Sixth-Highest Handle for 37th Breeders’ Cup World Championships

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 7, 2020) – Total all-sources handle for the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland Race Course was $160,472,894, the sixth-highest total since the Breeders’ Cup expanded to a two-day event in 2007 and an 8% decrease from the 2019 record handle of $174,000,574 at Santa Anita.

The two-day total handle represented a 7% increase from the 2015 Championships at Keeneland.

Breeders’ Cup did not report attendance figures for the 2020 Championships at Keeneland as no tickets were made available to the general public and attendance was restricted to participants and essential personnel due to COVID-19 safety precautions.

“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,” Breeders’ Cup CEO Drew Fleming said. “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.”

Total common-pool handle on Saturday’s 12-race Breeders’ Cup card was $110,186,908 a 6% decline from last year’s Saturday handle of $117,483,346 at Santa Anita.

The Breeders Cup World Championships will be held at Del Mar in 2021 and will return to Keeneland in 2022.

Breeders’ Cup Two-Day Attendance and Handle (common-pool) history: 

2020, Keeneland Race Course – no attendance reported; $160,472,894

2019, Santa Anita Park – 109,054; $174,000,574
2018, Churchill Downs – 112,672; $157,445,841
2017, Del Mar – 70,420; $166,077,486
2016, Santa Anita Park – 118,484; $156,861,811
2015, Keeneland Race Course – 94,652; $149,869,035
2014, Santa Anita Park – 98,319; $151,158,813
2013, Santa Anita Park – 94,628; $160,704,877
2012, Santa Anita Park – 89,742; $144,272,332
2011, Churchill Downs – 105,820; $161,512,867
2010, Churchill Downs – 114,353; $173,857,697
2009, Santa Anita Park – 96,496; $153,271,176
2008, Santa Anita Park – 86,588; $155,740,328
2007, Monmouth Park – 69,584; $129,197,262

ABOUT BREEDERS’ CUP

The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred horse racing’s year-end Championships, as well as the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The Breeders’ Cup is also a founding member of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, an organization composed of industry leaders committed to advancing safety measures in Thoroughbred racing and improving the well-being of equine and human athletes.

The 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 Championship races, was held on Nov. 6-7 at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, and featured a total of $31 million in purses and awards. The event was televised live by the NBC Sports Group.

Velazquez Pilots Authentic to Classic Score

Photo Courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

Courtesy of Curtis Kalleward of the Racing Dudes

LEXINGTON, KY – Year-end honors for Champion 3-Year-Old and Horse of the Year were likely decided with one fell swoop when Hall of Fame jockey John Velazquez piloted Authentic to a decisive gate-to-wire score in Saturday’s $6 million Breeders’ Cup Longines Classic (G1) at Keeneland.

Authentic broke well from post 9 as the 4/1 co-third choice and was unchallenged as he went to the lead heading under the wire for the first time.

While the rest of the field bunched up behind him, Authentic strolled through fractions of :23.20, :47.06, 1:10.84, and 1:35 flat for the opening mile.

The 7/2 second choice Improbable ranged up four-wide heading into the far turn and made a bid for the lead at the top of the stretch, but Authentic’s unpressured early running meant he had more left in the tank.

Repelling his rivals like a veteran twice his age, Authentic became the first Kentucky Derby (G1) champion to win the Classic since American Pharoah sealed the deal over this same course and distance in 2015.

“It’s incredible,” said Velazquez, whose 18th career Breeders’ Cup riding victory was his first in the Classic. “Thanks to God and the whole team. The older, I get the more emotional I get. It worked out perfect. He did everything I wanted him to do.”

Improbable’s failed bid still resulted in a strong runner-up effort over Global Campaign, who dove to the rail in mid-stretch but failed to gain on the eventual winner.

Tacitus took fourth over Maximum Security and the 3/1 favorite Tiz the Law by a nose and a head, respectively.

Behind them came Title Ready, By My Standards, Tom’s d’Etat, and Higher Power to complete the order of finish.

