Bill Belichick has long been an admirer of horse racing. The New England Patriots coach famously showed a video of horse racing video to his team during a past Super Bowl run and has frequently been spotted at Triple Crown races during the offseason.
Now, he has a horse named after him, and appropriately that horse is pretty good. Running in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile race on Friday night is a two-year-old horse dubbed Eight Rings after Belichick’s eight Super Bowl championships.
The son of Empire Maker jockeyed by John Velazquez, Eight Rings has been given 2-1 odds to win the Juvenile race on Friday — second-best odds in the field. He’ll face stiff competition from the horse in the number-1 gate, Dennis’ Moment, who owned 8-5 morning odds to top the field.
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The Breeders’ Cup Continues All Weekend
The annual horse racing event at Santa Anita Park will run all weekend, culminating on Saturday with the Longines Classic with a post time of 8:44 p.m. EST. The race carries a $6 million purse and is one of the biggest horse races of the year.
This year’s Classic will feature an 11-horse field, highlighted by War of Will who won the 2019 Preakness Stakes. His odds are low for that race, however, posted Friday at 20-1. The favorite for that finale is McKenzie, whose 3-1 odds lead the rest of the field.
As for that TVG Juvenile race on Friday, though Eight Rings isn’t the favorite he still has a strong chance to win. He raced back in September at Santa Anita in the American Pharoah Stakes and won by six lengths after taking the lead from the start.
His familiarity with the track along with his strong starting ability make Eight Rings a horse to watch not just on Friday night but in the future as well. As the horse gets ready to turn three, he may have a running chance to participate in next year’s Triple Crown races.
Of Course, Belichick Knows
When Belichick was asked at his Friday morning press conference whether he knew about the horse, the coach cracked a rare smile and confirmed he did.
“I’ll have a little interest in that one, yes,” the coach replied to the question.
Belichick knew the post time for the race as well — 7:03 p.m. — and seems invested in the race despite his preparations for the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night.
Though coach regrettably skipped out on Halloween, however, as he was a little busy making some coaching points, something he also noted off the top in his press conference. Whether he missed Thursday night’s holiday festivities to free up a few extra minutes for him to watch the race with Eight Rings on Friday is unknown, but likely considering Belichick’s attention to detail and timeliness.
The race will be broadcast on NBC Sports from Santa Anita Park. The purse for the race is $2 million — the richest two-year-old race in North America.