2021 Breeders’ Cup Classic Pre-entries
In the days leading up to the 38th Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar in California, usracing.com is publishing profiles on the horses in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (Saturday, Nov. 6). The profiles will be updated following the post-position draw on Monday, Nov. 1.
By Margaret Ransom
After a strong runner-up finish in his debut back in 2019, Express Train broke his maiden by 14½ lengths over the Del Mar main track. His stakes debut produced a fourth-place finish in his third start in the American Pharoah Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita, which produced a significant layoff.
Since then, Express Train has picked up multiple graded stakes wins and placings (wins in the San Pasqual and San Diego handicaps — both Garde 2s — and placings in the Grade 1 Malibu, Santa Anita Handicap and Hollywood Gold Cup). He enters the Classic off a third-place finish in the Awesome Again Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita.
2021 Breeders’ Cup Classic Profile: Express Train
Post position: TBD
Jockey: Juan Hernandez
Trainer: John Shirreffs
Owner: C.R.K. Stables (Lee and Susan Searing)
Career record: 14-4-4-3
Career earnings: $695,800
Top Equibase speed figure: 111
Pedigree: Union Rags-I’m a Flake, by Mineshaft
Running style: Closer
Betting advice: The best thing about Express Train’s running style is his tactical turn of foot. He can be placed close to the pace if the speed doesn’t develop or sit father off if things in front are quickly. He’s got a ton of talent and pedigree to run all day, but he hasn’t posted any kind of a number to suggest he can run with the top choices.
Notes: John Shirreffs most famously trained the great mare Zenyatta to her Classic victory in 2008, as well as her Distaff score (Ladies Classic then) in 2008… he also saddled Life is Sweet to a Distaff victory in 2008… Jockey Juan Hernandez has ridden two Breeders’ Cup runners with a second aboard longshot Anneau d’Or in the 2019 Juvenile… C.R.K. stable has had five starters and six starts in the Breeders’ Cup, led by Switch who was second and third in the 2011, 2012 Filly & Mare Sprint, respectively.