Eight Kentucky Derby alumni competing in the 2018 Breeders' Cup

Oct 30, 2018 Vance Hanson/Brisnet.com

A total of eight Kentucky Derby alumni will compete on Saturday's Breeders' Cup card at Churchill Downs, all of whom hope to add their names to a very select group.

Since 1988, the first of eight occasions Churchill has previously played host to the event, only four Derby alumni have ever returned to the Louisville track to register a Breeders' Cup win.

There were two, in fact, on that cold, wet day in 1988. Alysheba, winner of the 1987 Derby, became North America's all-time leading money winner with a victory in the Classic (G1). Kicking off the action that afternoon was Gulch, who rallied to win the Sprint (G1) having run sixth to Alysheba in the Run for the Roses.

Years later, War Chant (2000) and Court Vision (2011) both captured the Mile (G1) on turf after previously running in the Derby. War Chant had run ninth to Fusaichi Pegasus in the 2000 classic, while Court Vision had run 13th to Big Brown in 2008.

Competing in this year's $1 million Dirt Mile (G1) are Firenze Fire and Bravazo, 11th and sixth, respectively, behind Justify in last May's Derby.

Looking to join Gulch as a winner of the $2 million TwinSpires Sprint are Whitmore, 19th to Nyquist in the 2016 Kentucky Derby, and Promises Fulfilled, who ran 15th behind Justify.

Half of the eight Derby alumni competing in this year's Breeders' Cup will square off in the $6 million Classic over the Derby distance of 1 1/4 miles.

Thunder Snow, who notably bucked and was pulled up soon after the start of the 2017 Derby, will again break from an inside post in the Classic. Another veteran of that Derby, won by Always Dreaming, is Gunnevera, who ran seventh.

With Justify retired over the summer, Mendelssohn and Lone Sailor are the only 2018 Derby alumni in this year's Classic. The well-supported Mendelssohn finished last of 20 following a rough trip, while Lone Sailor fared better in an eighth-place effort.

(Coglianese Photography)

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