Trainers play a very significant role when it comes to the Breeders’ Cup, as they are the ones that would have determined the route taken by horses for the huge meeting.
Some trainers have experienced more success than others at the featured meet of the season, with D. Wayne Lukas still being the leading overall trainer with 20 winners throughout his career.
However, both Bob Baffert and Chad Brown are closing in on that number, as they have achieved 17 and 15 winners respectively. But, who are the trainers to keep an eye on at the Breeders’ Cup in 2021?
Brad Cox made history at the 2020 Breeders’ Cup, as he matched the record of four winners over the meet. He looks to be in a very strong position to have another strong challenge at this year’s event.
All of the attention will be on the two horses that he trains that will be lining up in the Classic, as Knicks Go and Essential Quality are already at the top of the betting.
Knicks Go won the Pegasus World Cup earlier in the season and has added further graded victories with the Whitney and Lukas Classic. Essential Quality won the Belmont Stakes and looks like an incredible chance.
Cox has won nearly $24 million in prize money this season, with wins in illustrious Grade 1 races such as the Haskell Stakes, La Troienne Stakes, and Darley Alcibiades. Other leading contenders that he should have in some of the featured races include Monomoy Girl, Shedaresthedevil, and Juju’s Map.
It has been an excellent season to this point for British trainer Charlie Appleby, as he has recorded more Group 1 winners in 2021 than any previous year.
His relationship with Godolphin has led to a growing number of winners, and he will go to the Breeders’ Cup later in the year having won huge races such as the Epsom Derby, King George VI, and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, and St Leger.
Success on American soil has also been achieved this year with wins in the Diana Stakes and Just A Game Stakes. He will have a strong hand for all the turf races at the Breeders’ Cup, with Athiqa looking for a third graded success. His Classic pair of Adayar and Hurricane Lane could also head to Del Mar, while Master of the Seas could be another that goes under the radar for the excellent trainer.
Chad Brown has an excellent reputation at the Breeders’ Cup, as he as recorded 15 winners throughout his career. He will be a decent bet to increase that number in 2021 with a strong handset to head to Del Mar. Brown has had an excellent season in terms of graded winners, as he has had the winning horse in races such as the Manhattan Stakes, Acorn Stakes, and United Nations Stakes.
A number of his horses have won ‘Win and You’re In’ races for the Breeders’ Cup, including Domestic Spending and Blowout. He will also have lively chances in some of the other races, with horses such as Search Results, Tribhuvan, and Rockemperor all having won Grade 1s this season. Shantisara, My Sister Nat, and Jack Christopher could all be heading to the Breeders’ Cup too.
However, claiming victories may be challenging, as he doesn’t currently have the favorites in any of the big Breeders’ Cup races taking place at Del Mar later in the year. You can check this year’s Breeders’ Cup contenders here.
Still, given his reputation, that is unlikely to be enough to put off some gamblers.