Ship boat

Royal Ship Cruises in the BCC top 10

Moves to Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic standings after win at San Diego Handicap

LEXINGTON, Kentucky. ― Following his impressive victory in the San Diego Handicap (G2) last Saturday at Del Mar, Fox Hill Farms, Inc. and the 6-year-old gelding of Siena Farm LLC Royal Ship (BRZ) went from unranked to n°7 in the last Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic ranking, with the best line of flight holding a 38 point edge of Olympiad. The Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings is a weekly ranking of the top 10 horses vying for the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky on November 5.

Royal Ship, trained by Richard Mandella, came off the pace at the San Diego Handicap to claim a 2 1⁄4 win over the 2-1 favorite country grammar. Son of Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Midshipman, Royal Ship received 100 votes.

Flightline, trained by John Sadler, remains in the lead for the first six weeks of the rankings. The winner of the Hill ‘N’ Dale Metropolitan Handicap (G1) has 323 votes. Owned by Hronis Racing LLC, Siena Farm LLC, Summer Wind Equine LLC, West Point Thoroughbreds and Woodford Racing LLC, Flightline is set to start next September 3 in the TVG Pacific Classic (G1), one win and you’re in for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Grandview Equine, Cheyenne Stable LLC and LNJ Foxwoods 4-Year-Old Olympiad are in second place with 279 votes. Undefeated in five starts this year for coach Bill Mott, Olympiad, Life is good, Hot Rod Charlieand The American Revolution, should all start this Saturday in the Whitney (G1) in Saratoga, a Victory and off we go for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic. The Whitney will air live on NBC and Peacock (5 p.m. ET) as part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In – presented by America’s Best Racing.

Life Is Good, a 4-year-old from CHC, Inc. and WinStar Farm LLC, winner of the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) and the John A. Nerud Stakes (G2) for trainer Todd Pletcher, remains in third place with 259 votes . Winchell Thoroughbreds, 3 years old Epicenter, 1 1⁄2 length winner of last Saturday’s Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) in Saratoga, moved from sixth to fourth this week. Epicenter (202 votes) is trained by Steve Asmussen, who saddled Curlin and Gun Runner to victories in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Country Grammer, owned by Commonwealth Thoroughbreds, LLC, WinStar Farm LLC and Zedan Racing Stables, Inc., and coached by Bob Baffert, jumps from fourth to fifth place with 197 votes. Boat Racing, LLC, Gainesway Stable, Roadrunner Racing and 4-year-old Hot Rod Charlie of Dubai World Cup (G1) runner-up William Strauss slip one place to sixth with 154 votes.

After the seventh place of Royal Ship, the 3 years of Gold Square LLC Cyberknife, winner of the Haskell Stakes (G1) on July 23. Trained by Brad Cox, who saddled Knicks Go, winner of the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic last year, Cyberknife fell one place to eighth with 79 votes. The third 3-year-old in the top 10 is Whisper Hill Farm’s charge it. Formed by Todd Pletcher, Charge It, winner of the Dwyer Stakes (G3) by 23 lengths, is in ninth place with 55 votes.

CHC Inc. and WinStar Farm LLC’s 4-year-old American Revolution, the third Pletcher-trained horse in the Top 10, is in 10th place with 37 votes.

The Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic rankings are determined by a panel comprised of major thoroughbred racing media, horse players and members of the Breeders’ Cup Racing Directors/Secretaries panel. Rankings will be announced weekly until October 11. A list of voting members can be found here.

In the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic classification, each voter evaluates the horses according to a system of 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 in descending order.

*Note – Rankings have no bearing on qualification or selection for the Classic.

The 2022 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic, which will be held 1 1⁄4 miles away on the main Keeneland track, is limited to 14 starters. The race will be broadcast live on NBC.

Breeders’ Cup press release
Royal Ship with Mike Smith after winning the San Diego Handicap in Del Mar on July 30, 2022. (Benoit)