The 28th Breeders' Cup World Championships kicked off on Friday. Conditions were less than ideal after rains on Thursday and overnight, with a muddy main track and yielding turf course early in the card, later upgraded to good in time for the Breeders' Cup events. The sun was out most of the day with temperatures in the upper 50's. A crowd of 40,667 came out to Churchill Downs for the first 6 of 15 championship races to be run.
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. Alabama Stakes (G1) winner Royal Delta was the 2-1 favorite in the field of 9 over 5-2 Plum Pretty and 9-2 It's Tricky. Plum Pretty set the early pace of 24.18, 49.00, and 1:13.72 while as many as 2 1/2 lengths in front of It's Tricky stalking in second. Plum Pretty led to the 1/8 pole through 1 mile in 1:38.12, but tired badly as Royal Delta, who raced 4th most of the way, easily took over and drew off to a 2 1/2 length win over It's Tricky in 1:50.78 over the "good" track. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to 13-1 Pachattack third.
Winning trainer Bill Mott said, "I started to get a little worried at the 1/8 pole because the fractions were so slow early. By the time I started to worry, I saw her gain the momentum. Once she got going, it was adios. She ran really well. My whole staff did a tremendous job and we are so lucky to have a filly like that in the barn," Jockey Jose Lezcano added, "When I asked her, she gave me a very good kick. When we hit the 1/4 pole, I felt very comfortable that we would win the race. She's a fantastic filly."
The Ladies' Classic
Purse: $2,000,000 Distance: 1 1/8 miles
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
6 Royal Delta Lezcano 6.40 4.00 3.20
3 It's Tricky Dominguez 5.00 3.80
2 Pachattack Maragh 6.00
Winning Time: 1:50.78
$2 Exacta 6-3 32.00
$2 Trifecta 6-3-2 233.00
$2 Superfecta 6-3-2-7 1,177.20
$1 Super High Five 6-3-2-7-8 23,428.80
Perfect Shirl wins the Filly and Mare Turf over Nahrain
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. Flower Bowl (G1) winner Stacelita was the 9-5 favorite over 3-1 Nahrain and 5-1 Misty for Me. 9-1 Dubawi Heights led the field through fractions of 25.44, 51.07, and 1:16.90 over "good" turf while stalked by 56-1 Dynaslew. On the far turn the last time, Dynaslew briefly led through 1 mile in 1:41.72 before tiring to finish last. Nahrain moved to to lead late but Perfect Shirl came through to win by 3/4 length in 2:18.62.
Winning jockey John Velazquez said, "She was aggressive early, but when we went by the wire the first time she settled right down. From there on out I had a perfect trip. Roger didn't give me any instructions. He said he just wanted me to save something for the finish. It worked out just like we'd hoped." Trainer Roger Attfield added, "I'm ecstatic. I had my doubts about running her. I was very concerned because she's never been able to handle a soft course. Once I saw how she was moving down the backside, I could see she was moving beautifully and I became very excited."
The Emirates Airline Filly and Mare Turf
Purse: $2,000,000 Distance: 1 3/8 miles turf
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
8 Perfect Shirl Velazquez 57.60 18.60 11.60
5 Nahrain Dettori 5.00 3.80
12 Misty for Me Moore 5.20
Winning Time: 2:18.62
$2 Exacta 8-5 324.00
$2 Trifecta 8-5-12 3,002.40
$2 Superfecta 8-5-12-10 43,429.00
The $1 million Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) featured a field of 12 older fillies and mares sprinting 7 furlongs on the main track. Test Stakes (G1) winner Turbulent Descent was sent off as the 7-5 favorite over 3-1 Switch and 7-1 Pomeroys Pistol. 15-1 Golden Mystery led the field out of the chute and down the backstretch through fractions of 22.40 and 45.71 while stalked by 20-1 Musical Romance and 33-1 Tamarind Hall. On the turn, Golden Mystery tired allowing Turbulent Descent to lead to the 1/8 pole. The favorite also tired as Musical Romance came back to win by 1 1/4 length over Switch in 1:23.47. It was a head back to 28-1 Her Smile third.