Authentic’s win was a return to form after Swiss Skydiver (off the board in the Longines Distaff [G1] earlier on the card) defeated him in the Preakness Stakes (G1) last month and improved his record to 8-6-2-0. The Into Mischief colt, purchased for $350,000 as a yearling, has now earned $6,191,200 for co-owners Spendthrift Farm, MyRacehorse.com, Madaket Stables, and Starlight Racing.

“I’m just happy for Wayne Hughes (of Spendthrift) and everybody,” said winning trainer Bob Baffert. “That was awesome.”

Authentic returned $10.40 to win, $5.40 to place, and $2.40 to show. Improbable brought back $4.80 to place and $3.20 to show, while Global Campaign paid $8.80 to show.

 

For more Breeders’ Cup coverage, head over to racingdudes.com.

Gamine Scorches Filly & Mare Sprint

Photo Courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

Courtesy of Curtis Kalleward of the Racing Dudes
LEXINGTON, KY – Michael Lund Petersen’s Gamine kicked off the Breeders’ Cup Saturday action by scorching the Keeneland dirt with a record-shattering effort in Saturday’s $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint (G1).

Gamine broke strongly from post 2 under John Velazquez as the even-money favorite, but the equally-speedy Serengeti Empress and jockey Luis Saez outkicked her to hold the sole early lead.

Velazquez pulled Gamine back and tipped her off the rail to stalk and avoid any kickback while Serengeti Empress posted opening fractions of :21.77 and :44.27.

Gamine ranged up in the far turn and presented her challenge at the top of the stretch, then took over just past the 3/16 pole.

Blowing the lid off the cane sugar jar, Gamine cruised home to win the 7-furlong fast dirt sprint by 6 1/4 lengths. The Bob Baffert trainee’s final time of 1:20.20 positively shattered the previous mark of 1:21.32 that Taris set in 2014.

“We knew that other horse would come out running, but I didn’t want to give it up too easy,” Velazquez said. “I wanted to make (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.”

Though headed halfway home, Serengeti Empress managed to hold off a fast-closing Bell’s the One by a nose to save second.

“I had a pretty good trip,” Saez said. “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.”

Sconsin, Come Dancing, Speech, Sally’s Curlin, and Venetian Harbor completed the order of finish.

Inthemidstofbiz was scratched.

Gamine’s win was the fourth of her career and followed similar eye-popping scores in the Longines Acorn Stakes (G1) in June and the Longines Test Stakes (G1) in August. The 3-year-old Into Mischief filly, purchased for $1.8 million as an unraced juvenile, improved her record to 6-4-0-1 with $1,003,000 earned, becoming racing’s newest millionaire.

“I knew (Serengeti Empress) was going to go and I told Johnny, ‘If you get separation, get to the outside,'” Baffert said. “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.”

Gamine returned $4.20 to win, $3 to place, and $2.40 to show. Serengeti Empress brought back $4 to place and $3 to show, while Bell’s the One paid $3.20 to show.

Tarnawa Terrific In Turf

Photo Courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

Courtesy of Curtis Kalleward of the Racing Dudes

LEXINGTON, KY – His Highness the Aga Khan Studs hombred Tarnawa proved absolutely terrific as she toppled several of the world’s best grass runners in Saturday’s $4 million Breeders’ Cup Longines Turf (G1) at Keeneland.

Tarnawa and replacement rider Colin Keane (who took the mount after Christophe Soumillon tested positive for COVID-19) broke a little awkwardly from post 3 as the 9/2 third choice and sat at the rear of the field.

Channel Maker hustled to the lead out of the gate and set a measured tempo, posting fractions of :25.57, :51.06, 1:15.99, and 1:40.52 through the opening mile while last year’s runner-up United kept close watch.

Channel Maker opened up as he led the field through the far turn for the second time and straightened for home with a sizeable advantage, but Tarnawa was hustling down the center of the course with gusto.

Sweeping past Channel Maker and the 2/1 favorite Magical to take the lead at the 1/16 pole, Tarnawa proved much the best, crossing a length clear while completing the 1 1/2-mile firm turf route in 2:28.02.

