It took no less of a talent than a Horse of the Year to end the European run of success in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf a year ago. Bricks and Mortar’s victory in the 2019 Turf brought a halt to the Euros’ stretch of four straight wins in the 1 1/2-mile turf test, but now, in the aftermath of his retirement, the American starters will be hard-pressed to handle six talented Europeans in Saturday’s race.
1. Arklow (5-1): Veteran American campaigner doesn’t win that often, but three of his seven career wins came at 1 ½ miles so the conditions should suit him. He was eighth in last year’s Turf but judging by a Grade 3 win at the distance in his last start and some sharp recent workouts, he is certainly capable of being a main contender.
JOCKEY: Florent Geroux; TRAINER: Brad Cox
2. Magical (5-2): She was second to the great Enable in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Turf and has been a gem of consistency since then in an array of Europe’s top stakes. She was third last time out in a Group 1 stakes at Ascot but she lacked racing room in the stretch and figures to atone for that setback here.
JOCKEY: Ryan Moore; TRAINER: Aidan O’Brien
3. Tarnawa (6-1): She’s won three straight races overseas, capped by a narrow win in the Group 1 Prix de l’Opera Longines. If she can duplicate that effort in her first American appearance, she merits plenty of attention here.
JOCKEY: Christophe Soumillion; TRAINER: Dermot Weld
4. Mehdaayih (30-1): She has had some trouble at the start of her last two races in Europe, but she has been unable to threaten in her two 2020 starts and it’s doubtful the third time will be the charm.
JOCKEY: Joel Rosario; TRAINER: John Gosden
5. Donjah (30-1): She’s a Group 1 winner in Germany but with just four wins in 10 career starts, she may not have enough speed and class to emerge as a major player.
JOCKEY: Clement Lecoeuvre; TRAINER: Henk Grewe
6. Lord North (8-1): His last two starts were a drop off from a big group 1 win at Royal Ascot. Having to face Magical does not bode well for his chances of generating a win here.
JOCKEY: Frankie Dettori; TRAINER: John Gosden
7. United (8-1): He was a game second to Bricks and Mortar in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf, falling short by a head. That effort started a streak of seven straight races in which he was no worse than second. He has enough speed to be dangerous but the prospect of dueling with Channel Maker on the front end and running on softer turf than he usually faces in California may work against him.
JOCKEY: Flavien Prat; TRAINER: Richard Mandella
8. Red King (20-1): Heads east after three straight wins in California, with the most recent triumph coming in the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap Presented by The Japan Racing Association. He seems to on an upswing but he’s facing much tougher competition here.
JOCKEY: Umberto Rispoli; TRAINER: Phil D’Amato
9. Channel Maker (5-1): He finally blossomed at six, winning a pair of Grade 1 stakes (the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and Sword Dancer) in decisive fashion in fashion in last two starts. His speed makes him the main danger to the Europeans and could make him hard to collar in the stretch.
JOCKEY: Manny Franco; TRAINER: Bill Mott
10. Mogul (4-1): He’s an improving 3-year-old who was a Group 1 winner on firm turf in France in his last start. It will be his first race against older horses but Aidan O’Brien, Europe’s premier trainer, has done a nice job of developing him into horse who fits very nicely here against top-level competition.
JOCKEY: Pierre-Charles Boudot; TRAINER: Aidan O’Brien
THE PICK: Magical
LIVE LONGSHOT: Tarnawa