The 33rd Breeders' Cup World Championships kicked off on Friday at Santa Anita in Arcadia, California. Conditions were typical for early November, with mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the 80's. A record 45,673 fans came out for the first day of the two-day festivities, with the main track fast and turf firm due to the dry conditions all week.
Full results with several photos per race are available at the link below the pay-off chart.
Beholder wins the Distaff
The highlight of Friday's card is the $2 million Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) for older fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles on the main track. Undefeated 3-year-old Songbird was sent off as the 11-10 favorite in the field of 8 over 5-2 Stellar Wind, winner of the Zenyatta (G1), and 3-1 Beholder, the 2012 Juvenile Fillies champion and 2013 Distaff champion. Jockey Mike Smith sent Songbird to the lead through fractions of 23.32, 47.16, 1:11.14, and 1:36.15 while pressed by 17-1 I'm a Chatterbox and stalked by Beholder. At the 1/8 pole jockey Gary Stevens sent Beholder the challenge, setting up a duel to the line for the final furlong, and the pair hit the line together with Beholder prevailing by a nose in a tight photo finish in 1:49.20. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to late-runnung 15-1 Forever Unbridled third.
Winning jockey Gary Stevens said, "It's probably the most emotional race of my career because she's so special to me and it's her last race. I just asked Mr. (owner B. Wayne) Hughes if he has an extra paddock for me next to her because I probably should be getting on the plane with her and walking out right now, but I'm not ready. She gave me absolutely everything. I have a new respect for Songbird even in defeat. Beholder, even in the past, has never given me everything like she gave me today."
The $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) featured 14 two-year-old fillies going 1 mile on the turf. Jessamine (G3) winner La Coronel was the lukewarm 4-1 choice over 9-2 Roly Poly, second in the Cheveley Park (G1), and 11-2 Hydrangea, second in the Fillies Mile (G1). 20-1 Lull was loose on the lead through fractions of 22.35, 45.75, and 1:10.05 while chased by 35-1 Sweeping Paddy and Rol Poly. Lull continued to led to midstretch through 7/8 in 1:22.03, but 13-2 New Money Honey, 4th early, came out 3 wide and rallied strong to outfinish 23-1 Coasted by 1/2 a length in 1:34.01. It was another length back to Cavale Doree third, while La Coronel checked in 6th.
Winning jockey Javier Castellano said, "I tried to secure my spot around the first turn and then I tried to save all the ground the best I could. She gave me a very good run down the lane and it was good enough to win the race." Trainer Chad Brown added, "She's made of steel. She's a terrific chapter in a terrific story."
The Juvenile Fillies Turf
Purse: $1,000,000 Distance: 1 mile turf
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
3 New Money Honey Castellano 15.00 7.60 5.20
6 Coasted Smith 17.40 10.20
9 Cavale Doree Prat 10.60
Winning Time: 1:34.01
$1 Exacta 3-6 127.40
$1 Trifecta 3-6-9 2,326.90
$1 Superfecta 3-6-9-2 27,971.40
The $1 million Las Vegas Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) is for older horses going 1 mile around 2 turns of the main track. Awesome Again (G1) runner-up Dortmund was sent of as the 7-10 choice over 4-1 Gun Runner, second in the Pennsylvania Derby (G2), and 7-1 Runhappy, last year's Sprint champion. Jockey Gary Stevens sent Runhappy to the lead and he set fractions of 22.45, 45.37, and 1:10.00 while pressed by Dortmund and stalked by Gun Runner. Entering the stretch Gun Runner took over the lead through 7/8 in 1:22.64, but 12-1 Tamarkuz, 6th early, came out 5 wide into the lane and rallied to win going away by 3 1/2 lengths in 1:35.72. It was a neck back to 43-1 Accelerate third.
Winning jockey Mike Smith said, "I had really a good trip. It set up. There was a lot of pace. Tamarkuz has speed himself and right away they opened 2, 3, 4 (lengths), so I knew they were going fast. After that it was just a matter of getting him into a comfortable rhythm and a happy place. When I called on him, he finished like he's been finishing for me. I really thought he had a good shot today."
Kicking off the 33rd Breeders' Cup, the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) featured a full field of 14 2-year-olds going 1 mile on the turf. Summer (G2) Good Samaritan was the 5-2 choice over 4-1 Big Score, winner of the Zuma Beach, and 13-2 Oscar Performance, winner of the Pilgrim (G3). 30-1 Wellabled led first time by through fractions of 22.30 and 45.88 while pressed by Oscar Performance and stalked by 15-1 Channel Maker. On the far turn Oscar Performance gained the lead through 3/4 in 1:09.44. He opened up by 2 lengths midstretch through 7/8 in 1:21.07, and easily held off late-closing 8-1 Lancaster Bomber in 1:33.28. It was a neck back to late-running favorite Good Samaritan third.
Winning trainer Brian Lynch said, "You always hope that it's in the stars and it's lovely when they all line up. He's always been a little bit above the other 2-year-olds and we've worked him with the older horses and he sat and waited lovely and kicked it in in his works, so it was nice to see it all come to play today. Jose (Ortiz) got him to cruise down the backside and kicked it in."
