(Forte / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

From the Breeders’ Cup Media Team:

Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable’s 3-year-old Forte held onto the No. 1 position for the second straight week in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings, while the first five spots in the poll remained the same. The Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic Rankings are a weekly rating of the top 10 horses in contention for the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), which will be run Nov. 4 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California.

Forte, recent winner of the Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) for trainer Todd Pletcher, received 294 votes, including 19 first place votes. C Two Racing Stable and Antonio Pagnano’s 4-year-old White Abarrio, dominant winner of the Whitney Stakes (G1), is in second place with 226 votes.

Pin Oak Stud LLC’s Geaux Rocket Ride, winner of the TVG.com Haskell Stakes (G1), is third with 222 votes. Mage, who won the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), is fourth with 211 votes, and Blue Rose Farm’s Arcangelo, the Belmont Stakes (G1) winner, is fifth with 193 votes.

Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman’s Hollywood Gold Cup Stakes (G1) winner Defunded is sixth with 109 votes. Lucky Seven Stable’s Rattle N Roll, runner-up in the Stephen Foster Stakes (G1), is seventh with 106 votes.

Jeff Drown’s 4-year-old Zandon, who finished second in the Whitney, ranks eighth with 71 votes. Bruce Lunsford’s Art Collector, who earlier this season won the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes presented by Baccarat (G1), is ninth with 66 votes.

Joining the top 10 for the first time is Godolphin’s 5-year-old Proxy, winner of the Oaklawn Handicap (G2) and the July 22 Monmouth Cup Stakes (G3). Trained by Mike Stidham, Proxy is 10th with 56 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. 10. A list of voting members can be found here.

In the 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. 15, 2023*

Rank Horse Votes First-Place Votes Previous Week
1 Forte 294 19 1
2 White Abarrio 226 1 2
3 Geaux Rocket Ride 222 3 3
4 Mage 211 1 4
5 Arcangelo 193 1 5
6 Defunded 109 2 7
7 Rattle N Roll 106 3 8
8 Zandon 71 0 9
9 Art Collector 66 0 10
10 Proxy 56 0 11

Horses also receiving first-place votes this week were Ushba Tesoro (JPN) (2) and King of Steel (1).

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

The 2023 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic, which will be run at 1 1/4 miles on the main track at Santa Anita, is limited to 14 starters. The race will be broadcast live on NBC and Peacock.

ABOUT BREEDERS’ CUP

Breeders’ Cup Limited administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships, as well as the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races through an 80-race series hosted by 11 countries, and the U.S.-based Dirt Dozen Bonus Series. The Breeders’ Cup supports and operates under the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA), which, for the first time, establishes a national, uniform set of rules applicable to every Thoroughbred racing participant and racetrack. HISA seeks to enhance the safety of both horse and rider and to protect the integrity of the sport to the benefit of all racing participants, fans, and bettors.

The 2023 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 Grade 1 Championship races, and $31 million in purses and awards, is scheduled to be held Nov. 3-4 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. The Championships will return to the West Coast in 2024 with Del Mar in Del Mar, California, set to host Nov. 1-2. The Championships will be televised live by NBC Sports. Press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup website, BreedersCup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media.