The 29th Breeders' Cup World Championships kicked off on Friday at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. It was relatively cool compared to earlier in the week, with temperatures in the low 70's with minimal wind and sunny skies, however thick smog shrouded the San Gabriel Mountains. Only 34,619 fans came out for the first day of the two-day festivities, and there appeared to be plenty of empty seats especially at the Clocker's Corner end of the stands. The main track, back to conventional dirt since the last Breeders' Cup, was fast while the turf was firm.
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. Defending champion and Beldame (G1) winner Royal Delta was the 8-5 favorite over 2-1 Awesome Feather and 6-1 My Miss Aurelia. Jockey Mike Smith sent Royal Delta to the lead through fractions of 22.69, 45.81, and 1:09.80 while stalked by 9-1 Love and Pride. Entering the stretch, Love and Pride tired while My Miss Aurelia, 4th early, moved up to challenge the favorite. However Royal Delta easily dismissed her, pulling away to a 1 1/2 length victory in 1:48.80. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to 12-1 Include Me Out third.
Winning trainer Bill Mott said, "Spectacular. She broke sharply and was out on the lead and just ran the race that way. She's a talented mare to be able to run well and win no matter how the race develops. I was a little concerned when they were throwing up those fractions, but she kept going and ran them off their feet." Jockey Mike Smith added, "I've become the all-time winner at Breeders' Cup (16 wins). It's incredible to be with the riders on this list; truly an honor. I hope to be around a few more years to add to it. I really had a lot of confidence in her. She trains the way that she ran. Just amazing."
The Ladies' Classic
Purse: $2,000,000 Distance: 1 1/8 miles
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
6 Royal Delta Smith 5.40 3.60 2.60
2 My Miss Aurelia Nakatani 5.80 4.00
7 Include Me Out Talamo 5.20
Winning Time: 1:48.80
$1 Exacta 6-2 15.20
$1 Trifecta 6-2-7 110.40
$1 Superfecta 6-2-7-1 628.60
$1 Super High Five 6-2-7-1-8 2,952.60
The $2 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) featured 11 older fillies and mares going 1 1/4 miles on the turf. Nassau Stakes (G1) winner The Fugue was sent off as the 8-5 favorite over 11-2 Marketing Mix and 9-1 Zagora. 38-1 shot Star Billing set the early pace of 24.70, 48.72, 1:13.00, and 1:36.74 over the firm course while stalked by Marketing Mix and 11-1 In Lingerie. At the top of the lane Star Billing tired allowing Marketing Mix to inherit the lead, but Zagora, fourth early, rallied to win by 3/4 length in 1:59.70. It was another 1/2 length back to late-running favorite The Fugue third.
Winning jockey Javier Castellano said, "I had a beautiful trip. I was just where I wanted to be behind the speed. Turning for home, I went to the outside and she gave me a good kick. It's a pleasure to a part of this. Chad gave me a great opportunity to ride her." Trainer Chad Brown added, "She got the turf she likes, she got a great trip, and she's been training great. I've never seen her look better health wise. Everything came together for her today and it couldn't happen to a horse that deserved it more. I'm so pleased, especially for the Schwartzes for being terrific supporters. They gave me a great horse to train. She's been a model of consistency since she came into my barn."
The $2 million Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) featured a field of 8 two-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Undefeated Exexutiveprivilege, winner of the Chandelier (G1) was sent off as the 3-2 favorite over 4-1 Beholder and 9-2 Dreaming of Julia. Jockey Garrett Gomez sent Beholder to a clear lead first time by through fractions of 22.62, 46.47, and 1:11.00 while stalked by 11-2 Kauai Katie. Into the lane, Kauai Katie tired as Executiveprivilege closed from third. Beholder was up to the task, holding the favorite off by a length in 1:43.61. It was a long 4 1/4 lengths back to Dreaming of Julia third.
