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Oct 31, 2008



            The Breeders’ Cup was run over two days on the synthetic surface, Pro Ride at Santa Anita on October 24th and 25th with 14 total races this year. The first day there was five races, all for fillies.

            The first Breeders’ Cup race this year was the Filly and Mare Sprint. The favorite in the race was the three year old filly INDIAN BLESSING, but after getting a great trip behind the leader she was no match for VENTURA the 5-2 second choice who flew on by for an easy four length win in a unbelievable record time of 1:19:4 for the seven furlongs.

            The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf for fillies was next and this race went to the undefeated MARAM who held off the late charging HEART SHAPED by a nose. The favorite LARAGH led right from the start and tired a bit to finish third.

            The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile was next with a large field of 13 horses going postward. This was the first of two wins from jockey Mike Smith who rode the 8-5 favorite STARDOM BOUND to an impressive score closing from 12th and making a wide run to score by a length and a half and over DREAM EMPRESS with second choice, SKY DIVA finishing third.

            The Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf was next and the favorite in the race was HALFWAY TO HEAVEN coming in from Ireland for Aidan O’Brien but she never fired and finished 7th. The winner was FOREVER TOGETHER who rolled on by the leaders late for a ¾ length victory as the third choice in the race; longshot SEALY HILL was second with second choice, WAIT A WHILE finishing third.

            The final Breeders’ Cup race of the day was the Ladies Classic. The winner was ZENYATTA who trailed the field early on but came with a very impressive run to score going away over a very good run by COCOA BEACH with the three year old MUSIC NOTE finishing third. ZENYATTA ran her record to 9 for 9 lifetime and will be considered for Horse of the Year honors.

            The following day, Saturday October 25th was the second day of the Breeders’ Cup and the final nine races.

            The first race was the newly added Breeders’ Cup Marathon which went to Ireland’s MUHANNAK who scored by a head over CHURCH SERVICE while the favorite SIXTIES ICON checked in fifth.

            The Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint was next and this race had another exciting finish with the longest shot in the race DESERT CODE, under Richard Migliore,  getting up late by a half length over DIABOLICAL with STORM TREASURE checking in third. The slight favorite FLEETING SPIRIT from Ireland, checked in fourth.

            The Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile was next with WELL ARMED going postward as the favorite but he never got going finishing well up the track. The winner was ALBERTUS MAXIMUS who was racing in ninth early on but swept to the lead to score by a little more than a length, REBELLION closed from well back to finish second while the pacesetter TWO STEP SALSA held on well for third.

            The Breeders’ Cup Mile was next with GOLDIKOVA getting home first. Bred in Ireland but shipping in from France she unleashed a huge kick to score over last year’s winner KIP DEVILLE. Her trainer, Freddy Head became the first to win a Breeders’ Cup race as a jockey and a trainer.

            The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile was next with a field of 12 going postward. SQUARE EDDIE was sent off as the slight favorite at 3.50-1 and MIDSHIPMAN sent off as the second choice at 3.60-1. They ran 1-2 around the racetrack with MIDSHIPMAN prevailing over SQUARE EDDIE with STREET HERO checking in third.

            The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf was next with the top two finishers going to the Europeans. DONATIVUM getting up by a half length under Frankie Dettori over the lukewarm favorite WESTPHALIA from the Aidan O’Brien barn.

            The Breeders’ Cup Sprint was next and we saw another awesome performance from MIDNIGHT LUTE who defended his title from last year exploding through the lane to score over pacesetter FATAL BULLET, while the slight favorite STREET BOSS checked in third. The final time of 1:07 flat was another record and kudos to Bob Baffert to get him ready off just one race this year.  

            The Breeders’ Cup Turf was next and we saw another European score when CONDUIT closed strongly from well back to score over a fellow Euro in EAGLE MOUNTAIN. DANCING FOREVER completed the triple finishing third at 25-1 with favorite SOLDIER OF FORTUNE checking in third after a questionable ride, as his jockey may have had him up too close.

            The last race of the day was the Breeders’ Cup Classic with favoritism going to the great CURLIN. With a big move on the turn it looked as though CURLIN was going to defend his title but he spun his wheels over the Pro-ride surface and checked in fourth. Yet again, another European scored at 13-1 when RAVEN’S PASS scored going away with HENRYTHENAVIGATOR also from Europe finishing second with local favorite TIAGO closing for third.

            With the Breeders’ Cup scheduled for Santa Anita again next year I am sure that there would be a huge influx of Europeans dying to run over this synthetic surface, even more than this year. You might also expect to see some of the top Americans, especially those that don’t run over synthetics taking a pass on next year’s events. The wagering which was up 2.6% from last year also had the benefit of great weather and the addition of three more races. Don’t expect to see that next year based on this year’s results.

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