ELMONT, N.Y. -- Trainer Todd Pletcher said he pre-entered 11 horses on Monday for the Breeders' Cup World Championships, to be held Nov. 5-6 at Churchill Downs. However, Bribon was not among them.
Owner Derrick Smith elected against paying the $180,000 supplemental fee to make Bribon eligible for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Sprint. Instead, Bribon will run in Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000 Bold Ruler Handicap at Belmont Park as a prep for the Grade 1 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on Nov. 27.
Pletcher said that several factors came into play in the decision not to run Bribon in the Breeders' Cup, including the fact that he is a 7-year-old gelding and a come-from-behind sprinter in what will likely be a large field. "And," Pletcher said, "$180,000 is a lot of money to put up."
Bribon, who has won 10 of 35 starts and earned more than $1 million in his career, has won three graded stakes at Belmont, including the Westchester and Metropolitan handicaps in 2009 and the Grade 2 True North earlier this year. In the last two runnings of the Cigar Mile, Bribon was beaten less than a length both times.
"He's run well at Belmont, he ran well in the Cigar Mile last year," Pletcher said. "We just felt like the two-race program here is a better option for him."
Pletcher's group of Breeders' Cup pre-entrants included Quality Road (Classic), Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty (Juvenile), Life At Ten and Malibu Prayer (Ladies' Classic), R Heat Lightning (Juvenile Fillies), Aikenite (Dirt Mile), Pluck (Juvenile Turf), Allure d'Amour and More Than Real (Juvenile Fillies Turf), and Rose Catherine (Turf Sprint).
On Monday, Quality Road and Malibu Prayer -- both owned by Edward P. Evans -- left Belmont by van and were expected to arrive early Tuesday morning at Churchill. On Tuesday, Uncle Mo, Stay Thirsty, Life At Ten, R Heat Lightning, Allure d'Amour, and Rose Catherine were to be flown to Churchill, where Pluck, More Than Real, and Aikenite are already stabled.