The feature race on Championship Friday is the $2 million Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (G1), formerly known as the Distaff, contested at 1 1/8 miles over the main track and usually decides Champion Older Female and Champion 3-Year-Old Filly. Royal Delta was sent off as thethe 2-1 favorite in the field of 9, off her second plce finish in the Beldame (G1) after winning the Alabama (G1). In to challenge her included 5-2 second choice Plum Pretty, winner of the Cotillion (G2), and 9-2 third choice It's Tricky, second in both the Cotillion and Alabama.
Royal Delta leads down the stretch
Jockey Rafael Bejarano sent Plum Pretty to a clear lead first time past the stands and she set fractions of 24.18, 49.00, and 1:13.72 over the good track, while stalked by It's Tricky and 16-1 Ask the Moon. Entering the stretch, Plum Pretty continued to lead through 1 mile in 1:38.12, but she tired in the final furlong. Royal Delta, 4th early, came through late to win going away by 2 1/2 lengths over It's Tricky in 1:50.78. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to 13-1 Pachattack third.
Royal Delta wins the Ladies' Classic
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
Left: Royal Delta circles before going into the winner's circle. 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."
Right: Royal Delta in the post parade. Winning jockey Jose Lezcano said, "I got a very good trip. She broke real good and she was very comfortable and relaxed. When I asked her, she gave me a very good kick. When we hit the quarter (pole), I felt very comfortable that we would win the race. She's a fantastic filly. She handled the track very good. I knew those horses in front of her were good fillies. We ran against them at Saratoga (Alabama and Coaching Club American Oaks), but this time it was different. This was the big one."
Left: Second place It's Tricky in the paddock before the race. Her trainer Kiaran McLaughlin said, "She was second best. Congratulations to the winner. We didn't have any excuse. She ran great. We were hoping Ask the Moon would take on (trainer Bob) Baffert's filly (Plum Pretty) and set it up more for us. But we ran well, we were just second best."
Right: Third place finisher Pachattack in the post parade. Her jockey Rajiv Maragh said, "She gave me a good run. We were in ideal position saving ground and she was running well within herself and got into a nice flow. We had a good trip, but we were just third best today."
The entire field shortly after the start of the Ladies' Classic
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.