All the talk, this Breeders’ Cup, is centered on two horses.

There is the Gun Runner camp. They are tried and true. The beautiful red head has swamped his competition in three straight Grade 1 events, winning them by a total of 221/2 lengths. And, he has gained titles, tributes, and trendy fans along the way, so much so that it would tilt any bandwagon.

There is the Arrogate camp. Be damned the two disappointing runs at Del Mar this summer. They remember, with love and honor, the brilliant 7 wins in a row — including two butt kickings of Gun Runner. And, rightfully so, they believe that this son of Unbridled’s Song will return to his glory today.  No matter what.

After that, there has been little talk of the other 9 horses in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic — the lynchpin of the World Championships.

There has been little news. There have been few highlights. There have been seldom mentions. It is if this classic battle is simply a match race between just two titans of the industry.

But that’s why they call it a horse race. And, that’s why they load them all in the starting gate. Ultimately, that’s why they put a finish line — to mark the spot where they all must run.

And, despite the fact that the Two Men in the race deserve all the accolades, praise and recognition that they are getting up until post time, I am going a different way.

I think today, the young, talented, brash upstart 3YO colt West Coast will stake his claim to fame. Move over stablemate Arrogate. Give a man some space here, Gun Runner. It is time for a new face. It is time for a new gun slinger. It is time for West Coast.

In many ways, West Coast — the son of Flatter and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner of the year 2000, Caressing — comes into this epic showdown the same way as the once invincible Arrogate did a year ago.

Like his roommate down the shed row (Arrogate), West Coast didn’t get started until he was a 3YO. Didn’t even make his first race until he had made it to the age of brashness, when most of his age group with talent were taking dead aim at the Kentucky Derby and the Triple Crown series, they were just trying to get to a MSW event.

And, like his roommate down the shed row (Arrogate), West Coast didn’t win his first start, either. Arrogate ran third in his debut at Los Alamitos. West Coast ran second on Feb. 18 of this year at Santa Anita.

But after that, the both of them splashed on the racing scene with some dash. Arrogate ran off 7 straight victories. West Coast has run off 6 wins in 7 starts — with his only blemish being a second in the G3 Lexington Stakes when he was nipped by a nose at the wire.


Arrogate won his first Graded Stakes event in the G1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga in record setting time, on his way to the Breeders’ Cup Classic and claims that he may join the elite of the elite.

West Coast won his first Grade 1 event in the G1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga this year, and his closing fractions over the last 1/2 mile were very similar and close to those of the great Arrogate.

On his way to the Breeders’ Cup Classic win, as well? Well, we shall see. But erie, right?

Since winning the Pennsylvania Derby on Sept. 23, West Coast comes into the biggest race and challenge of his life with 5 straight victories and he has certainly stamped himself as the top 3YO in the country.

Not bad for a colt who was not foaled until May. Not bad for a colt, who was purchased by Gary and Mary West for $425,000 as a young, young yearling — but were willing to take their time. Not bad for a colt who seems to just be getting better and better.

West Coast will be making only his second start against older colts and males today. The first time came in an allowance-optional claimer way back in May of this year (which he won, of course).

To step it up against older is usually a big step. Sometimes an insurmountable one. But just consider. The last three winners of the Breeders’ Cup Classic have been 3YOs.

So why not now? Why not again? Why not West Coast?

I think it so. After all, we are on the West Coast. Right?

It just may be time for the two horse race become a threesome. It just may be time for a new kid on the block.  It just may be time for trainer Bob Baffert to pull off another racing miracle, which he is best known for doing.

It just may be time for West Coast.