Arcangelo’s Unexpected Triumph in the Breeders’ Cup Classic
Within the 2023 Triple Crown series, Arcangelo emerged as a belated contender, yet his rise as the preeminent 3-year-old of the year aligns serendipitously, especially in the context of the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Preceding the marquee event set to unfold at Santa Anita Park on November 4th, Arcangelo is among the 18 horses that were pre-entered for the $6 million spectacle.
An Exceptional Lineup of Races
The Classic represents just one of the 14 World Championship races slated for Arcadia, California, on November 3-4. This grand event serves as a congregation of 205 of the world’s most elite thoroughbreds, all vying for year-end accolades and substantial purses.
Pre-entries for all 14 races have already been recorded, setting the stage for a grand spectacle.
Santa Anita’s Storied History
Santa Anita has the honor of hosting the Breeders’ Cup for the 11th time, having previously played host to this global gathering in 2019, 2016, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2009, 2008, 2003, 1993, and 1986.
Leading the Charge
The nationally televised Breeders’ Cup Classic, scheduled to commence at 6:40 p.m. EDT on November 4th, boasts the headlining presence of Arcangelo. This remarkable ridgling has clinched victory in four out of his six career starts, an impressive streak that encompasses the final leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes, and the prestigious Travers Stakes, both designated as Grade 1 races.
Trainer Jena Antonucci, speaking about Arcangelo’s victory in the $1.25 million Travers on August 26th at Saratoga, mused, “I guess the more this horse accomplishes, the more history we’re destined to inscribe.”
Arcangelo’s monumental triumph in June not only won him the Belmont but also etched a historic milestone for his trainer, making Jena Antonucci the first woman trainer to secure a victory in a Triple Crown race. The Classic’s 1 1/4-mile distance should pose no challenge for the offspring of Arrogate, given his prior victories in the 1 1/2-mile Belmont and the 1 1/4-mile Travers.
A New Champion
As for the Classic, it is guaranteed to have a new champion as last year’s victor at Keeneland Race Course, Flightline, has retired from racing.
Arcangelo’s chief adversaries include Mage, the 2023 Kentucky Derby winner, Pacific Classic champion Arabian Knight, and Haskell Stakes conqueror Geaux Rocket Ride. The pre-entered Classic field includes a full complement of 14 horses and an additional four also-eligibles. Among the top contenders expected to join the fray are Pennsylvania Derby victor Saudi Crown, UAE Derby champion Derma Sotogake from Japan, and the seasoned campaigners White Abarrio and Bright Future.
Countdown to the Races
The official fields for the Breeders’ Cup races will be locked in on Monday when the post-position draws commence at 7:45 p.m. EDT at the Pasadena Civic Center in California.
An Exciting Lineup
The Classic is just one of nine Breeders’ Cup races slated for Saturday, November 4th, a lineup that includes the Distaff, Turf, Mile, Sprint, Filly and Mare Turf, Dirt Mile, Turf Sprint, and Filly and Mare Sprint.
Friday’s “Future Stars” races offer a thrilling prelude, with four fully pre-entered fields of 14, along with also-eligibles, competing in the Juvenile Turf, Juvenile Fillies Turf, Juvenile Turf Sprint, and Juvenile Fillies. Notably, the Juvenile features Bob Baffert’s American Pharoah Stakes victor Muth and Todd Pletcher-trained Locked, who clinched the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity earlier this month at Keeneland.
The 40th Breeders’ Cup, which totals $31 million in purses, will be televised or streamed nationally by NBC, USA, Peacock, and FanDuel TV (formerly known as TVG).
2023 Breeders’ Cup Details
What: World championships of thoroughbred horse racing, including 14 races over two days.
When: Nov. 3-4
Where: Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California
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