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Jockey John Velazquez celebrates aboard Authentic after winning the Classic
The 2020 Breeders' Cup World Championships ended on Saturday at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington with nine races, all with year-end championship implications, five of which were conducted over the 1 1/16 mile main track. Similar to Friday, conditions were excellent with sunny skies, minimal wind, and temperatures in the low 70's, with the track rated fast.
Despite the lack of fans in attendance, the sixth-highest Breeders' Cup handle of over $160 million went through the tote system, a 7% increase over the 2015 event at Keeneland. Breeders' Cup CEO Drew Fleming said, "We had an extraordinary two days of racing showcasing the best Thoroughbreds from around the world and we want to thank our hosts here at Keeneland, who did an amazing job, and the city of Lexington. Given the unique circumstances for this year's event with attendance limited here and at other tracks and simulcast facilities around the country, we are very pleased with the overall handle for the two days."
Authentic wins the Classic
Jockey John Velazquez sent Authentic to the lead first time by and he set fractions of 23.20, 47.06, and 1:10.06 while pressed by 9-1 fourth choice Maximum Security and stalked by Tiz the Law and 25-1 Global Campaign. Turning for home, Authentic continued to lead through 1 mile in 1:35.00. Kept to task by Velazquez, Authnetic drew off late to win by 2 1/4 lengths over late-running Improbable in a new track record time of 1:59.19, 0.88 seconds faster than American Pharoah's record set in the 2015 Classic. It was another length back to Global Campaign third, while Tiz the Law failed to rally checking in 6th beaten 5 1/2 lengths.
Purse: $6,000,000 Distance: 1 1/4 miles
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 9 Authentic Velazquez 10.40 5.40 4.20 8 Improbable Ortiz Jr. 4.80 3.20 7 Global Campaign Castellano 8.80 Winning Time: 1:59.19 (new track record) $1 Exacta 9-8 22.70 $1 Trifecta 9-8-7 335.90 $1 Superfecta 9-8-7-1 3,355.50 $1 Super High Five 9-8-7-1-10 17,582.90 $1 Pick Six 11-7-15-10-3-9(5 correct) 33,393.70
Left: Authentic heads back to the barn. Winning trainer Bob Baffert, who trains the first 2 finishers, said, "You know what, they were all training so well and he was training well. I think Johnny (Velazquez) got to know him a lot better and he's just a quirky guy. But when I saw him out there, he's catching up with these older horses. That's what they do at this time of year, what a horse. He's the real deal. I'm just happy for Wayne Hughes and everybody. That was awesome. I tell you what, I needed that, didn't I?"
Right: Authentic in the paddock before the race.
Left: Authentic in the paddock. Winning jockey John Velazquez said, "It's incredible. Thanks God and the whole team. The older I get the more emotional I get. It worked out perfect. Bob said to take him to the lead so he doesn't wander so much and keep his mind on running. It worked out. He did everything I wanted him to do."
Right: Second place finisher Improbable returns after the race. Elliott Walden of co-owner WinStar Farm said, "He just kind of let the other horse get away and nobody went with him. I don't know what the pace was because they messed up the fractions. But they kind of walked the dog out there. But he ran his race. He was wide both turns but he was second best."
Left: Third place finisher Global Campaign in the paddock. Jockey Javier Castellano said, "I had a beautiful trip, that's what I was looking for today. I knew there was a lot of speed in the race, but I had to play a little bit to get him to move forward. With this horse I didn't want to be too far back. I was happy where I was positioned because they were going pretty quick. Maximum Security is the kind of horse that wants to set the pace. Our horse is a pace-maker too, but the other horses had more speed than my horse. We had a good early position and I'm very satisfied with how he did."
Right: Sixth place finisher and beaten favorite Tiz the Law in the paddock. Trainer Barclay Tagg said, "I was happy with the way he came into the race. I thought he would run his race but (jockey Manny Franco) said he was just too keen and didn't run." Jockey Manny Franco added, "I had an OK trip. I was down inside. My horse never settled for me. He was pulling me the whole way hard. When I sent to looking for him he was done. I was inside looking for a way to get out to a clear run. I had wait longer than I wanted to. It is what it is."
