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Nov 10, 2006

Invasor roars to victory in Breeders' Cup Classic


Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - The 23rd annual Breeders' Cup World Championships once again provided the full range of emotions during the eight races at Churchill Downs. In addition to the excitement and joy of victory, there was surprise at the upsets and sadness of injury and worse.

The highlight of the day came in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic when Invasor flew by even-money favorite Bernardini to capture the 1 1/4 mile race.

The win by Invasor, 6-1 at post-time, gives him the edge when voting will take place for 2006 Horse of the Year. Bernardini was the even-money favorite in the morning line and at post-time for the Classic. A victory would have assured the three-year-old the Horse of the Year award.

Upsets were in abundance with five longshots winning races. Trainer Todd Pletcher was shut-out from the winners' circle even though he had 17 horses entered in the Breeders' Cup.

Heartache occured during the running of the Breeders' Cup Distaff when Pine Island broke down. She later had to be euthanized.

The Breeders' Cup Classic was anticipated to be a showdown between leading three-year-old Bernardini, Lava Man from California and South America's Invasor.

Santa Anita Derby winner Brother Derek set the pace in the Classic. Pressing the three-year-old in the 1 1/4-mile race was Arkansas Derby champ Lawyer Ron, Lava Man and Premium Tap.

Bernardini and Invasor were running several lengths off the pace. Preakness and Travers Stakes winner Bernardini assumed the lead on the turn for home. At the top of the stretch it appeared jockey Javier Castellano had Bernardini set for a win.

However, Invasor came charging down the middle of the track to overtake Bernardini. Invasor, with rider Fernando Jara, went on to post a one-length victory over Bernardini.

Premium Tap held on for third and Giacomo rallied to be fourth. Lava Man, the Santa Anita Handicap winner, faded to finish seventh. Rounding the order of finish was Brother Derek, George Washington, Perfect Drift, Lawyer Ron, Sun King, Flower Alley, Suave and David Junior

The time for the Breeders' Cup Classic. was 2:02.18. This was the slowest Classic since 1994.

Invasor is owned by Shadwell Stable and trained by Kiaran McLaughlin. The four-year-old has won nine of 10 career starts and four of five this year. The Classic victory was worth $2.7 million to bring his career earnings to more than $3.9 million.

Earlier this year Invasor won the Pimlico Special, Suburban and Whitney Handicaps. He missed Bernardini in the Jockey Club Gold Cup last month with a fever.

Invasor returned $15.40, $5.80 and $4.60. Bernardini paid $3.40 and $3.00, and Premium Tap paid $8.80 for show.

The Breeders' Cup World Championships commenced with Dreaming of Anna winning the $2 million Juvenile Fillies.

Dreaming of Anna, ridden by Rene Douglas, went wire to wire in the 1 1/16 mile event. The two-year-old was pressed by Appealing Zophie up the backstretch.

Down the stretch, Dreaming of Anna maintained her lead on the rail, hitting the wire 1 1/2 lengths in front of Octave. Cotton Blossom was third with Appealing Zophie fading to fourth in the 14-horse field. Octave and Cotton Blossom are both trained by Todd Pletcher.

The time for the Juvenile Fillies was 1:43.81 on a fast track.

Dreaming of Anna is owned by Frank Calabrese and trained by Wayne Catalano. The win was worth $1 million to bring the filly's earnings to nearly $1.2 million. She is undefeated in four starts, the previous two on the grass.

"She was placed very well from the one hole," stated Catalano. "We had to use her a little more than we wanted early, but after that it went the way I thought it would. She drew the rail. She's got speed. From there, I just thought they'd be chasing us and that's how it went. It's nice when it works out the way you figure it."

Dreaming of Anna paid $7.20, $4.60 and $3.40. Octave returned $5.80 and $4.40, and Cotton Blossom paid $9.00 for show.

The Breeders' Cup was broadcast on ESPN for the first time with Trevor Denman doing the race calling.

The first race began under mostly sunny skies with a post-time temperature of 50 degrees.

Street Sense, ridden by Calvin Borel, exploded down the stretch to win the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile for colts and geldings. The time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1:42.59.

Street Sense sat off the pace that was being set by Principle Secret. Pressing the pace up the backstretch was Stormello and Pegasus Wind.

