The $4 million Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) is the longest race of the World Championships, for older horses going 1 1/2 miles over the Santa Anita course. Sword Dancer (G1) winner Flintshire was sent off as the 9-5 choice in the field of 12, off his second place finish in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1). In to challenge him included 7-2 second choice and defending champion Found, winner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1) but second in the QIPCO Champion Stakes (G1) last out, and 15-4 third choice Highland Reel, winner of the King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1) and coming off his 2nd place finish in the Arc.
Highland Reel leads in the stretch
Jockey Seamus Heffernan sent Highland Reel to the lead coming out of the chute and he was allowed an uncontested lead of as many as 7 lengths through fractions of 24.83, 48.00, 1:12.70, and 1:36.16 with 10-1 Ectot and 18-1 Ashleyluvssugar stalking him second and third. Entering the stretch Highland Reel was 6 1/2 lengths clear through 10f in 1:59.34. Flintshire, 4th early, put in a strong late rally but Highland Reel cruised to an easy 1 3/4 length win in 2:23.00. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to late-running Found third.
Highland Reel wins the Turf
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
12 Highland Reel Heffernan 9.60 5.20 3.40
4 Flintshire Castellano 3.20 2.40
10 Found Moore 3.00
Winning Time: 2:23.00
$1 Exacta 12-4 14.40
$1 Trifecta 12-4-10 43.80
$1 Superfecta 12-4-10-7 325.60
Left: Highland Reel in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Aidan O'Brien said, "We know that he handles fast ground. He doesn't mind dictating. He doesn't mind sitting in. So it was straightforward, really. But Seamus executed it brilliant. He was very happy to make the run, and when he did, he controlled the race perfectly. He kicked at the right time, and really the race was over from a long ways out. Ryan, who rode Found, said he knew there was no catching (Highland Reel) for a long ways when Seamus left the way he was in front."
Right: The trophy presentation with owner Michael Tabor (left) and trainer Aidan O'Brien (right). O'Brien added, "He has two options: the Japan Cup and the race in Hong Kong. So obviously the lads will think and talk about what they want to do. Obviously the Japan Cup is only three weeks away, and Hong Kong is then obviously three weeks after that. I don't know whether he'll be able to take in the two or whether he can take in one, but we'll see how he is. He's an incredibly versatile horse that loves traveling."Highland Reel."
Left: Highland Reel crosses over to the turf course before the race. Winning jockey Seamus Heffernan said, "He's the type of horse that's brave in front. And when he wants to go, you let him go and he turns it on. I thought there were a few horses that were going to come from the back and come quick. So if I was going, I wanted to go early. I was happy to make him run, unless I wasn't comfortable, and I just stretched out the race, and I kicked when I should kick him, and it went very well."
Right: Highland Reel heads back to the barn.
Left: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Flintshire returns after the race. Trainer Chad Brown said, "Naturally, I'm disappointed with the outcome, but I was very proud of his race today. The course is very, very firm and when you have a classy horse like that alone on the lead, it's dangerous. We had no excuses." Jockey Javier Castellano added, "(Heffernan) tried to steal the race and he stole it. The way it worked out, it was unfortunate for my horse. Usually you don't see the European horses run so aggressively, open up and carry their speed. Especially at 1 1/2 miles but it worked out great for him."
Right: Third place finisher Found crosses the finish line. Co-owner Derrick Smith said, "I understand Ryan (Moore) said she knackered coming out of the stalls, which didn't help her case. But she ran a super race. I think just today, nothing was going to beat Highland Reel, and that's the way it was. She ran a super race, very pleased with her."
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.