Monomoy Girl wins the Distaff
Swiss Skydiver stumbled at the start as jockey Tyler Gaffalione sent 45-1 longest shoy Lady Kate to the front through an opening quarter in 23.11. 17-1 Harvest Moon gained the lead on the clubhouse turn through a half in 46.03 and 3/4 in 1:09.94 while pressed by Lady Kate and stalked by Ollie's Candy and Monomoy Girl. Turning for home, Monomoy Girl swept to the front 4 wide through 1 mile in 1:34.86. Kept to task by jockey Florent Geroux, Monomoy Girl pulled away to win by 1 3/4 lengths over late-running 14-1 Valiance in 1:47.84, just 9/100 off the track record. It was another 1/2 length back to 26-1 Dunbar Road third.
Purse: $2,000,000 Distance: 1 1/8 miles
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 10 Monomoy Girl Geroux 4.00 3.00 2.40 8 Valiance Saez 8.80 5.60 3 Dunbar Road Ortiz 8.00 Winning Time: 1:47.84 $1 Exacta 10-8 21.30 $1 Trifecta 10-8-3 262.70 $1 Superfecta 10-8-3-2 1,790.10
Left: Monomoy Girl in the post parade with popular pony horse Harley. Winning trainer Brad Cox said, "Honestly it's a relief. She means the world to me and it's a lot of pressure when we run her, I don't know why. It just is. It's been a long road back. She's a real race horse. She's meant so much for so many people's lives, she's an amazing creature. I love her to pieces. Words can't even describe it. I think she plays a big role in our other three Breeders Cup victories over the weekend. She's meant so much to so many people's lives. She was my first Grade 1 winner here at Keeneland. I'm just do proud of her."
Right: Monomoy Girl heads back to the barn. Winning jockey Florent Geroux said, "What a mare, just exceptional. She's a mare of a lifetime, very rare. It's like finding a diamond. When you have it, you do the best you can. It's a gift. Even after all she's been through, being off a year and a half, to come back and still be at the top of her game is unreal. I'm super thankful for the opportunity that Brad and the owners have given me."
Left: Second place finishe Valiance in the post parade. Trainer Todd Pletcher said, "I thought she ran super. We had a good trip, a little wide on both turns, but we were following the winner. She put in a good run. Kept them honest to the wire." Jockey Luis Saez added, "I had a perfect trip. I just followed the leader. I knew she was going to put me there. For a minute I thought I was going to win it, but, man, that other filly is something."
Right: Third place finisher Dunbar Road in the paddock. Trainer Chad Brown said, "Jose (Ortiz) had a plan and we thought there'd be a strong pace and to come with one run, like we did in some of her races like the Alabama. She ran huge that way. She momentarily had to alter course between the 3/8 and the 1/2 and Jose felt that he didn't want to go too wide, so he was going to try to slip in then out and it wasn't there, so he immediately steered her back out and she lost a little momentum. It might have cost her second. It didn't look like she was going to beat the winner."
The start of the Distaff which was good for all but Swiss Skydiver (5). Her jockey Robby Albarado said, "She stumbled a little bit leaving there. It maybe cost her a little length or two position-wise, but it didn't cost us the win. I had a great opportunity turning for home and get on through there and get heads-up with the champ, but she just didn't have it today. I'm disappointed that we didn't win, but I'm not disappointed in her. What she has done in her career, she has never let anybody down, she hasn't disappointed anybody. The way she ran in the Preakness, she doesn't have to validate herself from here on out. She's a special filly and everybody knows her. She gets a little time now and will come back next year stronger."
