There are three days that I live for every year. One day is the Kentucky Derby. The other two belong to the Breeders' Cup. The Breeders' Cup is the annual retreat to thoroughbred racing heaven. The best of the best horses usually show up and, sometimes, horses from all around the world. It's a rare thing in modern times that the best horses meet. Come Breeders' Cup time there is no escape. If you want the big bucks, the prestige and a big boost for a champion title, you go to the Breeders' Cup.
This year there is an unbelievable cast, among them our first American Triple Crown winner in American Pharoah, the first filly to win the Pacific Classic in Beholder, and the first (Golden Horn) and second place (Flintshire) horses from the Arc de Triomphe. Not to mention the two time Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Tonalist, the runaway Woodward winner Liam's Map, the running fool Runhappy and Private Zone--a personal favorite of mine-- who can't be caught.
It's a shame that the nation only seems to tune in for Kentucky Derby Day and a Triple Crown run. The casual fan misses a great two days of racing in late October/early November. However, this year, Breeders' Cup at Keeneland has a weapon unlike any other host of the Breeders' Cup yet. They have American Pharoah. The handsome king of horse racing was deposed briefly by Keen Ice in the Travers, but he's coming back for more, for one last run at glory.
A mile and a quarter and a whole field of talented rivals separate him from glory, but his story line has only become more dramatized. Can the son of Pioneerof the Nile win the Breeders' Cup Classic? He's already won the Triple Crown, but can he beat older horses at the end of the season? Can he enhance his greatness and move up the list of legends? If he does, will he turn it into a spectacle like the Preakness, Belmont and Haskell? Or will he have to put his entire heart on the line as he did in the Kentucky Derby and Travers Stakes?
The Breeders' Cup Classic awaits. Coming to your television screen on October 31st, 2015.