“Pretty straightforward, to be honest,” Keane replied when asked what instructions trainer Dermot Weld gave him. “Mr. Weld said get her out the gates and ride her as you find her. I spoke to Oisin Orr (who had ridden her previously) and he said she’s very straightforward. We just tipped away down the back straight, then we got going before the bend, then off she went. We got a clean run then and she was very good to the line.”

Magical’s finish mirrored her same result in the 2018 edition of this race, taking runner-up honors behind another world-class female turfer. Channel Maker finished third, just a nose behind Magical.

Lord North, Mogul, Arklow, Mehdaayih, United, Red King, and Donjah completed the order of finish.

Tarnawa’s win was her fourth from as many starts this year, the latter 3 all at the Grade/Group 1 level, and improved her overall record to 14-8-2-2. The Irish-bred 4-year-old Shamardal filly has now earned $2,868,503 after giving Weld his first Breeders’ Cup victory.

Tarnawa returned $11.40 to win, $5.40 to place, and $4 to show. Magical brought back $4 to place and $2.80 to show, while Channel Maker paid $5.60 to show.

Monomoy Girl Goes Out On Top With Another Distaff Title

Photo Courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

Courtesy of Curtis Kalleward of the Racing Dudes

LEXINGTON, KY – The 2018 race champion Monomoy Girl ended her career on an absolute high, repeating her success with a strong score in Saturday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Longines Distaff (G1) at Keeneland.

Monomoy Girl and jockey Florent Geroux – perhaps the greatest pairing of two mediums since peas and carrots – broke from the far outside post 10 as the even-money favorite and sat a close stalking trip while remaining three-wide and in the clear.

Lady Kate and Harvest Moon took turns leading through opening fractions of :23.11, :46.03, and 1:09.94, but none of that mattered as Monomoy Girl ranged up in the far turn.

Harvest Moon straightened for home on top, but Geroux saw the 2/1 second choice Swiss Skydiver attempting to surge up the rail and sent Monomoy Girl to the lead.

Though Valiance gave her easily the biggest test that she’s faced in 2 years, Monomoy Girl’s class and talent helped her prevail by 1 3/4 lengths at the wire.

The Brad Cox trainee completed the 1 1/8-mile fast dirt route in 1:47.84, just missing Noble Bird’s local best of 1:47.75 set in 2016.

“What a mare, just exceptional,” Geroux said. “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, 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.”

Valiance was second by a 1/2-length over Dunbar Road, who rallied from ninth to take third by a neck over Harvest Moon.

Ce Ce, Point of Honor, Swiss Skydiver (who stumbled out of the gate), Ollie’s Candy, Horologist, and Lady Kate completed the order of finish.

Monomoy Girl’s win completed a 4-race unbeaten season that came after she missed all of 2019 due to various maladies and improved her career record to 15-13-2-0. The 5-year-old Tapizar mare heads off to become a broodmare having earned $4,426,818 for co-owners Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables, The Elkstone Group, and Bethlehem Stables.

“Words can’t even describe it,” Cox said after winning his fourth event at this year’s World Championships. “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.”

Monomoy Girl returned $4 to win, $3 to place, and $2.40 to show. Valiance brought back $8.80 to place and $5.60 to show, while Dunbar Road paid $8 to show.

DRF GRADED ENTRIES FOR BREEDERS CUP SATURDAY

IRST RACE Probable Post 10:15 EST 
6 Furlongs. 3-Year-Olds. Perryville Stakes. Purse: $125,000

 PP   HORSE   PR. RIDER   WT.   COMMENTS   PR.ODDS 

 1   Nashville   Santana R Jr    118       4-5 
 4   Bango   Geroux F    118       5-1 
 6   Relentless Dancer   Ortiz I Jr    120       5-1 
 2   Little Menace   Gaffalione T    120       6-1 
 3   Fore Left   Prat F    118       8-1 
 7   Cajun Brother   Saez L    118       12-1 
 5   Wild Wes   Murrill M    118       15-1 
       
       
SECOND RACE Probable Post 10:45 EST 
7 Furlongs. 3-Year-Olds and Up. Lafayette S. presented by Keeneland Select. Purse: $150,000

