Photo: Dan Heary/Eclipse Sportswire
The 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic lost some of its front-running speed Sunday when connections of Diversify told The Daily Racing Form they won’t ship West for the $6 million race.
Since the New York-bred Diversify won Belmont Park’s Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup — a “Win and You’re In” Breeders’ Cup Challenge race — owner Ralph Evans had said he was on the fence when it came to running at Del Mar.
After all, Diversify is a gelding, and his connections envision a career beyond 2017 for the 4-year-old son of Bellamy Road. Plus, he wouldn’t be alone on the lead with favorites Gun Runner and Arrogate figuring to press the pace.
A decision was made following Diversify’s workout Saturday at Belmont, where he traveled a bullet half mile in 46.88 seconds.
Per DRF, the Grade 1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct or Grade 1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs are now options. Last time out, Diversify defeated, among others, the now-retired Keen Ice and Pavel, who will continue on to the Classic.