D. Wayne Lukas, the king of Breeders' Cup trainers with 16 victories, pre-entered only two horses for this year's renewal of the World Thoroughbred Championships. And since both -- Day Trader and Orientate--are in the NAPA Sprint (gr. I), Lukas will actually have only one opportunity on Saturday at Arlington Park to add to that total. The better shot of his two runners is Orientate, who will vie for favoritism after reeling off a quartet of impressive victories since Lukas shifted the colt's competitive focus to shorter distances.
Other trainers ranked high on the Breeders' Cup win list also have limited opportunities to extend their records.
Shug McGaughey, who has seven Breeders' Cup triumphs, pre-entered just one runner: Storm Flag Flying. But she is the likely favorite in the Juvenile Fillies (gr. I). The daughter of Storm Cat is undefeated in three races, and her female pedigree contains two past Breeders' Cup winners. Her second dam, Personal Ensign, scored a thrilling win in the 1988 Distaff while her dam, My Flag, captured the 1995 Juvenile Fillies.
Neil Drysdale, with six Breeders' Cup wins, also has just one pre-entered runner. His sole hope is Touch of the Blues, who finished second by a neck to Landseer in the Shadwell Keeneland Turf Mile (gr. IT). The lone horse pre-entered by Bill Mott, who has five Breeders' Cup victories, is Del Mar Show in the Mile (gr. IT). The 5-year-old son of Theatrical is a multiple graded winner this year, but finished 10th in his most recent race, the Atto Mile (gr. IT) at Woodbine.
Ron McAnally, with four Breeders' Cup wins, has no horses scheduled to compete in the World Thoroughbred Championships this year.
Three men who have only four Breeders' Cup victories between them dominated this year's pre-entries, But they are among the most successful trainers in the world. Leading the American forces are Bob Baffert and Bobby Frankel, with seven horses apiece. Baffert captured the Juvenile Fillies in 1998 with Silverbulletday and the Sprint in 1992 with Thirty Slews. Frankel scored his first and only when last year when Squirtle Squirt took the Sprint. The leader of the foreign contingent is Ireland's Aidan O'Brien, whose 10 pre-entries were the most of any trainer, but not all will run. As of Tuesday morning, Reach for the Moon was out of the Juvenile Fillies, according to the International Racing Bureau. Marino Marini and Ontario are on the preference list for the Juvenile. O'Brien saddled Johannesburg to win last year's Juvenile.