 PP   HORSE   PR. RIDER   WT.   COMMENTS   PR.ODDS 

 1   Engage   Ortiz J L    120       4-1 
 6   Sleepy Eyes Todd   Rosario J    124       5-1 
 8   Strike That   Cohen D    122       6-1 
 11   True Timber   Lezcano J    120       6-1 
 12   Phat Man   Castellano J J    124       6-1 
 4   Midnight Sands   Ortiz I Jr    120       8-1 
 9   Ebben   Lanerie C J    120       8-1 
 10   Mind Control   Velazquez J R    124       8-1 
 3   Absolutely Aiden   Landeros C    120       10-1 
 7   Everfast   Leparoux J R    120       10-1 
 5   Edgemont Road   Cannon D    120       12-1 
 2   Dinar   Gaffalione T    120       20-1 
       
       
THIRD RACE Probable Post 11:20 EST 
6 Furlongs. 3-Year-Olds. Fillies. Qatar Fort Springs Stakes. Purse: $125,000

 PP   HORSE   PR. RIDER   WT.   COMMENTS   PR.ODDS 

 7   Merneith   Saez L    118       3-1 
 10   Motivated Seller   Ortiz I Jr    118       4-1 
 3   Artie’s Princess   Prat F    120       5-1 
 4   Wicked Whisper   Santana R Jr    120       5-1 
 5   Miss T Too   Velazquez J R    120       5-1 
 6   Fair Maiden   Lanerie C J    118       8-1 
 1   Ain’t No Elmers   Beschizza A    120       10-1 
 2   Anna’s Fast   Ortiz J L    118       10-1 
 8   Boerne   Castellano J J    118       12-1 
 9   Rising Seas   Corrales G    118       20-1 
 11   Regal Beauty   Hernandez B J Jr    118       20-1 
       
       
FOURTH RACE Probable Post 12:02 EST 
7 Furlongs. 3-Year-Olds and Up. Fillies and Mares. BCFMSprt (Grade 1). Purse: $1,000,000

 PP   HORSE   PR. RIDER   WT.   COMMENTS   PR.ODDS 

 2   Gamine   Velazquez J R    122       7-5 
 7   Serengeti Empress   Saez L    124       3-1 
 1   Speech   Castellano J J    122       6-1 
 9   Bell’s the One   Lanerie C J    124       6-1 
 3   Come Dancing   Ortiz I Jr    124       8-1 
 6   Venetian Harbor   Franco M    122       8-1 
 5   Sconsin   Graham J    122       20-1 
 8   Sally’s Curlin   Hernandez B J Jr    124       20-1 
 4   Inthemidstofbiz   Esquivel E    124       30-1 
       
       
FIFTH RACE Probable Post 12:39 EST 
5 1/2 Furlongs. Turf. 3-Year-Olds and Up. BCTrfSpt (Grade 1). Purse: $1,000,000

 PP   HORSE   PR. RIDER   WT.   COMMENTS   PR.ODDS 

 12   Got Stormy   Gaffalione T    123       7-2 
 3   Imprimis   Ortiz I Jr    126       4-1 
 7   Leinster   Saez L    126       4-1 
 1   Big Runnuer   Hernandez J J    126       12-1 
 4   Front Run the Fed   Castellano J J    126       12-1 
 6   Glass Slippers   Eaves T    123       12-1 
 8   Oleksandra   Rosario J    123       12-1 
 9   Into Mystic   Talamo J    123       12-1 
 5   Wet Your Whistle   Ortiz J L    126       15-1 
 10   Bombard   Prat F    126       15-1 
 11   Wildman Jack   Franco M    126       15-1 
 14   Extravagant Kid   Rispoli U    126       15-1 
 16   Chaos Theory   Velazquez J R    126       15-1 
 13   Texas Wedge   Geroux F    126       20-1 
 2   Just Might   Hernandez C J    126       30-1 
 15   Equilateral   Dettori L    126       30-1 
 17   Archidust   Santana R Jr    126       30-1 
 18   Bulletproof One   Castellano J J    121       30-1 
       
     Blinkers On: Texas Wedge 
SIXTH RACE Probable Post 1:18 EST 
1 Mile. 3-Year-Olds and Up. BCDirtMi (Grade 1). Purse: $1,000,000