At the top of the stretch Street Sense was within a couple lengths of the leaders when he accelerated. Racing on the rail the two-year-old ran away from the field to win by 10 lengths.

Finishing second in the 14-horse field was Circular Quay, who is trained by Todd Pletcher.

Great Hunter was third and Scat Daddy finished fourth.

The win automatically makes Street Sense the early favorite for the 2007 Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. No Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner has ever won the Run for the Roses.

Owned by James Tafel and trained by Carl Nafzger, Street Sense earned $1 million in only his fifth start. He now has two wins, a second and two third place finishes for $1.1 million.

"I didn't expect that kind of performance but I knew that he was a freaky kind of horse," said Natzger, "A really nice horse. We love to win at Churchill. We always have. He's my Derby horse. I'd be a fool to say he wasn't."

Street Sense returned $32.40, $12.60 and $8.00. Circular Quay paid $5.00 and $3.20 as the 3-1 favorite. Great Hunter paid $4.40 for show.

Ouija Board came from off the pace to win the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at 1 3/8 miles. The five-year-old mare won the race in 2004 and was second last year at Belmont Park to Intercontinental.

Ouija Board was ridden by veteran European jockey Frankie Dettori for owner Lord Derby and trainer Edward Dunlop. The win was worth $1.188 million to bring Ouija Board's career earnings to better than $5.7 million.

The pace in the race was set by Dancing Edie, followed closely by My Typhoon, Film Maker and Germance. As expected, the pace was slow on the Churchill Downs turf course.

At the top of the stretch My Typhoon took the lead with Dancing Edie second. Ouija Board began her move at the furlong pole and went on to win by 2 1/4 lengths.

Finishing second was Film Maker, who was third in last year's running. Honey Ryder was third and Wait A While finished fourth. Honey Ryder and Wait A While are both trained by Todd Pletcher.

Ouija Board posted a time of 2:14.55, and concluded her career with 10 wins in 21 starts, all on the turf.

"She's the best. There's no other way of saying it," commented the trainer. "She's won two Breeders' Cups and finished second in another. I'm lucky to have had her in my life. It was a dream run and a dream ride. Frankie said it's the best she’s ever been. She has the class to quicken and she showed it once again. Fantastic result."

Sent off as the 7-5 favorite in the 10-horse field, Ouija Board returned $4.80, $3.40 and $2.60. Film Maker paid $5.80 and $4.40, and Honey Ryder paid $4.40 for show.

Longshot Thor's Echo kicked away from the field to capture the $2 million Breeders' Cup Sprint.

Thor's Echo, sent off at 15-1, led a trio of longshots across the finish line in the top three spots. Friendly Island, at 50-1, was second and 25-1 longshot Nightmare Affair was third.

Finishing last in the 14-horse field was 8-5 favorite Henny Hughes. The three- year-old came into the race undefeated in three starts. The colt, ridden by John Velazquez, apparently had a rough trip up the backstretch.

Thor's Echo, with Corey Nakatani riding, was never far off the pace being set by Attila's Storm. The four-year-old gelding took the lead at the top of the stretch along the rail.

Trained by Doug O'Neill, Thor's Echo finished four lengths in front of Friendly Island with Nightmare Affair third and Bordonaro fourth. Fiendly Island is another Todd Pletcher trainee.

"Corey gave this horse a marvelous ride," O'Neill said. "He had been training wonderfully coming up to the race, but Corey's ride was the key."

The time for the six furlongs was 1:08.80 on a fast track.

The Sprint is the first win of the year for Thor's Echo and was worth $1.1 million. It more than doubles his career earnings to almost $2.2 million. Owned by Royce S. Jaime Racing Stable, Inc. and Suarez Racing, Inc., Thor's Echo has four career wins in 17 starts.

Thor's Echo returned $33.20, $15.80 and $10.20. Friendly Island paid $50.00 and $32.80, and Nightmare Affair paid $15.20 for show.

Miesque's Approval, sent off at 24-1, rallied down the stretch to win the $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile on the Churchill Downs turf course.

The 4-1 morning-line favorite, Gorella, finished seventh after being stuck along the rail in the stretch drive. Gorella was sent off as the 7-2 second choice to 3-1 post-time favorite Araafa, who wound up ninth.

The pace was set by Silent Name, with Badge of Silver and Ad Valorem pressing the leader. At the top of the stretch, Echo of Light joined the leaders as the field began to close.

