The 34th Breeders' Cup World Championships kicked off on Friday at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in Del Mar, California. Conditions were typical for early November, with the 32,278 fans enjoying partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid 60's, with the main track fast and the Jimmy Durante Turf Course rated firm.
Full results with several photos per race are available at the link below the pay-off chart.
Forever Unbridled wins the Distaff
The highlight of Friday's card is the $2 million Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff (G1) for older fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles on the main track. Beldame (G1) and Alabama (G1) winner Elate was the 2-1 favorite in the field of 8 over 3-1 Stellar Wind, winner of the Clement Hirsch (G1), and 7-2 Forever Unbridled, winner of the Personal Ensign (G1). 23-1 Champagne Room set the pace of 23.79, 48.08, and 1:12.50 while pressed by 5-1 Paradise Woods and stalked by Stellar Wind. Into the lane jockey John Velazquez sent Forever Unbridled, 3 wide in 6th early, to the lead. Kept to task by Velazquez, Forever Unbridled held off late-running Abel Tasman by 1/2 a length in 1:50.25. It was a long 3 length back to Paradise Woods third, and 1 more to Elate fourth.
Winning trainer Dallas Stewart said, "I'm just blessed. She's such a great filly. A championship was on the line and she's three-for-three (this year). Last year she had an injury (after the Breeders' Cup) and we gave her plenty of time. Chuck (Fipke) was right about putting her back in training. He didn't have to. He could have just retired her already a Grade 1 winner. He opted to bring her back and the injury wasn't bad and she was never sore. She's the best I've trained."
Purse: $2,000,000 Distance: 1 1/8 miles
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
6 Forever Unbridled Velazquez 9.40 5.00 3.40
4 Abel Tasman Smith 5.40 3.60
7 Paradise Woods Prat 3.80
Winning Time: 1:50.25
$1 Exacta 6-4 23.40
$1 Trifecta 6-4-7 147.20
$1 Superfecta 6-4-7-5 370.70
Kicking off the World Championships, the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) featured 14 two-year-old fillies going 1 mile on the turf. Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (G1) and Moyglare Stud (G1) winner Happily was the 5-2 favorite over 3-1 Rushing Fall, winner of the Jessamine (G3), and 5-1 September, 2nd in the Fillies Mile (G1). 34-1 Juliet Capulet and 38-1 Moon Dash contested the early pace of 23.04, 47.23, and 1:11.93 while stalked by 31-1 Ultima D. Entering the lane, jockey Javier Castellano angled Rushing Fall, 9th early, 6 wide for room and she took over at the 1/8 pole through 7f in 1:24.09. Kept to task by Castellano, Rushing Fall held off late-running 16-1 Best Performance by 3/4 length in 1:36.09 It was a length back to September third, while Happily was last.
Winning trainer Chad Brown said, "Javier rode a great race. The key was going out of that post and getting a spot in the first half of the field which he accomplished. From there, with a nice pace in front of us, he was comfortable where he was and he moved when he felt the time was right. She has a devastating move when you turn her loose."
The Juvenile Fillies Turf
Purse: $1,000,000 Distance: 1 mile turf
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
11 Rushing Fall Castellano 8.00 4.60 3.40
1 Best Performance Ortiz 17.40 10.20
10 September Heffernan 10.60
Winning Time: 1:36.09
$1 Exacta 11-1 53.70
$1 Trifecta 11-1-10 371.60
$1 Superfecta 11-1-10-8 1,878.10
The $1 million Las Vegas Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) is for older horses going 1 mile around 2 turns of the main track. Metropolitan Handicap (G1) winner Mor Spirit was the 5-2 favorite in the field of 10 over 3-1 Sharp Azteca, winner of the Kelso Handicap (G2) and 4-1 Accelerate, 3rd in the Pacific Classic (G1). Jockey Paco Lopez sent Sharp Azteca to lead through fractions of 22.94, 46.95, and 1:11.13 while pressed by 68-1 Gato Del Oro and stalked by Mor Spirit. Sharp Azteca continued to lead through 7f in 1:23.02, but 14-1 Battle of Midway, 5th early under Flavien Prat, came out 5 wide for room and rallied to win by 1/2 a length in 1:35.20. It was a long 4 1/4 lengths back to 14-1 Awesome Slew third, while Mor Spirit faded to finish 8th.
Winning trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said, – "He's a horse for the course. He loves Del Mar. We had a lot of confidence in him coming into this race. I talked to Flavien (Prat) and we agreed there was a lot of speed in the race. At the break he was able to follow (Accelerate) and got a good position. This horse has always been a fighter and he showed that today. He showed a lot of courage in winning this race."
The $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) featured a full field of 14 2-year-olds going 1 mile on the turf. Dewhurst (G2) runner-up Mendelssohn was the lukewarm 9-2 favorite over 5-1 Masar, 3rd in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (G1), and 6-1 Catholic Boy, winner of the With Anticipation (G3). 20-1 Sands of Mali set the pace of 22.83, 46.87, and 1:11.19 while pressed by 23-1 Flameaway and stalked by 12-1 Encumbered and Mendelssohn. Sands of Mali led to the 1/8 pole through 7f in 1:23.67 before tiring. Mendelssohn inherited the lead and easily held off late-running 13-1 Untamed Domain in 1:35.97. It was another 1/2 length back to 9-1 Voting Control third.