Winning jockey Garrett Gomez said, "We figured to be on the lead unless someone did something, and she ran just to her style. She's super fast, and she relaxed as much as I wanted her to. I tried to sneak away a little on the turn for home, and at first she did it, but then she acted like she hit a wall and I got a little nervous. But when (Executiveprivilege) came to her, she kicked on and gave me another gear." Trainer Richard Mandella added, "She ran her heart out. It was a big effort and being at her home track sure helps. I guess Santa Anita still has the magic"
The Grey Goose Juvenile Fillies
Purse: $2,000,000 Distance: 1 1/16 miles
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
1 Beholder Gomez 9.80 4.60 3.00
2 Executiveprivilege Bejarano 3.40 2.40
5 Dreaming of Julia Velazquez 3.20
Winning Time: 1:43.61
$1 Exacta 1-2 13.30
$1 Trifecta 1-2-5 57.60
$1 Superfecta 1-2-5-8 118.60
The $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf featured a full field of 14 two-year-old fillies going 1 mile on the turf. Moyglare Stud Stakes (G1) winner Sky Lantern was the 5-2 favorite over 7-2 Spring Venture and 6-1 Watsdachances. Jockey John Velazquez sent 15-1 Tara From the Cape to the lead through fractions of 23.14, 47.39, and 1:11.16 while stalked by 38-1 Moonwalk. Tara from the Cape led to the 1/8 pole through 7.8 in 1:23.17 before tiring, as 11-1 Flotilla, 9th early, came through on the outside to win by 1 1/4 lengths over Watsdachances in 1:34.64. It was just 1/2 a length back to 43-1 Summer of Fun third.
Winning jockey Christophe Lemaire said, "For me, it is a big achievement. The Breeders' Cup is so very important in the horse racing season. I'm very glad to win a race like that. It was something that was missing in my career. She broke well. I was a bit worried by the pace which was not very swift, but when I asked, she reacted very well and won brilliantly." Trainer Mikel Delzangles added, "This is great. Absolutely great. It was a good preliminary for Australia."
The Grey Goose Juvenile Fillies Turf
Purse: $1,000,000 Distance: 1 mile turf
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
4 Flotilla Lemaire 24.80 10.80 7.80
6 Watsdachances Castellano 6.40 5.40
2 Summer of Fun Dominguez 19.40
Winning Time: 1:34.64
$1 Exacta 4-6 85.50
$1 Trifecta 4-6-2 1,791.50
$1 Superfecta 4-6-2-8 19,875.40
The $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon, a 1 3/4 mile test over the main track for older horses. Atigun, fourth in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) and winless since an allowance race in May was sent off as the 3-1 favorite in the field of 13 over 7-2 Fame and glory and 6-1 Commander. 10-1 Jaycito led for the first mile through fractions of 47.85, 1:12.00, and 1:38.25 before Atigun took over second time down the backstretch, getting 1 1/4 miles in 2:04.53 and 1 1/2 in 2:30.55. In the stretch, 17-1 Calidoscopio, last early, closed on the outside to win by 4 1/4 lengths over Grassy in 2:57.25. It was another 1/2 length back to Atigun third.
Winning jockey Aaron Gryder said, "I had a wonderful trip. They told me to detach myself from the field at the beginning; that he wouldn't be in it at all. They said you can close your eyes for the first mile then pick them up. At about the 3/4 pole he began to pick them up and I started feeling good. He was rolling. By the time we reached the 1/2 mile pole, I started to be very confident. I'd seen this horse's races and I knew he could make up 7 or 8 lengths easy. I thought that if he could duplicate what he'd done in the past, I'd be sitting good. He just got to going and it was all over from there. It was some ride."
The first Breeders' Cup race of 2012 was the the $500,000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint, a 6 furlong test over the main track for 2-year-olds. After Super Ninety Nine was scratched in the morning and South Floyd scratched at the gate by the veterinarians, just five went to post with Tim Conway Stakes winner Merit Man the 1-2 favorite over 7-2 Sweet Shirley Mae and 6-1 Ceiling Kitty. Merit Man was quickest away under Patrick Valenzuela and set fractions of 22.41 and 45.94 while pressed by Ceiling Kitty. Into the lane, Ceiling Kitty tired while 15-1 longest shot Hightail, fourth early, came through on the inside and outfinished Merit Man by a nose in 1:09.75. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to Sweet Shirley Mae. The lead pair bumped slightly in the lane leading to an inquiry but the result stood.
Winning trainer D. Wayne Lukas said, "I just thought that we had a great shot. These races are historically very fast up front. We're a good closer and I thought we had a shot. It hasn't been that long (since my last Breeders' Cup win – 2005 Juvenile Fillies with Foklore). They don't come that easy." Jockey Rajiv Maragh added, "I had a great trip, saved ground and just waited behind horses. He showed a lot of courage coming through the narrow opening between the rail and (Merit Man). I was not worried about the foul claim because (Merit Man) initiated the contact."
The Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint
Purse: $500,000 Distance: 6 furlongs
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
1 Hightail Maragh 32.80 7.20 3.40
3 Merit Man Valenzuela 2.40 2.10
7 Sweet Shirley Mae Rosario 2.40
Winning Time: 1:09.75
$1 Exacta 1-3 25.30
$1 Trifecta 1-3-7 60.90
$1 Superfecta 1-3-7-6 161.80
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.