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf
Purse: $1,000,000 Distance: 1 mile turf
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
13 Oscar Performance Ortiz 15.20 8.00 5.60
1 Lancaster Bomber Heffernan 11.20 6.40
11 Good Samaritan Rosario 3.40
Winning Time: 1:33.28
$1 Exacta 13-1 69.40
$1 Trifecta 13-1-11 250.90
$1 Superfecta 13-1-11-14 5,341.90
The nightcap on Friday's card was the $200,000 Twilight Derby (G2) for 3-year-olds going 1 1/8 miles on the turf. 7-2 Free Rose set the pace of 22.54, 45.88, and 1:09.98 while pressed by 13-2 Blackjackcat and stalked by 19-1 Mr.Roary. Into the stretch Blackjackcat gained a short lead through 1 mile in 1:34.68 but 37-1 longshot Frank Conversation, 7th early, rallied 5 wide to get up by 1/2 a length in 1:46.81. It was another head back to Blackjackcat third, while 2-1 favorite Oscar Nominated was fourth.
Winning trainer Doug O'Neill said, "I thought for him to win would be a stretch. (Jockey Mario Gutierrez) got him to settle in a perfect spot, and he responded well. Credit to Mario."
A field of 8 older horses sprinted 7 furlongs in the $100,000 Damascus Stakes. 2-1 Jazzy Times set the pace of 21.97, 44.51, and 1:09.36 while pressed by 4-1 Navy Hymn and stalked by 11-1 Cautious Giant. In the stretch 7-1 Silent Bird, 6th early, rallied to win going away by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:22.63. It was another 1 1/2 lengths to Navy Hymn third.
Winning trainer Mark Glatt said, "He's had to overcome quite a bit and he finally got over his problems. He really wants to go long, and now with a couple of sprints under his belt, if he continues to come back good, you might really see something with this horse going longer. He's a big horse, long-striding, and probably doesn't want to sprint that bad, but he's overcome it because he's such a good horse."
The $200,000 Golden State Juvenile Fillies featured 10 California-bred or sired 2-year-old fillies sprinting 7 furlongs. 38-1 Cash Prize set the pace of 22.50 and 45.99 while pressed by 3-2 favorite Vai and stalked by 10-1 How About Zero. Into the stretch How About Zero, 3 wide, gained the lead through 3/4 in 1:11.52, and held off late-running 7-2 Ms Wakaya by a length in 1:24.79. It was another 3 1/4 lengths back to 11-1 Isa Firecracker third, with Vai fading to 8th.
Winning trainer Doug O'Neill said, “Mario (Gutierrez) did a great job with this maiden. Mario thought after the last race that maybe a set of blinkers would do the trick. She came up empty the last time, but we had a lot of confidence in her. She showed today coming down the lane that she is still a little green. I think the blinkers made her focus more. Those Square Eddie horses really run."
Kicking off the stakes action on Friday was the $200,000 Marathon Stakes, a 1 3/4 mile test for older horses. 2-1 favorite Scuba dueled with 3-1 second choice Hard Aces for the first 1 1/4 miles through fractions of 49.05, 1:14.67, 1:40.62, and 2:05.45 while stalked by 7-1 Blue Tone. Into the lane Scuba kicked away from the field, drawing off to a 4 1/4 length win over Hard Aces in 2:58.20. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to Blue Tone third.
Winning trainer Brendan Walsh said, “I think the pace was favorable. The horse was keen enough to go on and get on with it and they left him alone to an extent. It worked out great. He's just a great horse. He's won three times in a row in three states in the best of company. He's just remarkable.”
2016 Breeders' Cup Friday - There were four Breeders' Cup races on Friday at Santa Anita headlined by the Distaff (G1) where Beholder edged out favorite Songbird to win her 3rd Breeders' Cup race. Also on the card, New Money Honey won the Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), Tamarkuz won the Dirt Mile (G1), and Oscar Performance won the Juvenile Turf (G1). Get the results, charts, and photos for all 8 stakes on the card. More photos: Juvenile Turf -
Juvenile Fillies Turf -
Dirt Mile -
2016 Breeders' Cup Thursday Works - Photos and comments for 39 of the Breeders' Cup horses on Thursday November 3 in the morning at Santa Anita, including Found and the rest of the Aidan O'Brien horses out of quarantine.
2016 Breeders' Cup Wednesday Works - Photos and comments for 33 of the Breeders' Cup horses on Wednesday November 2 in the morning at Santa Anita, including Flintshire and Beholder as well as California Chrome.
2016 Breeders' Cup Tuesday Works - Photos and comments for 66 of the Breeders' Cup horses on Tuesday November 1 in the morning at Santa Anita, including California Chrome.
2016 Breeders' Cup Entries - Final entries were taken and post positions drawn on Monday for the 13 Breeders' Cup Championship races on November 4 and 5 at Santa Anita. Check out the post positions, odds, and horses for all the races.
Review: Crushing the Cup 2016 - by Jim Mazur and Peter Mallett. An invaluable tool for trying to unlock the mysteries of handicapping the Breeders' Cup races at Santa Anita. Updated for 2016, this is their 25th anniversary edition.
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.