Vekoma and Complexity rightfully have been grabbing most of the headlines as the Grade 1 winners choose between the Breeders’ Cup Sprint and Dirt Mile. But as their connections make up their minds, the Dirt Mile field surrounding the stars has been filling in very nicely.
The deep field could include Art Collector, Rushie and Jesus’ Team, three horses on this year’s Kentucky Derby Trail. It also features a slew of runners who have regained their top condition recently after long losing streaks.
Knicks Go had not won since his upset triumph in the 2018 Breeders’ Futurity (G1). He was moved over to trainer Brad Cox for a 2020 campaign and won his first start for the new barn with a 100 Beyer Speed Figure in February.
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He returned from a layoff on Oct. 4 with an eye-opening allowance victory by more than 10 lengths. Though he did not face stakes company, the 107 Beyer Speed Figure he earned while breaking a track record in that romp puts him squarely in the mix. Most important, that allowance win and his Breeders’ Futurity win both came at Keeneland, the site of this year’s Breeders’ Cup Championships.
Mr. Money was in top form last summer but was in the midst of a six-race losing streak when he broke through in the Ack Ack (G3).
At his best, he is definitely able to compete in a race such as the Dirt Mile.
The three-race losing streak that Mr Freeze was on seemed modest compared with Knicks Go and Mr Money, but his numbers were dropping in each race and it was fair to question whether he had lost a step. He responded with a win at Keeneland in last week’s Fayette (G2).
Dual surface G1 winner War of Will further adds to the intrigue of this field as he returns to dirt for the first time since last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Recent Kelso (G2) winner Complexity appears likely to run in the Dirt Mile over the Sprint, while the likely favorite Vekoma truly could go in either spot. If both of them show up for the Dirt Mile, it will be one of the best and most intriguing races of the entire weekend, but even if they do not, there is enough depth for this to be a strong edition of the Dirt Mile.
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