 PP   HORSE   PR. RIDER   WT.   COMMENTS   PR.ODDS 

 10   Complexity   Ortiz J L    126       2-1 
 5   Knicks Go   Rosario J    126       7-2 
 1   Art Collector   Hernandez B J Jr    123       6-1 
 9   Mr Freeze   Franco M    126       6-1 
 12   Owendale   Geroux F    126       8-1 
 4   War of Will   Gaffalione T    126       10-1 
 2   Sharp Samurai   Ortiz I Jr    126       15-1 
 6   Mr. Money   Saez G    126       20-1 
 7   Rushie   Castellano J J    123       20-1 
 8   Pirate’s Punch   Vargas J A Jr    126       20-1 
 3   Silver Dust   Beschizza A    126       30-1 
 11   Jesus’ Team   Saez L    123       30-1 
 13   Pingxiang   Prat F    123       30-1 
       
       
SEVENTH RACE Probable Post 1:57 EST 
1 3/16 Miles. Turf. 3-Year-Olds and Up. Fillies and Mares. BCFMTrf (Grade 1). Purse: $2,000,000

 PP   HORSE   PR. RIDER   WT.   COMMENTS   PR.ODDS 

 6   Rushing Fall   Castellano J J    124       5-2 
 4   Mean Mary   Saez L    124       7-2 
 2   Sistercharlie   Velazquez J R    124       6-1 
 14   Cayenne Pepper   Foley S    120       8-1 
 1   Starship Jubilee   Geroux F    124       10-1 
 3   Peaceful   Moore R L    120       12-1 
 5   My Sister Nat   Ortiz J L    124       12-1 
 10   Civil Union   Rosario J    124       12-1 
 11   Audarya   Boudot P    124       12-1 
 7   Terebellum   Dettori L    124       20-1 
 9   Harvey’s Lil Goil   Alvarado J    120       20-1 
 13   Nay Lady Nay   Ortiz I Jr    124       20-1 
 8   Mucho Unusual   Prat F    124       30-1 
 12   Lady Prancealot   Franco M    124       30-1 
       
       
EIGHTH RACE Probable Post 2:36 EST 
6 Furlongs. 3-Year-Olds and Up. BCSprint (Grade 1). Purse: $2,000,000

 PP   HORSE   PR. RIDER   WT.   COMMENTS   PR.ODDS 

 14   Vekoma   Castellano J J    126       3-1 
 2   C Z Rocket   Saez L    126       7-2 
 10   Yaupon   Rosario J    124       7-2 
 8   Firenze Fire   Lezcano J    126       8-1 
 11   Diamond Oops   Geroux F    126       8-1 
 6   Frank’s Rockette   Alvarado J    121       10-1 
 7   Whitmore   Ortiz I Jr    126       15-1 
 1   Echo Town   Santana R Jr    124       20-1 
 3   Collusion Illusion   Prat F    124       20-1 
 4   Bon Raison   Beschizza A    126       30-1 
 5   Manny Wah   Gaffalione T    126       30-1 
 9   Empire of Gold   Carroll D    124       30-1 
 12   Hog Creek Hustle   Lanerie C J    126       30-1 
 13   Jasper Prince   Ortiz J L    126       30-1 
 15   Lasting Legacy   Hernandez B J Jr    126       30-1 
       
     Blinkers On: Echo Town 
NINTH RACE Probable Post 3:15 EST 
1 Mile. Turf. 3-Year-Olds and Up. BCMile (Grade 1). Purse: $2,000,000

 PP   HORSE   PR. RIDER   WT.   COMMENTS   PR.ODDS 

 11   Ivar   Talamo J    126       4-1 
 12   Uni   Rosario J    123       5-1 
 2   Kameko   Murphy O    123       6-1 
 5   Digital Age   Castellano J J    126       8-1 
 13   Factor This   Geroux F    126       8-1 
 14   Raging Bull   Ortiz J L    126       8-1 
 1   Circus Maximus   Moore R L    126       12-1 
 9   One Master   Boudot P    123       12-1 
 10   Halladay   Saez L    126       12-1 
 4   Siskin   Keane C    123       15-1 
 6   Safe Voyage   Hart J    126       15-1 
 8   March to the Arch   Gaffalione T    126       15-1 
 7   Casa Creed   Alvarado J    126       20-1 
 3   Lope Y Fernandez   Dettori L    123       30-1 
 15   Order of Australia   Soumillon C    123       30-1 
       