Whitmore wins the Sprint
Jockey Jose Ortiz sent 72-1 Jasper Prince to the lead out of the chute through an opening quarter of 21.64 before 51-1 Empire of Gold took over on the turn through a half in 44.66 while stalked by 6-1 fourth choice C Z Rocket and favorite Yaupon. Turning for home Empire of Gold continued to lead through 5f in 56.42 before tiring. 18-1 Whitmore, 10th early under Irad Ortiz Jr., came out 3 wide to sweep to the front and drew off to win by 3 1/4 lengths over C Z Rocket in 1:08.61. It was a neck back to 9-1 Firenze Fire third, while favorite Yaupon failed to rally and checked in 8th beaten 6 1/4 lengths. Whitmore has competed in 4 straight editions of the Sprint, finishing 8th in 2017, 2nd in 2018, and 3rd last year, finally getting the win in his 4th try.
Purse: $2,000,000 Distance: 6 furlongs
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 7 Whitmore Ortiz Jr. 38.80 13.80 7.60 2 C Z Rocket Ortiz 7.60 5.00 8 Firenze Fire Lezcano 6.40 Winning Time: 1:08.61 $1 Exacta 7-2 138.00 $1 Trifecta 7-2-8 1,092.00 $1 Superfecta 7-2-8-9 29,885.80
Left: Irad Ortiz Jr. celebrates aboard Whitmore. Winning trainer Ron Moquett said, "I said in the prerace interview that whenever there are this many track records, it's almost impossible to think a closer is going to do well. For him to run against the bias the way he did and the patience of the rider, the willingness to listen, it all worked out. I'm so proud of the horse, proud for the connections. I'm proud for everyone out there that's thinking when you run last in the Kentucky Derby, kick them out, do right by the horse come back, and you have a shot to reach other dreams. You don't discard them. You just do right by the horse and it keeps working out. I'm just grateful. Grateful for the horse. Grateful to everyone that sends me well wishes and congratulations after the race. Just grateful."
Right: Whitmore heads back to the barn. Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. said, "He had a great trip. We wanted to break and have him relax and that's what we did. He relaxed so good. I was able to cut the corner on the turn and when I tipped him out he just exploded. He's a nice horse. He's been running for so many years. He's a warrior."
Left: Second place finisher C Z Rocket in the paddock. Trainer Peter Miller said, "He ran his eyeballs out. I think the draw really hurt us. If we drew where Whitmore drew, I think it's a different deal, but that's horse racing. We had to ride him away from there and that's not the way he really wants to run, but he had no choice on this speed-favoring racetrack. From the inside, you don't want to get shuffled back to last. He rode a super race. It was just circumstance. Speed favoring track and an inside draw on a horse who wants to sit and doesn't want to be ridden away from there, but I couldn't be prouder of the horse. He's shown up every time we ran him."
Right: Eighth place finisher and beaten favorite Yaupon. Jockey Joel Rosario said, "Coming out of the gate he kind of hesitated for a little bit. I think that cost the chances for us to probably win the race."
Knicks Go wins the Dirt Mile
Jockey Joel Rosario sent Knicks Go to the lead and he set fractions of 21.98, 44.40, and 1:08.25 while pressed by Complexity and stalked by Art Collector. Turning for home Knicks Go opened 3 lengths on the field through 7f in 1:20.76. 63-1 longest shot Jesus' Team put in a strong late rally from 7th to no avail as Knicks Go cruised to a 3 1/2 length win in a new track record of 1:33.85. It was a nose back to 6-1 Sharp Samurai third.
Purse: $1,000,000 Distance: 1 mile
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 5 Knicks Go Rosario 5.60 5.00 3.80 11 Jesus' Team Saez 33.60 11.80 2 Sharp Samurai Irad Ortiz Jr. 4.60 Winning Time: 1:33.85 (new track record) $1 Exacta 5-11 109.80 $1 Trifecta 5-11-2 1,232.30 $1 Superfecta 5-11-2-10 7,298.00
Left: Joel Rosario celebrates aboard Knicks Go after the race. Winning trainer Brad Cox said, "He's very fast and he loves Keeneland as well. We picked the horse up last winter and he really loves it here. Joel did a fantastic job of asking him to be forwardly placed and he responded well. They went very quick and he was able to keep going. This is a good race for him with the short stretch. A lot of things were in his favor today. He's a very aggressive horse, he loves to train. He's just a very classy horse."