Winning trainer Bill Kaplan said, "I don't care if she runs 13 or 14 times a year, she gets better with every shot. I was confident she'd run good, but I didn't know she would beat these horses. She has such speed and she can place herself wherever she wants to. And when Juan wants her to go, she just goes." Jockey Juan Leyva added, "I just need to let her do whatever she wants to do in the beginning, and down the lane I need to get into her a little bit, but I always try to save enough with her for the end. She broke really alert like she always does. I got her to settle and when she did that, I knew I still had plenty of horse. I saw Turbulent Decent and Pomeroys Pistol move and I thought they moved a little early, but I like to hold on to my horse as long as I can because she has a short run."
The $2 million Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) featured a full field of 14 two-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Undefeated My Miss Aurelia was sent off as the 2-1 favorite. 9-1 Candrea set the pace of 23.20, 47.19, and 1:13.08 while stalked by My Miss Aurelia the whole way. On the turn, My Miss Aurelia took over and never looked back, drawing off to win by 3 lengths over 7-2 Grace Hall in 1:46.00 over the good track. It was a long 6 lengths back to 5-1 Weemissfrankie third.
Winning jockey Corey Nakatani said, "She broke really well. My main concern was getting her in a good spot so I had options to go outside, or inside, or to the lead. Actually, she put herself in just the right spot. It's great to be connected with Steve and (assistant) Scott (Blasi). They give you a lot of confidence when you ride. Trainer Steve Asmussen added, "She's extremely special. How proud we are that she's a homebred (for Stonestreet Stables), and that George (Bolton) bought into her as a yearling. She's been everybody's pick at every stage, and she came through today with a great race."
The Grey Goose Juvenile Fillies
Purse: $2,000,000 Distance: 1 1/16 miles
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
9 My Miss Aurelia Nakatani 6.20 4.00 3.00
5 Grace Hall Dominguez 4.60 3.20
11 Weemissfrankie Bejarano 3.60
Winning Time: 1:46.00
$2 Exacta 9-5 24.80
$2 Trifecta 9-5-11 101.20
$2 Superfecta 9-5-11-6 2,255.40
The $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf featured a full field of 14 two-year-old fillies going 1 mile on the turf. Prix Marcel Boussac (G1) winner Elusive Kate was sent off as the 5-2 favorite. 9-1 Stopshoppingmaria led first time past the stands and set the pace of 24.57, 50.55, and 1:15.71 while stalked by 13-1 Sweet Cat. Into the stretch, Stopshoppingmaria opened up a 2 1/2 length lead through 7 furlongs in 1:27.12, but 6-1 Stephanie's Kitten, 5th early, closed well to win by 3/4 length in 1:38.90. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to Sweet Cat third.
Winning trainer Wayne Catalano said, "I'm so happy for Mr. Ramsey. He loves the game. And winning is the thing for him, it's not even for the money. I got a little nervous late, so I want to go and watch the replay. She ran her heart out." Jockey John Velazquez added, "She was amazing. As soon as I asked her to go in between those other two horses, she responded right away. It's nice when you can ride horses like that. It makes it easy for us. She's very nice, professional and explosive. She's game for anything I ask her to do. That's what I like about her."
The first Breeders' Cup race of 2011 was the inaugural running of the $500,000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint, a 6 furlong test over the main track for 2-year-olds. Jack Goodman Stakes winner Secret Circle was the 2-5 favorite in the field of 9. 10-1 Trinniberg led the field out of the chute and down the backstretch through an opening 1/4 in 20.96 before Secret Circle took over, getting the half in 44.55. By mid-stretch Secret Circle opened up a 3 length advantage through 54/8 in 56.99, and was al-out to hold off late-running 15-1 Shumoos by a length in 1:10.52. It was another 4 1/2 lengths back to 18-1 Holdin Bullets third.
Winning trainer Bob Baffert said, "After I saw those fractions, I thought, 'Oh boy,' but he was doing it easy. He's just a very gifted horse, he has unbelievable speed. I feel good about it because he came off the plane and won here. I was a little worried about him coming down the lane, he kind of lost focus, but he's just young." Jockey Rafael Bejarano added, "We were going fast, but he was relaxed to the outside. I waited until the stretch to let him go, and when I did, he showed me a big kick. He wasn't comfortable on the track. That's why he was lugging out a little (in the stretch) you know. I was a little concerned about how fast we were going (early), but I knew I had to be close today."
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.