       
TENTH RACE Probable Post 3:54 EST 
1 1/8 Miles. 3-Year-Olds and Up. Fillies and Mares. BCDistaf (Grade 1). Purse: $2,000,000

 PP   HORSE   PR. RIDER   WT.   COMMENTS   PR.ODDS 

 10   Monomoy Girl   Geroux F    124       8-5 
 5   Swiss Skydiver   Albarado R J    121       2-1 
 4   Horologist   Alvarado J    124       8-1 
 9   Ollie’s Candy   Rosario J    124       10-1 
 1   Ce Ce   Velazquez J R    124       12-1 
 2   Harvest Moon   Prat F    121       12-1 
 3   Dunbar Road   Ortiz J L    124       12-1 
 8   Valiance   Saez L    124       12-1 
 6   Lady Kate   Gaffalione T    124       15-1 
 7   Point of Honor   Castellano J J    124       30-1 
       
       
ELEVENTH RACE Probable Post 4:33 EST 
1 1/2 Miles. Turf. 3-Year-Olds and Up. BCTurf (Grade 1). Purse: $4,000,000

 PP   HORSE   PR. RIDER   WT.   COMMENTS   PR.ODDS 

 2   Magical   Moore R L    123       5-2 
 10   Mogul   Boudot P    122       4-1 
 1   Arklow   Geroux F    126       5-1 
 9   Channel Maker   Franco M    126       5-1 
 3   Tarnawa   Soumillon C    123       6-1 
 6   Lord North   Dettori L    126       8-1 
 7   United   Prat F    126       8-1 
 8   Red King   Rispoli U    126       20-1 
 4   Mehdaayih   Rosario J    123       30-1 
 5   Donjah   Lecoeuvre C    123       30-1 
       
       
TWELFTH RACE Probable Post 5:18 EST 
1 1/4 Miles. 3-Year-Olds and Up. BCClasic (Grade 1). Purse: $6,000,000

 PP   HORSE   PR. RIDER   WT.   COMMENTS   PR.ODDS 

 8   Improbable   Ortiz I Jr    126       5-2 
 2   Tiz the Law   Franco M    122       3-1 
 10   Maximum Security   Saez L    126       7-2 
 4   Tom’s d’Etat   Rosario J    126       6-1 
 9   Authentic   Velazquez J R    122       6-1 
 3   By My Standards   Saez G    126       10-1 
 1   Tacitus   Ortiz J L    126       20-1 
 6   Higher Power   Prat F    126       20-1 
 7   Global Campaign   Castellano J J    126       20-1 
 5   Title Ready   Lanerie C J    126     

 

Golden Pal’s Talent Overcomes Greenness in Juvenile Turf Sprint

Photo Courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

Courtesy of Curtis Kalleward of the Racing Dudes

LEXINGTON, KY – Ranlo Investments homebred Golden Pal‘s immense talent helped him overcome his greenness to win Friday’s $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G2) at Keeneland.

Golden Pal, sent from post 14 as the 4/5 favorite under Irad Ortiz Jr., broke like a shot and was immediately a multiple-length leader after just a few steps into stride.

Ortiz Jr. had to tap the brakes and settle Golden Pal, who veered a bit as he neared the far turn, and momentarily allowed his rivals to close rank.

Once he was allowed to run again, however, Golden Pal quickly took off and reestablished a lengthy advantage by the time the field straightened for home.

Though he appeared to grow a bit leg-weary late, Golden Pal held on to win by 3/4 of a length, completing the 5 1/2-furlong good turf sprint in 1:02.82 and giving both Ortiz Jr. and trainer Wesley Ward back-to-back race titles.

“He’s a really nice horse,” said Ortiz Jr. “He did the hard job. I just sat on him, waiting for the time to go. He ran great. He really has a lot of potential.”

