The $2 million Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) featured a field of eleven 2-year-old colts and geldings (down from the originally drawn 13 after Dixie Chatter and Slew's Tiznow scratched) go 1 1/16 miles on the sloppy, sealed main track at Monmouth Park. Undefeated colt War Pass was sent off as the 2-1 favorite, off his win in the Champagne (G1) at Belmont. In to challenge the Nick Zito trainee were 4-1 second choice Pyro, second in the Champagne, and 5-1 third choice Tale of Ekati, winner of the Futurity (G1). Traditionally the winner is named the juvenile champion and is the early favorite for the next Kentucky Derby.
The field breaks from the gate for the Juvenile.
Jockey Cornelio Velasquez wasted no time asking War Pass for run as the favorite made the front first time past the stands and was allowed an uncontested lead through fast fractions of 22.76, 45.56, and 1:09.65 while as many as 2 1/2 lengths clear of the rest of the field. Pyro raced back in eighth while Tale of Ekati sat in midpack sixth down the backstretch. Turning for home, the race was already over as War Pass continued to pull away, opening up a 7 length lead at the 1/8 pole. Kept to task, War Pass finished 4 3/4 lengths clear of late-charging Pyro in 1:42.76. It was a long 12 lengths back to 12-1 Kodiak Kowboy in third. War Pass, along with Juvenile Fillies winner Indian Blessing, were the only 2 undefeated horses on Breeders' Cup day able to extend their streaks.
War Pass heads for the winner's circle. His jockey Cornelio Velasquez said, "My horse had a lot of speed. He wanted to go to the lead. At the quarter-pole, I asked and I had a lot of horse in the last part of the race."
War Pass in the post parade. His trainer Nick Zito said, "He's just a special horse. He's four for four. His pedigree says he would warrant it but you still never know until the gates open up. The good thing is, he's got that Runaway Groom line and that's Cherokee Run. He's got that speed with the afterburners, and it's well documented what we wanted him to do, and obviously he liked the off track."
Left: War Pass heads back to the barn in his winner's blanket.
Right: Trainer Nick Zito and owner Robert LaPenta in the winner's circle. LaPenta said, "It's priceless. You can't put a price on it. For the family, for everyone involved, it's just an emotional event that you just can't describe. It's just amazing. I hope I don't wake up tomorrow morning and find out that this is a dream. What was on the line in this race was enormous. And to have it come true is just beyond belief."
Second place finisher Pyro returns after the race. Steve Asmussen, trainer of both Pyro and Kodiak Kowboy, said, "They're both really good horses. The Breeders' Cup was a great opportunity for them. The winner (War Pass) beat us three times in a row now. As for future plans, this is what they were pointed for. They'll get a break."
His jockey Shaun Bridgmohan said, "It was a huge effort and he didn't even handle the track. He was spinning his wheels early. He never got the traction he needed but still got second. The sky is the limit for this horse. We got beat to that pole three times now, but my horse's future is ahead of him and I'm confident we'll get even down
Third place finisher Kodiak Kowboy in the paddock. His jockey John Velazquez said, "He was very unsure of himself. He was running very spotty. I had to ride him the whole way just to stay in position. He ran even at the end. Immaturity was part of it, but like Steve (trainer Asmussen), said he's never run over a wet track like this."
The Breeders' Cup Championship Day - The official page for the Breeders' Cup championship races. Just about anything you need to know about it: results, video clips, and race calls for past years, and eventually nominations, entries, and results.
Free Prep Replays - for major prep races in the Breeders' Cup Challenge. The ones with camera logos have video available.
Breeders' Cup Supplemental Entries - The old official policy on supplemental entries plus all the supplemental entries and how they fared, mostly it was a losing proposition. There are no more supplements now, only late nominations making it impossible to track now.