The Breeders’ Cup Mile just got a little tougher.
After a win in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, the connections of Excelebration have decided to send their star colt to Santa Anita to compete against the likes of Wise Dan and Animal Kingdom in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
The son of Exceed and Excel has finished second behind the undefeated and now retired Frankel on four occasions. It will be interesting to see how that form stands up in America. Minus his races against the legendary Frankel, Excelebration has never lost at the mile distance.
I’m glad the multiple Group 1 winner is headed across the pond. It will make the race all the more competitive and enhance the prices of horses like the aforementioned Wise Dan and Animal Kingdom. Other possible competitors include Grade 1 winners Little Mike, Data Link and Jeranimo as well as dual Grade 2 winner Obviously.
Excelebration is trained by Aidan O’Brien and will likely be ridden by his son, Joseph O’Brien. The father-son duo hooked up to win last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf with St. Nicholas Abbey. O’Brien is more than capable of succeeding in the United States. Sometimes called the Todd Pletcher of Europe, O’Brien has trained six Breeders’ Cup winners. However, he has never own the Mile.
Typically, European turf horses are superior to their American counterparts. However, the Breeders’ Cup has been an equalizer at times. While the Europeans are definitely excelling, American horses are thriving as well. Until Goldikova reeled off three consecutive wins in the Mile, the U.S. had won the race four times in a row.
Be sure to check our Breeders’ Cup Mile preview before placing your Breeders’ Cup bets!