Kentucky Derby Contenders
Saffie Joseph 1000 wins
Ken McPeek 3000 wins
Sovereign Award finalists
James Doyle celebrates aboard Rebel's Romance after the Turf.
The $4 million Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) features older horses going 1 1/2 miles around 3 turns of the turf. Nations Pride was sent off as the 3-1 favorite off wins in the Saratoga Derby Invitational (G1) and Jockey Club Derby Invitational (G3). In to challenge him include 7-2 second choice War Like Goddess, winner of the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (G1) after just missing in the Flower Bowl (G1), and 4-1 third choice Mishriff, 4th in the Irish Champion Stakes (G1) but 13th in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (G1) last out.
Rebel's Romance rarllies on the outside in the stretch
Jockey Feargal Lynch sent 48-1 Bye Bye Melvin to the lead around all three turns through fractions of 24.91, 49.42, 1:14.15, 1:38.92, and 2:03.25 while pressed by 44-1 Channel Maker and stalked by 12-1 Stone Age. Turning for home the pacesetters tired as 6-1 fourth choice Rebel's Romance, 10th early, came out 6 wide to gain the lead at the 3/16 pole. Kept to task by James Doyle, Rebel's Romance drew off to win by 2 1/4 lengths over Stone Age in a new course record time of 2:26.35, 0.55 seconds faster than the previous record. It was another 3/4 length back to late-running War Like Goddess third, while favorite Nations Pride bobbled at the start, got shuffled back, and checked in fifth beaten 3 3/4 lengths.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 5 Rebel's Romance Doyle 13.92 7.92 5.14 3 Stone Age Moore 12.24 7.20 2 War Like Goddess Rosario 3.80 Winning Time: 2:26.35 (new course record) $1 Exacta 5-3 69.87 $2 Trifecta 5-3-2 1,752.10 $1 Superfecta 5-3-2-11 1,970.10Results chart
Left: Rebel's Romance in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Charlie Appleby said, "The horse is maturing and well traveled now. What he's done this season on the turf has been -- rejuvenated from a horse that at one stage we looked like we might have been losing him for a moment. But a typical Dubawi, he's gotten stronger. Getting a horse like him around the turns was never going to be easy, just the size of him. But you could see the way he was traveling into the race that if he had the right horse under him, which we visually could see him, we were confident that he'd get the job done."
Right: The trophy presentation for the Turf. Hugh Anderson representing owner Godolphin said, "Yeah, I'm sure we will (see him race again as he is a gelding). That would certainly be the plan. Up to Charlie. But he's a home bred. Fabulous performance. As Charlie said, he's being modest as ever, but this horse was struggling last year. And he's brought him back, and in 2022 he has been just fabulous. And it's wonderful that James has ridden him today. I pay tribute to William Buick yesterday. James is a fabulous rider. Won the 2000 Guineas for us this year and this Breeders' Cup win. It's rounded off a wonderful two-day. Today, with Cody's Wish, Modern Games and now Rebel's Romance, that's as good as it gets. I'm so grateful to the team for everything they've done."
Left: Rebel's Romance in the paddock. Winning jockey James Doyle, celebrating his first Breeders' Cup win said, "We went into it with a pretty open mind. I think that's a better way to approach these races. Obviously a lot depends on how we break from the stalls. We were a little slow away, like you can be, but we ended up in a nice position behind Nations Pride. We knew he would take me into the race nicely. I think through watching all the Turf races, I think it's quite important to maybe get off the inside rail and come with a nice smooth run down through the center of the track. Obviously you're hostage to fortune the way things pan out but it panned out perfectly today."
Right: Rebel's Romance heads back to the barn. Doyle added, "He was a little bit raw on the turn. There was a couple of hairy moments where we were in tight racing room. So I was relieved once we got into the straight -- that was just early on. But once we got into the straight he became more comfortable and we were able to get a little bit more room. He's a tremendous performance and I think back on faster ground definitely suited him. My sister (Sophie) has been over here a number of years. I hope I made her proud. I've let her down a few times coming over. Hopefully she enjoys this one."
Left: Second place finisher Stone Age in the post parade. Trainer Aidan O'Brien said, "He probably liked the trip more than before and I think there's more to come from him still. I absolutely hope to bring him back next year. He's just a 3-year-old and he's still progressing."
Right: Third place finisher War Like Goddess in the paddock. Trainer Bill Mott said, "She ran good. Joel Rosario) had to wait a while to produce her. He was in the stretch before he got to let her run. If he could have let her run maybe a little bit around the turn it might have been helpful, but she ran well. Take nothing away from her. I would have liked to see her start her run just a tick earlier. She saved a lot of ground but she had to wait a little bit. When you are on the inside, that's what happens. You get lucky to save a little ground, but it doesn't always one exactly when you want it to."
Left: Fifth place finisher and beaten favorite Nations Pride heads out for the post parade. The Charlie Appleby trainee has a record of 6 wins, 2 seconds, and 0 thirds in 10 starts, earning $1,554,216 for owner-breeder Godolphin.
Right: First time down the stretch in the Turf. Joel Rosario aboard War Like Goddess (2) said, "She did really well. When I got to the last turn I had to wait a little bit to kick home. She finished very well and ran great."
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