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LOUISVILLE, KY - NOVEMBER 03: Game On Dude, trained by Bob Baffert, on the track during the morning exercise session in preparation for the Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs on November 3, 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Eight defending or former champions were among the horses pre-entered Wednesday for the $25 million, 15-race Breeders' Cup world championship next month at Santa Anita.
A total of 180 horses were pre-entered, down from last year's record of 193. Final entries and the post position draw will be Monday at Santa Anita.
Game On Dude -- who led most of the way last year before the Classic's final yards -- was among the pre-entered horses. The Santa Anita horse has won four of six starts this year and is part-owned by retired Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre.
The $5 million Classic, limited to 14 starters, will be broadcast live Nov. 3 on NBC. Santa Anita is hosting the event for the sixth time.
In the $2 million Mile on the turf, Wise Dan leads the field of 13 pre-entries. He won three straight turf races this summer, and a victory would insert him into the debate for Horse of the Year honors. The race will mark the return of 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, who hasn't run since Feb. 18.
There will be nine races on Nov. 3, including the $2 million Juvenile.
The two-day event will open on Nov. 2 with six races, highlighted by the Ladies' Classic. Among Royal Delta's challengers are Awesome Feather, who is 10-0 in her career; Love and Pride; My Miss Aurelia; and Include Me Out.