The 27th Breeders' Cup World Championships kicked off on Friday with 6 races. Conditions were less than ideal, with an officially fast but noticeably damp track, firm turf, temperatures in the 40's, and dark menacing clouds all afternoon with intermittent sprinkling of raindrops. A crowd of 41,614 fans came out to Churchill Downs to enjoy Day 1 of the first two-day Breeders' Cup to be held in Louisville, and a 10% increase over Friday's card at Santa Anita one year ago.
Full results with several photos per race are available at the link below the pay-off chart.
The highlight of Friday's card is the $2 million Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (G1) for older fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles on the main track. Kentucky Oaks and Alabama Stakes winner Blind Luck was sent off as the 3-2 favorite. 8-1 Malibu Prayer set the early pace of 24.66 and 49.09 while 2 lengths in front of 26-1 Acting Happy second. Entering the far turn 7-1 Unrivaled Belle challenged for the lead through 3/4 in 1:13.75 and opened up a 2 length lead at the 1/8 pole. Blind Luck, 10th early, closed strongly but was left with too much ground to make up as Unrivaled Belle cruised under the line 1 3/4 lengths ahead in 1:50.04. It was a length back to 6-1 Havre de Grace third.
Winning trainer Bill Mott said, "I think it was the way Kent rode her today, the break and the way she settled. She made an explosive move around the turn leaving the 3/8 pole and just took the lead away from everybody. Kent pulled the trigger and it worked out. We opened up on the field and left them in the dust." Jockey Kent Desormeaux added, "She took me all the way to the 3/16 pole all by herself. She was on the bridle all the way. I hadn't moved on her until then. I asked her and she went. I saw Blind Luck on TV (infield screen) coming at the 3/16 and then I saw her again at the 1/16 and she hadn't gained any ground on me. I was home then."
The Ladies' Classic
Purse: $2,000,000 Distance: 1 1/8 miles
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
8 Unrivaled Belle Desormeaux 17.00 5.80 4.20
10 Blind Luck Rosario 3.20 2.40
11 Havre de Grace Rose 4.00
Winning Time: 1:50.04
$2 Exacta 8-10 54.80
$2 Trifecta 8-10-11 215.20
$1 Superfecta 8-10-11-2 1,668.00
The $1 million Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) featured a field of 13 older fillies and mares sprinting 7 furlongs on the main track. Test Stakes winner Champagne d'Oro was sent off as the 9-2 favorite. 8-1 Gabby's Golden Gal battled for the lead with Champagne d'Oro down the backstretch through fractions of 22.56 and 45.44. Turning for home, 9-1 Dubai Majesty, 4th early, came out 4 wide to take over the lead, drawing off to win by 2 1/4 lengths over 7-1 Switch in 1:22.31. It was another 3 lengths back to 8-1 Evening Jewel third.
Winning trainer Bret Calhoun said, "She made a great move and Jamie rode a great race. She was making an easy move and got into gear. Jamie did a great job getting her settled back and then she dragged him up there. She's trained extremely good." Jockey Jamie Theriot added, "This is a big first for me after 13 years of riding working 7 days a week. She broke like a shot and put me in a perfect stalking position. The speed cleared me and I was going just great. On the turn she took a deep breath and grabbed me and took me to the lead."
Shared Account wins the Filly and Mare Turf over Midday
The $2 million Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf featured 11 older fillies and mares going 1 3/8 miles on the turf. Defending champion Midday was the 9-10 favorite. 8-1 Plumania set the early pace of 25.64, 50.32, 1:15.94, and 1:40.95 while as many as 1 1/2 lengths in front of 24-1 Eclair de Lune in second. On the last turn, Plumania tired as 5-1 Red Desire moved up to take a short lead at the 1/8 pole. However, 46-1 Shared Account and Midday closed with a rush and hit the line together, Shared Account holding off the favorite by a neck in 2:17.74. It was another neck back to 32-1 Keertana third.
Winning jockey Edgar Prado said, "I tried to get the filly nice and relaxed in the first part of the race. I dove right into the rail and I was able to cover her up. Once she saw the clear she kept grinding." Trainer Graham Motion added, "I'm speechless and very emotional. I love this filly and I'm not surprised she won. I'm really surprised she was overlooked by the bettors. She only had one bad race."
The $2 million Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) featured a field of 12 two-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Undefeated Awesome Feather was sent off as the 4-1 favorite. 5-1 R Heat Lightning battled for the lead with 9-2 Theyskens' Theory through fractions of 23.90, 48.14, and 1:13.11. Entering the stretch, Awesome Feather, who stalked the pace in 3rd, assumed command at the 1/8 pole and drew off to win by 2 1/4 lengths over R Heat Lightning in 1:45.17. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to 11-1 Delightful Mary third.
