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Nov 02, 2007

Bad weather no problem for Breeders' Cup at Monmouth Park


Oceanport, NJ (Sports Network) - The first ever Friday running of Breeders' Cup World Championship races was conducted under rainy and windy conditions at Monmouth Park. Three brand new $1 million events kicked off the 24th annual Breeders' Cup that will continue Saturday afternoon with the remaining eight races.

Over a sloppy track the six-furlong Filly & Mare Sprint got things underway at the historic New Jersey track. Maryfield, ridden by Elvis Trujillo, came from well off the pace to win the first of 11 Breeders' Cup races.

Trained by Doug O'Neill, Maryfield was four wide around the turn for home as morning-line favorite Dream Rush had the lead into the stretch. Dream Rush, with Eibar Coa in the saddle, was the leader up the backstretch and around the final turn.

Maryfield accelerated down the middle of the home stretch on her way to a half-length victory over 43-1 longshot Miraculous Miss with Miss Macy Sue finishing third in the 10 horse field.

Maryfield covered the six furlongs in a respectable 1:09.85 over the sloppy surface.

Completing the order of finish was Baroness Thatcher, Dream Rush, La Traviata, Shaggy Mane, Oprah Winney, Wild Gams and Jazzy.

"This is absolutely incredible," said O'Neill. "It's just unbelievable. I have to thank (jockey) Elvis Trujillo. He rode her like he's won 20 Breeders' Cups already. He was so confident, so cool and so relaxed. This is a really a thrill."

Maryfield is a six-year-old mare owned by Mark Gorman, Nick Mestrandrea & Jim Perry. She collects $607,500 with the win to bring her career earnings to more than $1.3 million. Two months ago at Saratoga the mare won the Ballerina Stakes as a 16-1 longshot. Maryfield has won nine of 28 lifetime starts.

Maryfield returned $18.00, $9.00 and $6.00. Miraculous Miss paid $37.40 and $17.20, Miss Macy Sue paid $4.60 to show.

A dozen two-year-olds left the gate for the inaugural Juvenile Turf at one- mile. Just like the Filly & Mare Sprint, a yielding turf course did not prevent a runner to come from behind and win.

Julien Leparoux guided Nownownow to victory over the 11 rivals. The colt stopped the clock at 1:40.48.

Preachin Man was the first out of the gate, but Prussian took the lead going into the clubhouse turn and led the field up the backstretch. Coming off the final turn Prussian, The Leopard and Domestic Fund were three across turf.

Nownownow and 5-2 favorite Achill Island both came from well back to go by the field. Nownownow hit the wire a half-length in front of Achill Island as Cannonball edged Strike the Deal for third.

Rounding out the finish was Domestic Fund, Texas Fever, The Leopard, Gio Ponti, Your Round, Prussian, Cherokee Triangle and Preachin Man.

Nownownow paid $27.20, $8.60 and $6.00. Achill Island returned $5.20 and $4.20, and Cannonball paid $7.80 to show.

Nownownow is owned by Fab Oak Stable and is now trained by Francois Parisel. Parisel is taking over from Patrick Biancone who will start serving a suspension on November 1.

"The weather was an obvious worry but we knew he had the breeding on both sides to handle the soft going," Parisel noted. "Our plan was to relax behind horses and then make one run. It worked out today. He's a very nice colt. I'm very happy. Mr. Biancone deserves a lot of the credit. This was a team effort."

The colt has won two of six starts. He was coming off a second place finish in the Bourbon Stakes at Keeneland after recording his first win in the With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga. Nownownow earns $540,000 with the Juvenile Turf victory to increase his bankroll to $641,950.

Concluding the first day of the 2007 Breeders' Cup, Met Mile champ Corinthian ran down the pacesetter Gottcha Gold to capture the Dirt Mile. Corinthian was running third up the backstretch, but made a bold move on the turn for home to hook Gottcha Gold at the top of the stretch.

Ridden by Kent Desormeaux, Corinthian went on to win by 6 1/2 lengths over Gottcha Gold with 3-2 favorite Discreet Cat third in the eight horse field.

Completing the order of finish was Wanderin Boy, Lewis Michael, Xchanger, Park Avenue Ball and High Finance. Forefathers was scratched from the race to go in Saturday's Breeders' Cup Sprint.

The Dirt Mile was ran at a mile and 70 yards because of the short ran to the first turn at Monmouth. Corinthian covered the distance in 1:39.06 over the slop.

Owned by Centennial Farms and trained by Jimmy Jerkens, Corinthian earned $520,000 with the win to increase his career winnings to better than $1.2 million. The four-year-old colt has won six of 12 lifetime starts. Earlier this year he won the Gulfstream Park Handicap at 1 3/16 miles. This was the colt's final race before going to stud.

Corinthian returned $9.40, $4.40 and $3.00. Gottcha Gold paid $6.20 and $3.40, and Discreet Cat paid $2.60 to show.

Saturday's Breeders' Cup races get underway at 12:30 p.m.(et) with the $2 million Juvenile Fillies. Rain is expected to continue into Saturday.

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