Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Breeders' Cup Classic Attracts Crowded Field

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Breeders' Cup Classic Attracts Crowded Field

Article excerpt

ARCADIA, Calif. * Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome and undefeated Shared Belief will face off in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic next week, with Belmont Stakes winner Tonalist also in the crowded field.

They are among a record total of 201 horses, including five defending champions, pre-entered Wednesday for the $26 million, 13- race Breeders' Cup world championships being held for the third straight year at Santa Anita on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.

Fifteen horses one more than the limit were pre-entered for the 1-mile Classic, which will be shown live in prime time Nov. 1 on NBC.

Trainer Art Sherman will saddle California Chrome, who finished fourth in the Belmont behind winner Tonalist in losing his bid to become horse racing's first Triple Crown winner in 36 years. After an extended break, Chrome returned to racing in the Pennsylvania Derby on Sept. 20 and finished sixth behind winner Bayern.

"Every time your horse throws a little bit of a clunker you get a little bit concerned," Sherman said, adding that Chrome didn't run his usual races in the Belmont or Pennsylvania Derby.

"You hate to cry wolf, but you haven't seen the Chrome that I know," he said.

Bayern represents Bob Baffert's latest attempt to win the Classic. The Hall of Fame trainer is 0 for 12, including losses by now-retired Game On Dude the last three years. Bayern also won the Woody Stephens and the Haskell Invitational.

"He looks like he's doing as well as he has been," Baffert said.

Shared Belief is 7-0, and a victory in the Classic would make him a favorite for Horse of the Year honors. He missed the Triple Crown series with foot issues but has dominated racing during the second half of this year, with victories in the Pacific Classic and the Awesome Again. Co-owned by sports talk host Jim Rome, Shared Belief could also claim champion 3-year-old honors with a win in the Classic. …

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