San Diego Winner Royal Ship Cruises Into Top 10 In Breeders' Cup Classic Rankings - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

San Diego Winner Royal Ship Cruises Into Top 10 In Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings

Jockey Mike Smith guides Royal Ship to the winner’s circle after their victory in the Grade II, $300,000 San Diego Handicap, Saturday, July 30, 2022 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar CA.© BENOIT PHOTO

Following his impressive victory in last Saturday's San Diego Handicap (G2) at Del Mar, Fox Hill Farms, Inc., and Siena Farm LLC's 6-year-old gelding Royal Ship (BRZ) has gone from unranked to No. 7 in the latest Longines Breeders' Cup Classic Rankings, with top-rated Flightline holding a 38-point edge of Olympiad. The Longines Breeders' Cup Classic Rankings is a weekly rating of the top 10 horses in contention for the $6 million Longines Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, on Nov. 5.

Royal Ship, trained by Richard Mandella, came from off the pace in the San Diego Handicap to score a 2 ¼-length win over 2-1 favorite Country Grammer. A son of Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Midshipman, Royal Ship received 100 votes.

Flightline, trained by John Sadler, remains on top through the first six weeks of the rankings. The Hill 'N' Dale Metropolitan Handicap (G1) winner has 323 votes. Owned by Hronis Racing LLC, Siena Farm LLC, Summer Wind Equine LLC, West Point Thoroughbreds, and Woodford Racing LLC, Flightline is slated to start next on Sept. 3 in the TVG Pacific Classic (G1), a Win and You're In for the Longines Breeders' Cup Classic.

Grandview Equine, Cheyenne Stable LLC, and LNJ Foxwoods' 4-year-old Olympiad is in second place with 279 votes. Undefeated in five starts this year for trainer Bill Mott, Olympiad, Life Is Good, Hot Rod Charlie, and Americanrevolution, are all expected to start in this Saturday's Whitney (G1) at Saratoga, a Win and You're In for the Longines Breeders' Cup Classic. The Whitney will be broadcast live on NBC and Peacock (5 p.m. ET) as a part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge Series: Win and You're In – presented by America's Best Racing.

CHC, Inc. and WinStar Farm LLC's 4-year-old Life Is Good, winner of the Pegasus World Cup Invitational (G1) and the John A. Nerud Stakes (G2) for trainer Todd Pletcher, remains in third place with 259 votes. Winchell Thoroughbreds' 3-year-old Epicenter, a 1 ½-length winner of last Saturday's Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) at Saratoga, has jumped from sixth place to fourth this week. Epicenter (202 votes) is trained by Steve Asmussen, who saddled both Curlin and Gun Runner to victories in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Country Grammer, owned by Commonwealth Thoroughbreds, LLC, WinStar Farm LLC, and Zedan Racing Stables, Inc., and trained by Bob Baffert, drops from fourth place to fifth with 197 votes. Boat Racing, LLC, Gainesway Stable, Roadrunner Racing, and William Strauss' 4-year-old Hot Rod Charlie, second in the Dubai World Cup (G1), slips one spot to sixth place with 154 votes.

Following seventh-place Royal Ship is Gold Square LLC's 3-year-old Cyberknife, winner of the Haskell Stakes (G1) on July 23. Trained by Brad Cox, who saddled last year's Longines Breeders' Cup Classic winner Knicks Go, Cyberknife drops one position to eighth place with 79 votes. The third 3-year-old in the top 10 is Whisper Hill Farm's Charge It. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Charge It, a 23-length winner of the Dwyer Stakes (G3), is in ninth place with 55 votes.

CHC Inc. and WinStar Farm LLC's 4-year-old Americanrevolution, the third Pletcher-trained horse in the Top 10, is in 10th place with 37 votes.

The Longines Breeders' Cup Classic Rankings are determined by a panel of leading Thoroughbred racing media, horseplayers, and members of the Breeders' Cup Racing Directors/Secretaries Panel. Rankings will be announced each week through Oct. 11. A list of voting members can be found here.

In the Longines Breeders' Cup Classic Rankings, each voter rates horses on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 system in descending order.

Longines Breeders' Cup Classic Rankings – Aug. 2, 2022*

Rank Horse Votes First-Place Votes Previous Week
1 Flightline 323 25 1
2 Olympiad 279 5 2
3 Life Is Good 259 4 3
4 Epicenter 202 0 6
5 Country Grammer 197 0 4
6 Hot Rod Charlie 154 0 5
7 Royal Ship (BRZ) 100 0 Not Rated
8 Cyberknife 79 0 7
9 Charge It 55 0 9
10 Americanrevolution 37 0 11

*Note – The Longines Breeders' Cup Classic Rankings have no bearing on qualification or selection into the Longines Breeders' Cup Classic.

The 2022 Longines Breeders' Cup Classic, which will be run at 1 ¼ miles on the main track at Keeneland, is limited to 14 starters. The race will be broadcast live on NBC.

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