The first race of the 2016 Championships was the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), a 1 mile test around 2 turns of infield turf course at Santa Anita. Good Samaritan was sent off as the 5-2 choice in the full field of 14 off his win in the Summer Stakes (G2). In to challenge him include 4-1 Big Score, winner of the Zuma Beach after finishing second in the Del Mar Juvenile Turf, and 13-2 Oscar Performance, winner of the Pilgrim (G3).
Oscar Performance draws away in the stretch.
Jockey E.T. Baird sent 30-1 Wellabled to the lead first time by through fractions of 22.30 and 45.88 over the firm going while pressed by Oscar Performance and stalked by 28-1 Keep Quiet. On the far turn Jose Ortiz sent Oscar Performance to the front through 3/4 in 1:09.44 and 7/8 in 1:21.07, opening up by 2 with a furlong to go. 8-1 Lancaster Bomber, 8th early, put in a strong late rally but Oscar Perfomance easily held him off by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:33.28. It was a neck back to late-running favorite Good Samaritan third.
Oscar Performance wins the Juvenile 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
Left: Oscar Performance heads to the winner's circle. Jockey Jose Ortiz said, "He played out just like we planned it. That was the key, I think. The key was going through the first turn, have a clean break, and get up a good position in the first turn, and we did that. And he re-lapped well behind Wellabled. I was a little concerned about that, because he had been on the lead lap two times. But he re-lapped well, and when I past the 3/4 pole, I felt like I had a lot of horse under me, when I let him go in the 1/4 pole, he did very well."
Right: The trophy celebration with owners Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Amerman and trainer Bryan Lynch. Jerry Amerman said, "I don't want to get into a deep subject because there are so many different viewpoints. But if the horse is doing well, there is no need for medication when they're two years old, and that's the principle we've followed. If something goes wrong, obviously it's a different issue and we might use Lasix. But until then, we stay without it." Oscar Performance was one of two horses in the field to not use race-day medication.
Left: Oscar Performance heads out for the post parade.
Right: Oscar Performance heads back to the barn after the race. Trainer Brian Lynch said, "We haven't really considered dirt. He's a Kitten's Joy out of a Theatrical mare, so his pedigree's definitely top and bottom grass. So at this stage we'll talk with John and Jerry about the next step, but he definitely deserves a nice little break after today's performance. You know, that's his fourth start as a two-year-old. I think that's plenty for him. And we look forward to him in the spring."
Left: Second place finisher Lancaster Bomber in the post parade. Jockey Seamie Heffernan said, "He didnít break quite as well as the American horses, but he ran a great race. I think he was as good as the winner, but the winner had a better trip." Trainer Aidan O'Brien added, "I was very pleased with that. He ran a super race and stayed on well at the finish."
Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Good Samaritan returns after the race. Trainer Bill Mott said, "Joel said whoever was on the seven nearly clipped heels and he had to take back. He was shuffled back to next to last after sitting mid-pack heading into the turn. It might have been a good effort to finish third. Itís hard to say. Iíd like to watch the replay to try and put it all together."
The horses break from the gate for the Juvenile Turf. Joel Rosario aboard favorite Good Samaritan (11) said, "On the first turn, it looked like the horse in front of me clipped heels so I had to take a hold of him and wait a little longer. After all of the (early trouble), he responded very nicely. Heís a good horse."
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.