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Jockey Victor Espinoza celebrates after Ce Ce's Filly and Mare Sprint victory.
Kicking off Championship Saturday, the $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) featured a short field of just 5 older fillies and mares (after Estilo Talentoso scratched) sprinting 7 furlongs on the main track. Defending champion Gamine was sent off as the 2-5 favorite off her Ballerina Handicap (G1) win at Saratoga. In to challenge her included 5-2 second choice Bella Sofia, winner of the Test (G1) and Gallant Bloom (G2), and 6-1 third choice Ce Ce, winner of the Chillingworth Stakes (G3).
Ce Ce draws off in the stretch.
Jockey John Velazquez sent Gamine to the lead out of the chute through fractions of 22.31 and 44.92 while pressed by Bella Sofia and stalked by 16-1 Edgeway. Turning for home, Ce Ce, 4th early under Victor Espinoza, bumped into Bella Sofia at the 3/16 pole then rallied by the pacesetters to win by 2 1/2 lengths over Edgeway in 1:21.00. It was another 3/4 length back to favorite and pacesetter Gamine third.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 4 Ce Ce Espinoza 14.40 5.20 2.40 3 Edgeway Rosario 9.60 3.20 5 Gamine Velazquez 2.10 Winning Time: 1:21.00 $1 Exacta 4-3 55.50 $1 Trifecta 4-3-5 119.20 $1 Superfecta 4-3-5-6 139.30Results chart
Left: Ce Ce in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Mike McCarthy said, "You see the fillies drawing outside, obviously you prefer that these two fillies have been drawn inside, but I thought Victor did a wonderful job of bouncing away from there and not letting those two fillies kind of dictate and get over on us. And then turning up the back side it looks like she was always traveling well. Those two fillies ran away around the turn and Victor put her in the gate coming through the 3/8 pole. I was a little bit worried that it didn't look like she was making up a whole lot of ground on them, but the fractions were flipped."
Right: The trophy presentation for the Filly and Mare Sprint. Winning owner-breeder Bo Hirsch said, "She's been unbelievable. You look back at her pedigree it's incredible. We have been very lucky. And most of it is due to the good people have I back in Kentucky from Columbiana Farms. At my stage in life I want more fun than money and as long as she wants to run, and as long as -- we know she wants to run and we're going to run for awhile."
Left: Ce Ce heads out to the track. Winning jockey Victor Espinoza said, "She went on two great runs, one mile and 16th mile and an eighth. It's a little bit like hard for me to time it. But now at 7/8 she's an awesome mare and Mike McCarthy has done an incredible job to train her for the race and this event, the Breeders' Cup. And I've been around with her because I always look for the future and I look for the big race. And now as I get older, you know, I train and I'm prepared for this, the big races. And Bo, you know, thanks to them too. It's just been great all the way around and it's a really nice Breeders' Cup."
Right: Ce Ce heads back to the barn with her new winner's blanket. McCarthy added, "You wait three years before you see something and then you see all these great mares sometimes, they don't get what you're hoping for and so as long as she's competitive she's going to, we're going to keep her running."
Left: Second place finisher Edgeway returns after the race. Jockey Joel Rosario said, “I was on the inside and I had the room to run, but I was probably just second best today.”
Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Gamine in the post parade. Trainer Bob Baffert said, “She was out there and she just got tired at the end. The winner ran a great race. I really can’t make a lot of excuses. She just got tired. I blame myself with the preparation. She had some time off and I think a race in between probably would have helped her. I think I made a mistake there. Now, she’ll be ready." Jockey John Velazquez added, “When you go that fast early, it’s hard to keep up the whole way around when you are pressed all the time. At the quarter pole, I thought she was going to have it, but as soon as I moved my hands and she didn’t respond the way I thought, I knew I was in trouble.”
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