Winning jockey Jeffrey Sanchez said, "I waited with my filly. I wanted to make one move with her. When I asked her she went. The first time I rode her I told everyone she is a champion filly. Now she is." Trainer Stanley Gold added, "I was confident that she was right and ready to run. She's always been competitive and seemed to get it done without getting to the bottom of the tank."
The Grey Goose Juvenile Fillies
Purse: $2,000,000 Distance: 1 1/16 miles
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
4 Awesome Feather Sanchez 10.40 5.40 4.00
3 R Heat Lightning Velazquez 6.20 4.20
9 Delightful Mary Bridgmohan 7.60
Winning Time: 1:45.17
$2 Exacta 4-3 57.80
$2 Trifecta 4-3-9 616.60
$1 Superfecta 4-3-9-10 4,116.30
The $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf featured a field of 12 two-year-old fillies going 1 mile on the turf. Miss Grillo Stakes winner Winter Memories was sent off as the 11-10 favorite. 85-1 Dos Lunas set the early pace of 23.57, 47.58, and 1:12.38 over the firm course while being stalked by 54-1 Fancy Point the whole way. Entering the stretch, 14-1 More Than Real, 5th early, passed the pacesetters to open up by 3 1/2 in mid-stretch, and easily held off late-running favorite Winter Memories by 2 lengths in 1:36.61. It was just a head back to 7-1 Kathmanblu third.
Winning trainer Todd Pletcher said, "We gave her some time off after the Natalma and I think that made all the difference. We had a great trip, Garrett gave her a great ride and we got a jump on the favorite." Jockey Garrett Gomez added, "She traveled well early. I saw (Jose) Lezcano (Winter Memories) trying to make a run on the outside, I tried to make it difficult for him without impeding and did so successfully."
The Grey Goose Juvenile Fillies Turf
Purse: $1,000,000 Distance: 1 mile turf
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
11 More Than Real Gomez 29.20 9.20 5.80
7 Winter Memories Lezcano 3.60 2.60
4 Kathmanblu Leparoux 3.60
Winning Time: 1:36.61
$2 Exacta 11-7 76.40
$2 Trifecta 11-7-4 450.60
$1 Superfecta 11-7-7-5 6,610.60
The first Breeders' Cup race of 2010 was the $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon, a 1 3/4 mile test over the main track for older horses. Giant Oak was the 7-2 favorite in the field of 12. 26-1 Gabriel's Hill led for the first 1 1/2 miles through slow fractions of 51.42, 1:17.44, 1:43.60, 2:09.07, and 2:34.45. Entering the stretch, 10-1 Eldaafer, who tracked the pace in 4th three wide the whole way, came through late to gain a short lead at the 1/8 pole and was all out to hold off 5-1 Prince Will I Am to win by 1 3/4 lengths in a new track record of 2:59.62. It was another 2 3/4 lengths back to pacesetter Gabriel's Hill third. However, a stewards inquiry led to Prince Will I Am disqualified and placed 10th due to interference for bumping 29-1 Romp at the 5/16 pole.
Winning trainer Diane Alvarado said, "Oh my God I'm so proud of him. He's done everything right all year. This means everything to me." Jockey John Velazquez added, "He broke great and I was able to get good position. When the others started coming back to me at the 1/4 pole I asked him for his run and he just exploded away from them."
Breeders' Cup Saturday Results - There were 9 races Saturday highlighted by the $5 million Classic where Mucho Macho Man won over Will Take Charge. Also on the card, Wise Dan repeated in the Mile, Groupie Doll in the Filly and Mare Sprint, and Mizdirection in the Turf Sprint. Get the results, charts, and photos for all 9 races here.
Breeders' Cup Friday Results - There were 5 races Friday highlighted by the Ladies' Classic where Beholder won the Distaff, becoming the first Juvenile Fillies winner to do so. Get the results, charts, and photos for all 5 races here.
2013 Breeders' Cup Entries -A look at the horses entered for all 14 Breeders' Cup World Championship races to be held at Santa Anita on November 1 and 2. Lots of info for each race and links to profiles for each horse along with their post position and morning line odds.
Review: Crushing the Cup 2013 - by Jim Mazur and Peter Mallett. An invaluable tool for trying to unlock the mysteries of handicapping the Breeders' Cup races. Updated for 2013.
Breeders' Cup Weather - What will the weather be like at Santa Anita Park on November 1 and 2? Here are lots of places to find out!
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.