Miesque's Approval, ridden by Eddie Castro, came down the middle of the stretch to take the lead inside the furlong marker. The seven-year-old went on to post a 2 3/4-length victory over 4-1 third choice Aragorn. Badge of Silver was third and Sleeping Indian finished fourth in the 14-horse field.

The time for the Mile was 1:34.75.

Miesque's Approval is owned by Live Oak Plantation and trained by Marty Wolfson. The horse picked up $1.17 million with the win to bring his career earnings to $2.6 million. Miesque's Approval has won 12 times in 39 lifetime starts.

"I took him back and at the 3/8-pole started to move," said Castro, "And then I took a chance to take him to the outside. He likes the outside. I'm very happy. This is my first (Breeders' Cup) win."

Miesque's Approval paid $50.60, $17.20, $10.40. Aragorn returned $5.80 and $4.40, and Badge of Silver paid $9.80 for show.

Round Pond, ridden by Edgar Prado, rallied along the rail to capture the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff for fillies and mares.

The race saw tragedy occur to post-time favorite Pine Island, who dislocated her left front ankle. She fell to the track on the backstretch, sending jockey Javier Castellano to the ground. Pine Island was later euthanized. Castellano is set to ride Bernardini in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Morning-line favorite Fleet Indian was pulled up during the race and did not finish. Fleet Indian did not suffer any permanent injury.

"Pine Island sustained a dislocation of the left front fetlock joint." reported veterinarian Dr. Wayne McIlwraith. "The injury was open. Because of the combination of it being open and the instability, she has been euthanized. Fleet Indian sustainer a lateral, condular fracture in the left front fetlock joint. That's a lot better news. That's being stabilized, and that will be a repairable injury."

Healthy Addiction set the pace with Sharp Lisa and Pool Land pressing the leader. Round Pond was never far from the lead and drew even coming out of the turn for home.

Down the stretch, Round Pond found room along the inside to avoid trouble. Asi Siempre, with jockey Julien Leparoux, could not find an opening near the rail and moved to the far outside. However, he interfered with eventual fourth- place finisher Balletto.

At the wire, Round Pond was first by 4 1/4 lengths over Asi Siempre. Happy Ticket was third and Balletto was fourth. Asi Siempre was then disqualified for interference to Balletto and placed fourth.

The time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:50.50.

"I got a beautiful trip. I was able to sit in behind the speed," Prado stated. "She was a little anxious, especially on the turns, but she settled in nicely and ran very hard to win."

Round Pond is owned by Fox Hill Farms and trained by Michael Matz of Barbaro fame. The four-year-old filly won for the third time in four starts this year. She picked up $1.2 million to bring her career bankroll to more than $1.9 million.

Round Pond returned $29.80, $14.00 and $9.00. Happy Ticket paid $14.20 and $9.20, and Balletto paid $5.60 for show.

European invader Red Rocks held off Better Talk Now to win the $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf. The win was the second of the day for jockey Frankie Dettori.

Red Rocks is a three-year-old colt who was making his United States debut. He raced well off the pace being set by Icy Atlantic.

Icy Atlantic gave up the lead with a half-mile to run as Rush Bay assumed the lead. Down the stretch, it was a cavalry charge by the 11-horse field.

Red Rocks, racing down the middle of the course, took the lead at the furlong pole as Better Talk Now began to rally. Better Talk Now was a length back with 100 yards to run.

Red Rocks won by a half-length over 2004 Turf winner Better Talk Now. Finishing third was English Channel and Rush Bay faded to fourth. Hurricane Run, the 5-2 favorite, finished a disappointing sixth.

The 1 1/2 miles was covered in 2:27.32.

Red Rocks is owned by J. Paul Reddam and trained by Brian Meehan. The colt recorded his third lifetime win in 10 starts. The $1.6 million brought his earnings to better than $2 million.

Dettori was the only jockey to win more then one race Saturday and gives him a leg up for the Bill Shoemaker Award, honoring the most outstanding jockey of the 23rd Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

Red Rocks returned $23.60, $11.20 and $6.20. Better Talk Now paid $17.40 and $10.00, and English Channel paid $4.20.

The 2007 Breeders' Cup will be hosted for the first time by Monmouth Park in New Jersey.

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