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Breeders Cup Wrapup
Trainer Josie Carroll leads Belichick to the winner's circle after the 2020 Breeders' Stakes
The $400,000 Breeders' Stakes is the third and final race of Canada's Triple Crown restricted to 3-year-olds foaled in Canada. A field of 9 contested the 129th renewal of this 1 1/2 mile classic, one complete lap of the E.P. Taylor Turf Course on Saturday afternoon. Conditions were seasonal for late October at Woodbine, with cloudy skies and a post time temperature of 6.7 C (44.1 F), however intermittent rain on Friday evening downgraded the Taylor turf course to good-to-firm (GoingStick reading of 10.7). As expected, Mighty Heart was sent off as the 6-5 favorite in the field of 11, in his attempt to become the 13th horse to sweep the Canadian Triple Crown. He won the Queen's Plate on by 7 1/2 lengths and then came back to win the Prince of Wales Stakes by 2 1/2 lengths. In to challenge him included 3-1 second choice Clayton, winner of the Plate Trial before finishing 3rd in the Plate and 2nd in the Prince of Wales, and 13-4 third choice Belichick, still winless in his 3 lifetime starts but a fast closing second in the Plate last out, skipping the Prince of Wales.
Belichick leads down the stretch in the Breeders Stakes.
Jockey Daisuke Fukumoto sent Mighty Heart to the lead first time by and he set fractions of 23.69, 47.45, 1:13.02, and 1:40.71 while pressed by 101-1 longest shot Kunal and stalked by 13-1 Told It All. At the 3/8 pole, Mighty Heart tired as stablemate Belichick, 4th early, easily swept to the lead through 10f in 2:07.38. Confidently ridden by Luis Contreras, Belichick quickly opened up a 4 1/2 length lead over 55-1 Meyer through 11f in 2:19.65, and cruised through the final furlong to win by 4 lengths in 2:32.51. It was another 3 lengths back to late-running 12-1 English Conqueror third, while Mighty Heart faded down the long homestretch to finish 7th beaten 20 1/4 lengths.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 9 Belichick Contreras 8.70 5.00 3.40 1 Meyer Civaci 30.70 15.60 5 English Conqueror Wilson 5.30 Winning Time: 2:32.51 $1 Exacta 9-1 119.10 $1 Trifecta 9-1-5 772.30 $1 Superfecta 9-1-5-7 15,395.90
Left: Belichick in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Josie Carroll, who is the first female trainer to sweep the Canadian Triple Crown (but with 2 different horses) said, "The Queen's Plate was a breakout race for him. We couldn't come back that quickly in the Prince of Wales Stakes. A horse needs a little time to regroup from something like that, a young, inexperienced horse, and regroup he did."
Right: Belichick heads back to the barn after the race. Carroll added, "He was so distracted the first race. I came over here with high expectations of him, I knew in the paddock I was in trouble, he was looking at a white pony and he was all googly-eyed at them, all over the place. And then off of that race he seasoned a little, and then more so the next race, and then today when I was back at the barn he was sleeping all day, stretched right out in the stall, just crashed. The nerves are all gone, he's just turned into a real professional."
Left: Belichick behind the starting gate. Winning jockey Luis Contreras, celebrating his 3rd Breeders' Stakes win, said, "They kind of broke early in the race so I just tried to see them and relax my horse as much as I can. He was very uncomfortable; this horse has a different style to run so I just let him be happy wherever he wants to be. Turning for home, I was just in hand all the way to the quarter pole and I asked him to run from the stretch home and he did."
Right: Belichick returns after the race. Contreras added, "Yes, definitely (didn't want to contest the pace). I was just watching, just feeling my horse at the same time. And he was doing great the whole way. He came into this race very ready, good thing for Josie and all the crew."
Left: Second place finisher Meyer behind the starting gate. The Martin Drexler trainee improved his record to 1 win, 3 seconds, and 2 thirds in 9 starts, earning $155,976 for owner Bruno Schickedanz.
Right: Third place finisher English Conqueror returns after the race. The Darwin Banach trainee improved his record to 1 win, 0 seconds, and 3 thirds in 5 starts, earning $88,939 for owner-breeder JWS Farms.
Left: Seventh place finisher and beaten favorite Mighty Heart behind the starting gate. Trainer Josie Carroll said, "I told (Fukumoto), ‘Let's see how this falls out. If you make the lead, watch your fractions, it's a long, long race.' The horse broke well, he found himself up there, unfortunately another horse dogged him the whole way and he couldn't get the horse to come off the bridle and relax. I thought we were in trouble going down the backside when that horse wouldn't let up off of him. Obviously I'm disappointed for Larry [Cordes] and his connections for Mighty Heart."
Right: Mighty Heart after the race. Jockey Daisuke Fukumoto said, "Today he broke good and I didn't plan on going to the front. He was sharp like in the Queen's Plate, I tried to take hold and he relaxed a little bit in the backstretch but with the mile and a half you need the stamina. I think he just got tired. He tried hard today, I tried to take hold too, but that's racing. He gave me many experiences and I'm so proud of him. I want everyone to keep following him when he runs again next time."
The horses break from the starting gate for the Breeders' Stakes.
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