Longines sponsors some of the biggest races that will be taking place at the Breeders’ Cup in November. In total, the races sponsored by the watch manufacturer equate to $12 million in the prize money that is up for grabs in Del Mar later in the year.
Still, with such prestigious races set to be taking place, it means that the fields for those races will also be ultra-competitive. But, which horses are currently at the top of the betting for the three races sponsored by Longines?
The Breeders’ Cup Distaff is a race for fillies and mares over nine furlongs on the dirt. Famous winners of this race in previous years include Monomoy Girl and Royal Delta, who have both won the Distaff on two previous occasions. However, a new name will be added to the roll of winners this year, and the heavy favorite in the betting is currently Letruska.
The five-year-old for trainer Fausto Gutierrez has been near perfect so far this season and has won five from six. Her only blip came on her first start of the season, as she was second in the Azeri Stakes. Since then, she has won five straight races, with the most recent of those coming with success in the G1 Personal Ensign.
Other Grade 1 victories during the 2021 season have come in the Ogden Phipps and Apple Blossom. Competition for Letruska in the Distaff could come in the forms of Malathaat and Swiss Skydiver, but we await final confirmation regarding whether this will be the race that they run in at Del Mar.
The featured turf race at the Breeders’ Cup is also sponsored by Longines, as the field will race over one and a half miles with a $4 million purse available to connections. Many of the big European contenders will make the journey over for this race, which means it is little surprise to see those head the betting.
Tarnawa for trainer Dermot Weld has been listed as the favourite for this race, despite finishing second on both of her two most recent starts. She was second behind St Mark’s Basilica in the G1 Irish Champion Stakes in the middle of September, before returning with a gritty performance when second behind long-shot Torquator Tasso in the Arc at Longchamp.
She will be looking to become only the third horse to win back-to-back Turf races at the Breeders’ Cup.
Value can be found everywhere in this market, with St Leger winner and horse that finished third in the Arc, Hurricane Lane also available, as well as Dubai Sheema and Juddmonte International Stakes winner Mishriff also likely to make the journey.
The featured race of the meet at the Breeders’ Cup is also sponsored by Longines, as the Classic has a purse of $6 million. The best horses in the United States will run in this race, which covers a distance of one and a quarter miles.
Knicks Go is the current horse at the top of the betting for this race, as the five-year-old has won four from six races this season. He was outstanding most recently in the G3 Lukas Classic at Churchill Downs, which was his third straight graded victory this season, following the G1 Whitney and G3 Cornhusker.
However, further quality is clearly evident behind Knicks Go in the betting, with Belmont Stakes winner Essential Quality looking for a second straight victory at the Breeders’ Cup, while Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit could also be heading to the Classic. Hot Rod Charlie is also a competitive sort, who could be in the frame for a victory, as is Max Player.
Find more information about the upcoming Breeders Cup 2021 here: https://www.twinspires.com/breeders-cup