Havre de Grace is going where Zenyatta once did, taking on the boys in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic. The 4-year-old filly is 5-of-6 this year and a victory could burnish her credentials for Horse of the Year.
A record total of 193 horses, including 29 from overseas, were pre-entered Wednesday for the $26 million, 15-race Breeders' Cup world championships at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on Nov. 4-5. That tops last year's total of 184.
Havre de Grace was pre-entered in the 1 1/4-mile Classic, along with 13 others, including Uncle Mo, Travers winner Stay Thirsty, Jockey Club Gold Cup winner Flat Out, Santa Anita Handicap winner Game On Dude, European star So You Think, Belmont Stakes winner Ruler on Ice and 2010 Belmont winner Drosselmeyer.
Game On Dude will attempt to give Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his first victory in the Classic, along with Chantal Sutherland, who could become the first woman jockey to win. One of the horse's co-owners is retired Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre.
Gio Ponti was pre-entered in both the Classic and the $2 million Mile. The 6-year-old European star finished second to Zenyatta in the 2009 Classic and was second to Goldikova in last year's Mile at Churchill, which is hosting horse racing's richest two days for a record eighth time.
The two-day event will open Friday with a new race, the Juvenile Sprint for 2-year-olds at six furlongs.
Final entries and the post-position draw will be Monday.
Other pre-entries in the Classic are Await the Dawn, Headache, Prayer for Relief, Rattlesnake Bridge and To Honor and Serve.
The top international superstar is Goldikova, who is seeking a record fourth-consecutive win in the Mile. The 6-year-old horse has won 14 top-level stakes races in her career. She's 2-for-5 this year. Her two strongest challengers will be Gio Ponti, if he doesn't go in the Classic, and Courageous Cat, second in the 2009 Mile.
Friday's card features six Breeders' Cup races, with five for females only, highlighted by the $2 million Ladies' Classic. Leading contenders include Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Perfect; Royal Delta; and Coaching Club American Oaks winner It's Tricky.
A maximum of 14 starters are allowed in each race.