O'Brien Likely to Have Pair of Breeders' Cup Starters

O'Brien Likely to Have Pair of Breeders' Cup Starters
Photo: Associated Press
Dylan Thomas took the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fra-gr.IT) as a prelude to his Breeders' Cup start.
Aidan O’Brien, who has been a dominant force in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, likely will have only two starters in this year’s event, but they will be a formidable pair. O’Brien will send out Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (Fra-gr.IT) winner Dylan Thomas in the John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) and Excellent Art in the NetJets Mile (gr. IT).

“We haven't finalized plans just yet, but they might be our only runners at the meeting,” O’Brien told the Racing Post. “At this stage, it looks as if we might not have a 2-year-old runner.”

Dylan Thomas looks to be a sure bet for European Horse of the Year honors after winning the Arc, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth stakes (Eng-I); Irish Champion Stakes (Ire-I); Prix Ganay (Fr-I) and Alleged Stakes this year; and finishing second in the group I Juddmonte International, Prince of Wales’s Stakes, and Tattersalls Gold Cup. Last year, the son of Danehill won the group I Irish Derby and Irish Champion Stakes, and was third, beaten a head, in the English Derby (Eng-I).

Excellent Art is coming off an unlucky second in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (Eng-I) at Ascot after being trapped at the back of the pack for a good portion of the stretch run. In his previous start, he was second, beaten a head, in the Sussex Stakes (Eng-I), and before that captured the St. James’s Palace Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot.

Of O’Brien's other top milers, George Washington will contest the Champion Stakes (Eng-I), while Duke of Marmalade will be put away for the year. Irish Derby winner Soldier of Fortune, who was fifth in the Arc, also will be put away to prepare for his 4-year-old old campaign.

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