The battle down the stretch with eventual winner Hit It a Bomb on the outside.
The first race of the 2015 Championships was the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), a 1 mile test around 2 turns of the 7 1/2 furlong Haggin Turf Course at Keeneland. Airoforce was sent off as the 5-2 favorite in the field of 14 off his win in the Bourbon (G3) at Keeneland, over 5-1 second choice Cymric, runner-up in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere Grand Criterium (G1) at Longchamp, and 7-1 third choice Hit It a Bomb, winner of the Star Appeal Stakes at Dundalk.
46-1 longest shot Manhattan Dan was loose on the lead through fractions of 23.12, 48.22, and 1:13.28 while about 2 lengths ahead of 17-1 Dressed in Hermes, who was 1 1/2 in front of Cymric. Entering the stretch, Manhattan Dan stubbornly held the lead through 7/8 in 1:25.95 but tired in the final furlong. Hit It a Bomb, last early, and Airoforce, 5th early, rallied together with Hit It A Bomb winning the duel to the line by a neck in 1:38.86 over the yielding course It was another neck back to 18-1 Birchwood third.
Hit It a Bomb wins the Juvenile Turf
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
14 Hit It a Bomb Moore 16.40 9.40 6.80
8 Airoforce Leparoux 4.40 3.20
6 Birchwood Doyle 11.20
Winning Time: 1:38.86
$1 Exacta 14-8 83.40
$1 Trifecta 14-8-6 1,471.00
$1 Superfecta 14-8-6-10 15,166.20
Left: Hit It a Bomb heads into the winner's circle. Winning jockey Ryan Moore said, "The ground was really loose and my horse was uncomfortable and had a hard time finding his footing. Once he settled and found his footing he got into the race and came running."
Right: Hit It a Bomb heads back to the barn after the race.
The trophy presentation for the Juvenile Turf with trainer Aidan O'Brien on the far right. O'Brien said, "Ryan said he was drawn 14, so he was going to leave him relaxed the first half of the race and he was going to walk it out from there. It was going to depend on where he was really. Then, it was whether he was going to get there or not. We've seen it so many times. He gave a marvelous ride, let him relax early and came along smooth. I was very worried in that ground the horse wouldn't make up enough ground, he couldn't get there. Obviously, he did."
Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Airoforce returns after the race. Trainer Mark Casse said, "At first he wasn't running at all and I was really concerned then he kicked in. I thought he might win it. All you can ask for is for them to run their race and I'm proud of them both (Airoforce and stablemate Conquest Daddyo, 4th). I sure would have liekd to win. We'll win one (Breeders' Cup race) someday." Casse gets his wish in the Juvenile Fillies Turf an hour later.
Right: Third place finisher Birchwood in the post parade. Jockey James Doyle said, "They were going a bit quick and I was a bit keen around the first turn. I had a good trip, can't complain. I got pushed 3 wide early on to stay right on to heels, I just had to ease him into a bit of space so I had a good trip down the stretch and didn't get stopped. The horse finished off really well, I'm really placed. This is very similar to the grass we have at home (England) this time of year."
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.