Irad Ortiz looks back while Stephanie's Kitten leads down the stretch
The first of three championship turf races on Saturday was the $2 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) with 10 older fillies and mares going 1 3/16 miles over the Haggin turf course. Legatissimo was sent off as the 9-10 favorite off her wins in the Nassau (G1) at Glorious Goodwood and the Matron (G1) at Leopardstown.. In to challenge her included 5-1 Dacita, winner of the Ballston Spa (G2) at Saratoga, and 7-1 Stephanie's Kitten, last year's runner-up and coming here off her Flower Bowl (G1) win at Belmont.
12-1 Secret Gesture set the early pace of 23.95, 49.26, and 1:13.94 while pressed by 72-1 Sharla Rae and stalked by 20-1 Photo Call. Entering the lane, Photo Call moved up to gain a short lead through 1 mile in 1:38.89. However, Stephanie's Kitten, last and 6 lengths off the pace early, same through between horses to win by 1 1/4 lengths over Legatissimo in 1:56.22 over the "good" going. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to 13-1 Queen's Jewel third.
Left: Stephanie's Kitten in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Chad Brown said, "A really strong field. Legatissimo, particularly, we have a lot of respect for and some other ones that were in there just had fantastic form from Europe.
It's a real spirit of the Breeders' Cup, international competition at its finest. On this day, it was a Kentucky bred horse, just miles from where she was born, that came out victorious. And I just think it's a great story. She beat all the best today."
Right: Stephanie's Kitten returns after the race. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. said, "I broke from the outside so I was trying to save some ground. I found a hole to go through around the quarter pole and then when I asked her she just took off."
The trophy presentation with owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey and Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear. Ken Ramsey said, "These Kitten's Joys come from last to first. I was a little bit concerned when I saw her back that far. But last to first. Great ride by the jockey, used his smarts. He's going to be in the Hall of Fame himself. This Irad Ortiz is really a good jockey. He's right up there with John Velazquez, Javier Castellano and all the good ones that are running up there in New York now. What can I say about the mare that hasn't already been said? She's had a tough luck career. There's lot of seconds on there that could have been won. Just a head bob or two or a little more pace in the race. Today, she went out in a blaze of glory. We're very proud of her."
Second place finisher and beaten favorite Legatissimo in the post parade. Trainer David Wachman said, "She ran a good race, but she’s had a long season. I was pleased with her run. She met a good horse today. No excuses."
Right: Third place finisher Queen's Jewel walks over before the race. Jockey Maxime Guyon said, "She needs a bit more time to keep up with pace and find her stride. She struggled a bit on the turns, but made up a lot of ground on the straight."
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.