The first of two grass events on Friday was the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G2), for 2-year-old fillies going 1 mile on the Matt Winn turf course. Elusive Kate was sent off as the 5-2 favorite in the field of 14, off her wins in the Prix du Calvados-Haras des Capucines (G3) at Deauville and the Prix Marcel Boussac (G1) at Longchamp. In to challenge her included 4-1 second choice Somali Lemonade, winner of the Jessamine Stakes (G3) at Keeneland, and 6-1 third choice Stephanie's Kitten, off her win in the Alcibiades (G1), also at Keeneland.
Stephanie's Kitten (outside) and Stopshoppingmaria battle in the stretch
Jockey Javier Castellano sent 9-1 Stopshoppingmaria to the lead first time by and she set slow fractions of 24.57, 50.55, and 1:15.71 over the good turf while stalked by 13-1 Sweet Cat the whole way. Stopshoppingmaria opened a 2 1/2 length lead at the 1/8 pole through 7f in 1:27.12, but 6-1 Stephanie's Kitten, 5th early, came through between horses and closed late to win by 3/4 length in 1:38.90. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to Sweet Cat third. Favorite Elusive Kate raced in 9th but could not rally and finished 8th beaten 5 lengths.
Left: Stephanie's Kitten heads to the winner's circle. 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."
Right: Stephanie's Kitten in the post parade. Winning jockey John Velazquez said, "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 game for anything I ask her to do. That's what I like about her."
Left: Second place finisher Stopshoppingmaria returns after the race. Her jockey Javier Castellano said, "She ran very good. She gave me a great performance. I'm so happy the way she did it. I thought I was (home). At one point she took off, and she gave me everything she had. The other horse (Stephanie's Kitten) finished strong; we just got beat. My filly handled the course so well. It was tough."
Right: Third place finisher Sweet Cat returns after the race. Her jockey Garrett Gomez said, "The race was won or lost for us turning for home. I just couldn't quite quicken with the other two fillies. I hit a little flat spot. It's a little soft out there. She handled the ground real well the entire way around, but I hit that spot, and then the last 150 yards, she just couldn't keep pace. Down towards the wire she was still there and staying on well."
Eighth place finisher and beaten favorite Elusive Kate in the post parade. Her trainer John Gosden said, "The draw killed her (post 10). She was wide at the first turn and the slow pace didn't help her. Maybe she should have gone on and made the running." Her jockey William Buick added, "The draw was not good for her (post 10). She had trouble handling the ground. It was very loose, and she was skidding all over the place."
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.