LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – While the order of the top 10 remained unchanged this week, Sackatoga Stable’s 3-year-old Tiz the Law increased his first-place margin to 15 points over GMB Racing’s 7-year-old Tom’s d’Etat in the 2020 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings, a weekly poll of the top 10 horses in contention for the $7 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).
The 1 ¼-mile Classic, scheduled to be run on Nov. 7 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, is the climactic race of the Breeders Cup World Championships.
The Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings are determined by a panel of leading Thoroughbred racing media, horseplayers and members of the Breeders’ Cup Racing Directors/Secretaries Panel. Rankings will be announced each week through Oct. 13. A list of voting members can be found here.
Trained by Barclay Tagg, Tiz the Law (286 votes) finished on top of the Classic Rankings for the second straight week. Undefeated in four starts this year, including Grade 1 wins in the Runhappy Travers and the Belmont Stakes, the New York-bred son of Constitution is being pointed next to the Kentucky Derby (G1) on Sept. 5 at Churchill Downs.
No. 2-rated Tom’s d’Etat (271 votes), trained by Al Stall Jr., won the Oaklawn Mile and the Stephen Foster (G2) at Churchill Downs before finishing third in the Whitney (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 1 after stumbling at the start.
Tom’s d’Etat holds a 2-vote lead over the 4-year-old Maximum Security (269 votes), owned by Gary and Mary West, Michael Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier and Derrick Smith. Trained by Bob Baffert, Maximum Security, who won the San Diego Handicap (G2) on July 25, has been installed as the even-money favorite against five rivals in this Saturday’s $500,000 TVG Pacific Classic (G1) at Del Mar. The Pacific Classic winner will earn an automatic starting position into the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic through the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.
Tiz the Law, Tom’s d’Etat and Maximum Security each received 10 first-place votes this week.
WinStar Farm, CHC Inc. and SF Racing’s Improbable (212 votes), retains fourth place. The 4-year-old chestnut son of City Zip, also trained by Baffert, earned a “Win and You’re In” automatic starting position into the Breeders’ Cup Classic following his 2-length victory in the Whitney.
The Bret Calhoun-trained By My Standards (123 votes) is in fifth place in the rankings. Owned by Allied Racing Stable, the 4-year-old By My Standards won the New Orleans Handicap (G2) and the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) prior to finishing second in the Whitney.
W.S. Farish’s 4-year-old Code of Honor (116 votes), trained by Claude R. “Shug” McGaughey III, is in sixth place. Code of Honor, a chestnut son of Noble Mission (GB), won the Westchester Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park in June, and was recently fourth in the Whitney.
Like Tiz the Law, Bruce Lunsford’s 3-year-old Art Collector (108 votes) also is headed for the Kentucky Derby. The seventh-rated horse in the Classic Rankings, Art Collector has won both the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland and the Ellis Park Derby this year for trainer Tom Drury, Jr.
Juddmonte Farms’ 4-year-old Tacitus (88 votes) retains eighth place in the Classic Rankings. Tacitus, trained by Bill Mott, won the Suburban Stakes (G2) by 8 ¾ lengths at Belmont Park on July 4. He is expected to run next in the Woodward (G1) at Saratoga on Sept. 5.
Bloom Racing, Madaket Stables and Allen Racing’s 5-year-old mare Midnight Bisou (79 votes), who captured the “Win and You’re In” Fleur de Lis (G2) at Churchill Downs, and finished second as the odds-on favorite in Saratoga’s Personal Ensign (G1), is in ninth place.
Rounding out the top 10 is the versatile Vekoma (66 votes). Trained by George Weaver for R.A Hill Stable and Gatsas Stables, Vekoma is unbeaten in three starts this year, including two wins in Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races: the Runhappy Carter Handicap (G1), for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1), and the Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap (G1), for the Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1).
*Note – The Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings have no bearing on qualification or selection into the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
In the Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings, each voter rates horses on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 system in descending order.
**The photo of ‘Tiz the Law’ that accompanies this story is courtesy of Rob Simmons/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM.