Nov 10, 2006
AMERICAN TURF CLUB LEAD
By: JOE GIRARDI
The Breeders’ Cup has come and gone now with some very exciting races, longshot winners, champions crowned and unfortunately a tragedy on the racetrack.
In the first race of the day the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies we saw one of the two favorites to win on the card as DREAMING OF ANNA, the slight 5-2 favorite went wire to wire while getting away with soft early splits and she had enough to hold off OCTAVE who closed late. Trainer Todd Pletcher who had 17 total horses in the Breeders’ Cup races finished second and third as COTTON BLOSSOM checked in the show spot. DREAMING OF ANNA who is now undefeated from four starts should be crowned two year old filly champion.
In the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile the pace was much quicker early on and the final time was over a second faster then the fillies just a race earlier. After a half in 46:3 the closers were at an advantage and STREET SENSE (15-1) took full advantage closing up the inside to score going away by a geared down 10 lengths in impressive fashion. He has stamped himself as the early favorite for the Kentucky Derby next year considering he handles the Churchill Downs surface there will be much talk about this win until he races again. The 3-1 favorite CIRCULAR QUAY ran second with GREAT HUNTER checking in third.
The Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf was next and we saw the second favorite get the job done as OUIJA BOARD stalked the leaders in seventh before closing strongly for an easy win. This was her second win in the Breeders’ Cup as she won this race in 2004 and was second in 2005. WAIT A WHILE from the Pletcher barn didn’t fire losing her first race on the turf. FILM MAKER finished second with another Pletcher trainee HONEY RYDER finishing third.
The Breeders’ Cup Sprint was next and three year old HENNY HUGHES was the 8-5 favorite but he never lifted a hoof and finished last of 14. The winner was 14-1 THOR’S ECHO who broke from the rail post and worked out a good trip en route to a four length victory. The rail was good all day and this four year old gelding used it to his advantage. FRIENDLY ISLAND, a 58-1 longshot from the Pletcher barn closed well for second with NIGHTMARE AFFAIR checking in third. BORDONARO and ATTILA’S STORM the two pacesetters finished fourth and fifth respectively.
The Breeders’ Cup Mile on the turf was next and the parade of longshots didn’t stop as MIESQUE’S APPROVAL closed from 13th early on to get the job done at 24-1. ARAGORN the second choice in the race at 4-1 finished second with BADGE OF SILVER finishing third off a January layoff. The 3-1 favorite ARAAFA never menaced and finished ninth.
The Breeders’ Cup Distaff followed and the longshots continued. ROUND POND who broke from the rail worked out a good stalking trip in fourth early on and then used that same rail to her advantage to take over and draw away for a four length victory. ASI SIEMPRE had some trouble in the lane before closing for second. She was however disqualified for interfering with the fourth place finisher BALLETTO. HAPPY TICKET finished third but was moved up to the second spot by D’Q. The race however was marred by tragedy as second choice PINE ISLAND broke down on the backside and had to be put down because of her injuries. The favorite in the race FLEET INDIAN also broke down and was pulled up but her injuries are not life threatening and she will be sold as a broodmare.
The Breeders’ Cup Turf was next and that didn’t stop another longshot from winning. RED ROCKS gave Frankie Dettori his second win on the day as he held on by a half length over veteran BETTER TALK NOW. HURRICANE RUN the slight 5-2 in the race never fired and finished a disappointing sixth. Todd Pletcher who was blanked on the day had another horse hit the board as ENGLISH CHANNEL finished third as the 7-2 second choice.
The final race of the day was the $4.5 million dollar Breeders’ Cup Classic and the opportunity to see "superhorse" BERNARDINI close out a Horse of the Year campaign. However, to go along with the theme of the day BERNARDINI was beaten by INVASOR. After stalking the pace in fifth jockey Javier Castellano was asking for some run on the turn but he wasn’t getting it until BERNARDINI kicked in and took the lead into the lane only to give it up late to INVASOR. INVASOR who is trained by Kiaran McLaughlin and who was ridden by 18yo jockey Fernando Jara, who teamed up to the win the Belmont Stakes with JAZIL earlier in the year teamed up again with INVASOR. This however was a very impressive feat considering INVASOR had not run since early August at Saratoga and had missed training time do to some illnesses. To be able to come back and win the biggest race of the year against the best horse in the country has him as the clear favorite as Horse of the Year with BERNARDINI a strong favorite to take three year old honors.
This year’s Breeders’ Cup was a bettors delight an opportunity to make a lot of money with only a small investment. We saw some great performances but the tragedy of PINE ISLAND put a damper on what was a great day. Looking forward to next year.
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