colt to run in the grade 1 Jockey Club Derby in Belmont Park. He made sure his presence did not go unnoticed, and won the race to earn his place at the Longines Turf. In his eleven starts he has won five races, placed second once and third once, earning him over $815,000.