Winning trainer Aidan O'Brien said, "He's progressed with every race. We were
afraid to change him up, so we kept him on the grass. He's stepped up every time. This is marvelous. It's been a big team effort this year."
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf
Purse: $1,000,000 Distance: 1 mile turf
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
1 Mendelssohn Moore 11.60 8.40 5.60
2 Untamed Domain Ortiz 11.00 7.00
8 Voting Control Castellano 6.20
Winning Time: 1:35.97
$1 Exacta 1-2 73.30
$1 Trifecta 1-2-8 603.50
$1 Superfecta 1-2-8-4 3,206.80
Kicking off Friday's card, a field of 6 older horses sprinted 7 furlongs in the $200,000 Damascus Stakes. 5-1 Americanize set the pace of 22.02 and 44.39 while pressed by 11-2 Good Bye Greg and stalked by 8-5 favorite Mr. Hinx. Americanize continued to lead through 3/4 in 1:08.83, and drew off late to win by 2 1/4 lengths over Mr. Hinx in 1:21.73. It was another 1/2 length back to 7-2 Loose on the Town third.
Winning trainer Simon Callaghan said, "He broke well and the race set up well for him. He's always been a good horse; it just took him some time to develop." Jockey Rafael Bejarano added, "He broke so clean, so fresh from the gate. I had a beautiful trip. I fought him for as long as I could, got to the top of the stretch and let him go. He gave me a big kick."
The $200,000 Golden State Juvenile Fillies featured 9 California-bred or sired 2-year-old fillies sprinting 7 furlongs. 7-2 Ismelucky and 9-1 Show It N Moe It dueled for the lead through fractions of 22.82 and 46.27. 2-1 favorite Spiced Perfection gained the lead at the 1/8 pole through 6f in 1:11.74, but 4-1 One Fast Broad, last early, came out 4 wide for room and rallied to win by a length in 1:24.78. It was another length back to Show It N Moe It third.
Winning owner-trainer Mick Ruis said, "Corey (Nakatani) never panicked. He waited with her and rode a great race. We knew she could run on dirt. She's got a brother that won half a million on turf, so we started her there. I'm going to give her about 60 days off now and bring her back as a really good 3-year-old, and I do believe she'll run on."
The $200,000 Marathon Stakes Presented by TAA is a 1 3/4 mile test for older horses. 24-1 longest shot Infobedad set the pace of 49.06, 1:14.26, 1:40.31, 2:05.97, and 2:32.06 while pressed by 2-1 Destin and stalked by 9-5 favorite Hard Aces. Into the lane, Destin moved up to take over at the 1/8 pole, and drew off to win by 1 1/4 lengths over Infobedad in 2:57.77. It was a long 4 3/4 length back to Hard Aces third.
Winning trainer Todd Pletcher said, "The horse ran very well. We got the trip we were hoping to get. We thought he could handle the distance and he did." Jockey John Velazquez added, "It went according to plan. We didn't think there was a lot of speed in the race. We thought we could sit up close. It came off just the way we wanted."
The nightcap on Friday's card was the $150,000 Sen. Ken Maddy Stakes (G3) for older fillies and mares sprinting 5 furlongs on the turf. 4-1 So Sweetitiz dueled with 19-1 Snack Shack through an opening quarter of 22.14. Entering the lane, 3-1 favorite Vigor, 6th early, moved up to lead through a half in 45.19 but 7-2 second choice Belvoir Bay, 5th early, rallied to win by 1 1/4 lengths in 56.63. It was 2 1/4 lengths back to 8-1 Instant Reflex third.
Winning jockey Flavien Prat, celebrating his 4th win of the day, said, "Great day! She ran well all the way, but had a little trouble on the turn. When I asked her to run in the lane she really kicked it." Trainer Peter Miller added, "It's always great to win one on Breeders' Cup Day. She ran great and got a great ride. Flavien did everything picture perfect. He just needed a spot through in the stretch and once a hole opened up he shot through well."
2017 Breeders' Cup Friday - There were four Breeders' Cup races on Friday at Del Mar headlined by the Distaff (G1) where Forever Unbridled held off Abel Tasman to win by a half length. Also on the card, Rushing Fall won the Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), Battle of Midway won the Dirt Mile (G1), and Mendelssohn 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 - Distaff
2017 Breeders' Cup Entries - Entries closed Monday and post positions were drawn for the 13 Breeders' Cup Championship races on November 3 and 4 at Del Mar. The Classic will have a field of 11 with Gun Runner in post 5 the 9-5 favorite over Arrogate in post 1 at 2-1.
Review: Crushing the Cup 2017 - by Jim Mazur and Peter Mallett. An invaluable tool for trying to unlock the mysteries of handicapping the Breeders' Cup races at Del Mar. Updated for 2017, this is their 26th anniversary edition and first for Del Mar.
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 since the change.