Day two of the 31st Breeders' Cup World Championships took place Saturday at Santa Anita Park before a crowd of 61,114. Conditions were less than ideal with overcast skies and temperatures in the mid 60's. Overnight rain downgraded the main track to "good" early on but it had dried sufficiently to be upgraded to "fast" in time for the Championship events.
Down the stretch in the Classic.
The $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) is the richest race in North America, featuring top older horses going 1 1/4 miles on the main track, in a race that often decides Champion Older Horse, Champion 3-Year-Old Male, and/or Horse of the Year. Shared Belief, undefeated in 7 lifetime starts including the Los Alamitos Derby (G2), Pacific Classic (G1), and Awesome Again (G1) was sent off as the 5-2 favorite in the full field of 14. In to challenge him included 4-1 second choice California Chrome, winner of the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1), and 9-2 third choice Tonalist, winner of the Belmont (G1) and the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1)
After a bumpy start, jockey Martin Garcia sent 6-1 fourth choice Bayern to the lead first time past the stands and he set fractions of 23.12, 46.44, 1:10.22, and 1:34.16 while as many as 1 1/2 lengths in front of 18-1 Toast of New York stalking him second, in turn 1 1/2 lengths in front of California Chrome out 3 wide. Entering the lane, the threesome held their positions. Toast of New York and California Chrome attempted to close the gap, but the three hit the line together with Bayern holding off Toast of New York by a nose, and it was another neck back to California Chrome third. Favorite Shared Belief was a long 3 1/2 lengths back in fourth.
At the start, Bayern broke inward into Shared Belief, which in turn forced Shared Belief into Moreno. There was a stewards inquiry into the start but no action was deemed necessary and the result stood.
Bayern (inside) wins the Classic
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
7 Bayern Garcia 14.20 8.00 5.20
9 Toast of New York Spencer 18.00 4.80
13 California Chrome Espinoza 4.80
Winning Time: 1:59.88
$1 Exacta 7-9 124.90
$1 Trifecta 7-9-13 1,043.60
$1 Superfecta 7-9-13-6 3,817.40
$1 Super High Five 7-9-13-6-11 8,678.20
$2 Pick Six 6-7-12-13-14-7(5 correct)114,472.00
Left: Bayern in the winner's circle with owner Kaleem Shah and trainer Bob Baffert on the left. Jockey Martin Garcia said, "It's an amazing feeling, a dream come true. To compete in these races, especially this day, is a big thing for everyone. In this situation, you don't take away when a horse likes to run on the lead. We let him run, and if anything happens, you make adjustments. In this race, he broke really good and I took advantage."
Right: The trophy presentation with jockey Martin Garcia, owner Kaleem Shah with his son, and trainer Bob Baffert. Baffert said, "We knew the break was very important for this horse, and he broke so hard the ground broke under him. He ducked in on the first jump, so I was like it's either a stumble or that. So (Garcia) grabbed him right away, straightened him out, and then he just took control of the race. Once he gets his speed, his brilliance is his weapon. About the 5/8 pole he sort of opened up on him a little bit. Because that's him. If you try to slow him down, he's just not effective. I loved everything that was going down. I thought, he's good enough."
Left: Owner Kaleem Shah leads Bayern to the winner's circle. Shah said, "This past week has been very painful for me. I've been suffering with nerve damage and sciatica nerve issue. But believe me, as soon as it hit the wire, it automatically cured itself. So that should tell you a little bit about it. He's gone cross country beating the best, and certainly on the world stage, he's overcome everything and won today. In my mind certainly he deserves Horse of the Year and 3-year-old champion."
Right: Bayern in the post parade.
An alternate view of the finish from farther up the stretch so you can actually see Bayern on the inside.
Left: Second place finisher Toast of New York circles during the inquiry. Jockey Jamie Spencer, after his final career ride before retirement, said, "Some things are meant to be and some things aren't." Trainer Jamie Osborne added, "He has run his heart out and he nearly pulled off the impossible. I'm incredibly proud of him and all the team. Yes, it hurts to come second. It would have been wonderful for (Spencer) to have pulled off a Breeders' Cup Classic on his last ride."
Right: Third place finisher California Chrome as they pass by for the first time. Trainer Art Sherman said, "I thought he had a good trip. No excuses. My horse ran his eyeballs. He was right there, right down to the money. I thought it was a great effort. He came back strong." Jockey Victor Espinoza added, "On the backstretch I thought I had a chance to win, but I knew (Bayern) was going to be tough when he gets the lead like that. The last 1/16 (California Chrome) was digging as hard as he could, but getting just a little tired. I wish he had one more race. It was a little too much for him today."
Left: Fourth place finisher and beaten favorite Shared Belief returns after the race. Co-owner Alex Solis II said, "Right when the gates broke (Bayern) came over and Mike said he got hit really hard and that slowed him down - then the whole field came over on him and Moreno was getting out on him. Obviously he got into a lot of trouble." Jockey Mike Smith added, "I was never able to get comfortable after getting hit at the break. I kept getting bounced around all the way around the turn and Moreno kept getting out and bumped through the backside. Even so, he ran a dynamite race. I think (bumping) cost me the race."
Right: The start of the Classic where Bayern (7) bumped Shared Belief (6).
Breeders' Cup Saturday Results - There were 9 races Saturday highlighted by the $5 million Classic where American Pharoah was an impressive winner in his final start before retiring to stud. Also on the card, Found won the Turf, Nyquist won the Juvenile, and Tepin won the Mile. Get the results, charts, and photos for all 9 races here. Get more photos and comments for each race here.
Breeders' Cup Friday Results - There were 4 races Friday highlighted by the Distaff where Stopchargingmaria won by a neck over Stellar Wind and the Dirt Mile won by Liam's Map. Get the results, charts, and photos for all 4 races here.
Thursday Breeders' Cup Photos - Photos and comments for 38 horses out on Thursday morning at Keeneland on both the main and training tracks, including American Pharoah. Beholder was also out, but was found to have bled when scoped and is scratched from the Classic.
Wednesday Breeders' Cup Photos - Photos and comments for 46 horses out on a very rainy Wednesday morning at Keeneland on both the main and training tracks, including Keen Ice, Frosted, and Golden Horn. No American Pharoah yet, hopefully he comes out tomorrow.
2015 Breeders' Cup Entries - Check out the entries, post postitions, and morning line odds for the 13 Breeders' Cup World Championship races to be held at Keeneland on October 30 and 31.
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.