The 30th Breeders' Cup World Championships kicked off on Friday at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. It was relatively warm compared to earlier in the week, with temperatures in the mid 80's with minimal wind and sunny skies, with slight haze shrouding the San Gabriel Mountains. Only 35,855 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 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 Distaff (G1) for older fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles on the main track, reverting to its original name after being called the Distaff in recent years. Royal Delta, winner of the last 2 editions of this race was sent off as the 7-5 favorite in the field of 6 over 5-2 second choice Princess of Sylmar and 3-1 third choice Beholder, winner of last year's Juvenile Fillies. 9-1 Authenticity was pressed by Royal Delta through fractions of 22.78 and 46.30. Beholder, who stalked the lead pair, took over at the top of the lane and drew off to win by 4 1/4 lengths in 1:47.77 over 7-1 Close Hatches. It was another 1 3/4 length back to Authenticity third, while Royal Delta faded to fourth.
Winning trainer Richard Mandella said, "We trained her (to run from off the pace.) We've just never had to use it before. She's so naturally fast, you don't have to train that into her and she's made the lead so easily in many of her races. Today, she had to come from off of it and she did it – and boy do I love it. I've been lucky enough to have many good mares in my years of training, but this mare might have to be the best of all." Jockey Gary Stevens added, "She was a little fractious going into the gate and a little anxious. I was afraid she might over-break but she settled and broke beautiful. This is the best race she's ever run. I was hoping that Authenticity would carry the lead a little farther but (Beholder) moved up nice, went by her easy and then really opened up."
The $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) featured a full field of 14 two-year-old fillies going 1 mile on the turf. Cheveley Park Stakes (G1) winner Vorda was the 5-2 favorite over 5-1 My Conquestadory and 6-1 Al Thakhira. 43-1 Nesso set the pace of 22.47, 46.31, and 1:10.08 while stalked by 11-1 Ready to Act and My Conquestadory. Entering the stretch My Conquestadory gained a short lead through 7/8 in 1:22.02 before tiring. 7-1 Chriselliam, 8th early, rallied late to win by 2 1/2 lengths over 10-1 Testa Rossi, last early. It was a head back to 37-1 Colonel Joan third, while favorite Vorda checked in seventh.
Winning jockey Richard Hughes said, "She's one of the best fillies I've ridden and she proved it today. She had no problem adapting to the firm turf and had a nice rhythm going down the backstretch. I won a Group I (Shadwell Fillies Mile) with her the first time I got on her at Newmarket. The trainer asked me to gallop her after that and I told him after the gallop, that if I hadn't ridden her before, I would have never thought she would get a mile because she had so much speed." Trainer Charlie Hills added, "Absolutely brilliant. I couldn't be more pleased. She was pretty sensational today."
The $1 million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) is for older horses going 1 mile arouhnd 2 turns of the main track. Haskell (G1) and Pegasus (G3) winner Verrazano was sent off as the 5-2 favorite in the field of 11 over 7-2 Goldencents and 6-1 third choice Brujo de Olleros. Goldencents set the pace of 22.12, 44.75, and 1:08.64 while pressed by 18-1 Broadway Empire. Entering the lane, Goldencents began to pull away from the field, opening up a 5 length lead through 7/8 in 1:21.62. 7-1 Golden Ticket rallied from 10th but Goldencents easily cruised to a 2 3/4 length win in 1:35.12. It was another 3 1/2 lengths back to Brujo de Olleros third, while Verrazano was 1 1/2 lengths back in fourth.
Winning trainer Doug O'Neill said, "My only doubt was when they went a half in 44-and-change. But Raffi (jockey Bejarano) knew he was on the best horse and he rode him the easiest way to get in the winner's circle. What a horse. We were really confident, but you never know."
Jockey Rafael Bejarano added, "I wasn't worried at all (about the fast fractions) because I know how good this horse has trained. He broke so good from the gate, but (Broadway Empire) wanted to go the lead and put pressure on me. I made sure (my horse) got clear and then at the 3/8 pole, I knew what he would do."
The Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile
Purse: $1,000,000 Distance: 1 mile
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
12 Goldencents Bejarano 9.60 5.00 4.00
2 Golden Ticket Rosario 6.40 4.60
4 Brujo de Olleros Garcia 4.60
Winning Time: 1:35.12
$1 Exacta 12-2 34.90
$1 Trifecta 12-2-4 222.20
$1 Superfecta 12-2-4-10 833.60
The $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) features 2-year-olds going 1 mile on the turf. Pilgrim Stakes (G3) winner Bobby's Kitten was the 6-5 favorite in the field of 13 over 4-1 Giovanni Boldini and 6-1 Outstrip. Bobby's Kitten set fractions of 22.27, 45.70, and 1:09.53 while stalked by 50-1 All Cash and 49-1 Home School. Bobby's Kitten continued to lead to midstretch through 7/8 in 1:21.45, but Outstrip, 11th early, closed on the outside to win by 1/2 a length over Giovanni Boldini in 1:33.20. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to pacesetting favorite Bobby's Kitten third.
Winning jockey Mike Smith said, "The trip was really good. I managed to get covered up, just make my way, and follow the right horses. I was following two of the greatest turf riders here in America, Gary Stevens and Corey Nakatani. They showed me a great way to go, and it really worked out for me." Trainer Charlie Appleby added, "He's not a bad little horse, is he? I was so pleased to see Mike Smith win the (Marathon). There's no better jock around here. I'm grateful to Godolphin for giving me the chance to train horses like this."
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf
Purse: $1,000,000 Distance: 1 mile turf
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
4 Outstrip Smith 20.60 11.00 7.20
2 Giovanni Boldini Moore 6.00 3.80
5 Bobby's Kitten Castellano 6.00
Winning Time: 1:33.20
$1 Exacta 4-2 23.10
$1 Trifecta 4-2-5 71.90
$1 Superfecta 4-2-5-8 1,204.10
The $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon (G2) is a 1 3/4 mile test over the main track for older horses. Ever Rider, winner of the General Belgrano (G2) in Argentina, was sent off as the lukewarm 9-2 choice in the field of 10 over 5-1 Worldly and 6-1 Indian Jones. 8-1 Commander and Ever Rider set the early pace of 46,71, 1:11.55, and 1:37.62. 7-1 Blueskiesnrainbows, who stalked the lead pair in third, inherited the lead into the stretch through 1 1/4 miles in 2:03.87 and 1 1/2 in 2:29.62. 9-1 London Bridge, 8th early, outfinished Blueskiesnrainbows to win by 1 length in 2:58.32. It was a neck back to Worldly third, while favorite Ever Rider was pulled up after 10 furlongs by jockey Gary Stevens and walked off.
Winning jockey Mike Smith said, "He just had to work really hard. He was never really sure of the dirt. The change in his shoes made a big difference, but even with that he was never really confident. I had to keep riding him at times, taking a hold of him, riding him, trying get him confident, but keep moving all at the same time. I felt if I kept chasing them, he'd lose confidence. So I did a little of both and he outlasted them, because really, if it was on grass, it would have been a much better victory."
The Breeders' Cup Marathon
Purse: $500,000 Distance: 1 3/4 miles
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
7 London Bridge Smith 20.00 10.20 6.40
8 Blueskiesnrainbows Pedroza 9.00 6.20
10 Worldly Flores 4.80
Winning Time: 2:58.32
$1 Exacta 7-8 96.20
$1 Trifecta 7-8-10 695.30
$1 Superfecta 7-8-10-5 4,742.20
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.