Right: Knicks Go heads back to the barn. Winning jockey Joel Rosario said, "It looked like he was going easy. I didn't know how fast he was going. He went 44 (seconds for a half mile). That was very fast. He was able to hang in there and have a kick at the eighth pole. It was a very good performance."
Left: Second place finisher Jesus' Team in the paddock. Trainer Jose D'Angelo said, "He has done great work (training) at Keeneland. Every day, every week he improved. He likes this track. He is the best horse I have trained in the USA and in my life, too. I am very sure that in his next race, he will be closer to a win." Jockey Luis Saez added, "I was wishing I could take him outside but if I did I would have been wide. But he ran a good race. He tries so hard."
Right: Third place finisher Sharp Samurai in the paddock. Trainer Mark Glatt said, "A little unfortunate in the first turn. Irad (Ortiz) said the one horse came out on him and made him check on heels there. I think that may have potentially cost him second. You spend quite a bit of energy and are also then farther back. He just ran into a buzz saw after that with Knicks Go. I thought down the backside we were in a decent spot and then third around the turn was pleased and would think they would have to stop for sure given the pace scenario. He's extremely versatile. He runs seemingly as well on dirt as he does turf and hopefully we can find a good race that he can win."
The horses break from the gate for the Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile.
Gamine wins the Filly and Mare Sprint
Jockey Luis Saez sent Serengeti Empress to the lead out of the chute through fractions of 21.77 and 44.27 while pressed by Gamine and stalked by 15-2 fourth choice Speech. Turning for home, Gamine, after an awkward start, easily took over through 6f in 1:07.98. Kept to task by John Velazquez, Gamine powered away to win by 6 1/4 lengths in a new track record of 1:20.20, more than a second faster than the previous record set in 2015. It was a nose back to late-running Bell's the One third.
Purse: $1,000,000 Distance: 7 furlongs
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 2 Gamine Velazquez 4.20 3.00 2.40 7 Serengeti Empress Saez 4.00 3.00 9 Bell's the One Lanerie 3.20 Winning Time: 1:20.20 (new track record) $1 Exacta 2-7 8.10 $1 Trifecta 2-7-9 26.00 $1 Superfecta 2-7-9-5 257.00
Left: John Velazquez celebrates aboard Gamine. Winning trainer Bob Baffert said, "That's the baddest bitch in the land right there! I knew (Serengeti Empress) was going to go and I told Johnny if you get separation to get to the outside. She is doing as well as she did when she won the Acorn. She is just brilliant. She is the fastest filly going one turn I've ever trained. I wanted it bad for her. What she's gone through. She deserved it. Of all my races, this meant the most to me."
Right: Gamine heads back to the barn. Winning jockey John Velazquez said, "We knew that other horse would come out running, but I didn't want to give it up too easy. I wanted to make him [Luis Saez] work a little harder. Once he passed me, I came off the rail and even then I didn't get want to give it to him that easy either. I made sure I put a little pressure on because I know that filly is really tough on the lead. I made sure I was close to him. When I asked my filly, she was there for me."
Left: Second place finisher Serengeti Empress in the paddock. Trainer Tom Amoss said, "We just got outrun. There's no secret to it. We just got flat outrun. Gamine turned in a spectacular performance, but I'm still so very proud of my filly. Being second-best today is no disgrace, not by a longshot. My girl was a winner a long time ago before this race." Jockey Luis Saez added, "I put her on the lead and she was pretty comfortable. When the other filly came to her she fought, but the winner is a very good filly."
Right: Third place finisher Bell's the One in the paddock. Jockey Corey Lanerie said, "She ran great. I actually thought I was second. Hat's off to the winner. She beat us today fair and square. My filly showed up like she always does, and she gave me everything she had. I was a little wider than I wanted, but I knew I couldn't get stopped. If I have to check any, my chances were done. So, I put her out in the clear, and we were coming but just weren't good enough today."
Part 2 of Saturday's results and photos are available here.
Results and photos for the four Breeders' Cup races on Friday are available here.
Breeders' Cup quick links:
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