Cowan outkicked Ubettabelieveit for second by 1 length, while Lipizzaner held off After Five and County Final by a nose and a neck for fourth and fifth, respectively.

MomosBodenheimerDirty DangleWindy City RedMighty GurkhaSecond of JulyInto the Sunrise, and Blame the Booze completed the order of finish.

Amanzi YimpiloGypsy King (Also Eligible), and Trade Deal (Also Eligible) were scratched.

Golden Pal’s win was his second straight following the Skidmore Stakes and improved his overall record to 4-2-2-0 including a narrow defeat in the Norfolk Stakes (G2) at Royal Ascot. The Florida-bred Uncle Mo colt, the first foal out of the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) runner-up Lady Shipman, has now earned $593,056.

“He’s just amazing,” Ward said. “I got a little worried on the backside. Irad kind of lost a little momentum there and took a pretty good hold of him, but then he just accelerated down the lane. When he accelerated past the 1/4 pole, I knew we were OK. I got a little worried on the last part and was hugging onto my son, but we got there. He’s a champion colt.”

Golden Pal returned $3.60 to win, $2.80 to place, and $2.60 to show. Cowan brought back $8 to place and $5.80 to show, while Ubettabelieveit paid $8.60 to show.

Fire At Will Upsets Juvenile Turf

Photo Courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

Courtesy of Curtis Kalleward of the Racing Dudes

LEXINGTON, KY – Three Diamonds Farm’s Fire At Will used a powerful stretch move to spring the 30/1 upset in Friday’s $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf presented by Coolmore America (G1) at Keeneland.

Ignored on the tote as he broke from post 7 under Ricardo Santana Jr., Fire At Will sat a prominent stalking position while saving ground in third.

Outadore went to the lead and, with Gretzky the Great giving closest watch, posted opening fractions of :23.64, :48.12, and 1:12.60.

Straightening for home still on the lead, Outadore soon came under pressure from Fire At Will, who tipped off the rail at the top of the stretch and was running furiously toward the front.

Taking the lead at the 1/8 pole, the Mike Maker trainee pulled ahead late to win the 1-mile good turf route by 3 lengths in 1:35.81.

“I got a beautiful trip,” Santana Jr. said. “I had plenty of horse in the tank. Thank God, everything played out perfect.”

Battleground, the 7/2 favorite, rallied to take second by a neck over Outadore, while Cadillac and Sealiway rounded out the top five.

Gretzky the Great, The Lir Jet, Devilwala, Ebeko, Mutasaabeq, Go Athletico, Public Sector, Abarta, and New Mandate completed the order of finish.

Barrister Tom and Harlan Estate were scratched as Also Eligibles.

Fire At Will’s win was his third straight following the With Anticipation Stakes and the Pilgrim Stakes (G2), improving his record to 4-3-0-0. The Declaration of War colt, purchased for $97,000 as a yearling, has now earned $657,932.

“We have been high on him since Day One, and with each race, he’s gotten better,” Maker said. “It’s very satisfying to get Three Diamonds Farm their very first Breeders’ Cup win.”

Fire At Will returned $62.40 to win, $24.40 to place, and $14 to show. Battleground brought back $5.60 to place and $3.80 to show, while Outadore paid $7.60 to show.

Aunt Pearl Easily Wires Juvenile Fillies Turf

Photo Courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

Courtesy of Curtis Kalleward of the Racing Dudes

 

LEXINGTON, KY – Given an easy lead from the start, trainer Brad Cox’s Aunt Pearl took the field from gate to wire in Friday’s $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) at Keeneland.

Aunt Pearl shot out of post 5 under Florent Geroux as the 5/2 favorite and went straight to the lead, then outkicked Campanelle for sole command heading into the clubhouse turn.

Straightening out on the backside with a lengthy lead, Aunt Pearl posted an opening 1/4-mile time of :22.55 but was able to take a crucial breather and mute the tempo down to an opening 1/2-mile in :47.30.

Straightening for home still unchallenged, Aunt Pearl drew off only mild encouragement to win by 2 1/2 confident lengths and completed the 1-mile good turf route in 1:35.71.

“I know she is extremely fast,” said Geroux, who has been aboard Aunt Pearl for every start. “I just tried to get away good. She was off to a flying start. She went pretty quick early on, and after that, I tried to get her to relax. On the backside, she came back to me. When I asked her, she had plenty left. She’s extremely talented. I think the sky is the limit for her.”

Mother Earth rallied strongly in the late stages to take second by a neck over Miss Amulet, while Campanelle faded to fourth, just a head past Plum Ali.

Completing the order of finish came Spanish Loveaffair, Editor At Large, Madone, Oodnadatta, Nazuna, Invincible Gal, Alda, Royal Approval, and Union Gables.

Tetragonal and Snowfall (Also Eligible) were scratched.

Aunt Pearl’s win was her third from as many career starts, having broken her maiden at Churchill Downs in early September before setting a new stakes record over the local lawn in the Jessamine Stakes (G2). The Irish-bred daughter of Lope De Vega, purchased for almost $360,000 as a yearling, has now earned $652,784 for co-owners Michael Dubb, Madaket Stables, Peter Deutsch, Michael Kisber, The Elkstone Group, and Bethlehem Stables.

“That was a devastating performance,” said Cox, who also saddled Essential Quality to win the TVG Juvenile (G1) one race later. “She is an amazing filly. Very proud of her. Speed is her weapon and she knows how to use it. I was pretty confident when I saw the :47 and (Geroux) obviously knows her well.”

Aunt Pearl returned $7.20 to win, $5.40 to place, and $3.80 to show. Mother Earth brought back $19.60 to place and $10.40 to show, while Miss Amulet paid $6.40 to show.

For more Breeders’ Cup coverage, head over to racingdudes.com.

Vequist Skims Rail to Steal Juvenile Fillies

Photo Courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

Courtesy of Curtis Kalleward of the Racing Dudes

LEXINGTON, KY – Trainer Butch Reid’s Vequist skimmed the rail in the stretch to steal victory from loose leader Dayoutoftheoffice in Friday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Keeneland.

Vequist broke from post 2 under Joel Rosario as the 6/1 fifth choice in the field of 7 and was forwardly-placed heading into the clubhouse turn.

Settling just inside of the 9/5 favorite Princess Noor, Vequist watched as Dayoutoftheoffice posted opening fractions of :23.30, :47.12, and 1:11.32.

Princess Noor made her bid midway through the far turn, but her attempt fell flat as Dayoutoftheoffice kept on going.

Rosario left Vequist pinned to the rail as she advanced past rivals in the stretch, including sliding inside the pacesetter at the 1/8 pole.

Drawing off late, Vequist crossed 2 lengths clear while completing the 1 1/16-mile fast dirt route in 1:42.30.

“I tried to save ground,” Rosario said. “It was hard for her in the turn because I had a horse outside me, but she did great. I never gave up my position. As soon as I asked her, she went on with it. It was a very good performance.”

Tough luck Dayoutoftheoffice settled for second, just a nose past a late-running Girl Daddy at the wire.

Fourth went to Simply Ravishing, who broke poorly from the gate and never fully recovered before taking fourth, another nose behind the pair ahead of her.

Princess Noor, Crazy Beautiful, and Thoughtfully completed the order of finish.

Vequist’s win was the second of her career following the Spinaway Stakes (G1) 2 starts back and improved her overall record to 4-2-2-0 with $1,235,500 earned for co-owners Swilcan Stable (who also bred her), Gary Barber, and Wachtel Stable. Her victory here mirrored the same success that her sire, Nyquist, enjoyed over this same course and distance in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1).

“She really thrived on this air and the weather,” Reid said. “She looked great coming in. I knew we would be laying up close. She’s a sharp filly. She doesn’t mind the inside, obviously. I don’t know that you ever have that kind of feeling, but we knew she was doing very well and we know she’s a very talented filly.”

Vequist returned $15.20 to win, $6.80 to place, and $4.40 to show. Dayoutoftheoffice brought back $5.20 to place and $3.60 to show, while Girl Daddy paid $3.80 to show.

 

For more Breeders’ Cup coverage, head over to racingdudes.com.