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Nov 13, 2009

First day of 26th Breeders' Cup offers no major surprises


Arcadia, CA (Sports Network) - The 26th edition of the Breeders' Cup World Championships got underway Friday at Santa Anita Park under sunny skies with a post-time temperature of 70 degrees. This is the second straight year the World Championships are being held at Santa Anita.

Friday's program consisted of six races, including all five for fillies and mares. More than $8 million was on the line during the running of the six contests. The remaining eight championship events will be conducted Saturday.

Highlighting the first day's races was Life Is Sweet, stablemate of champion mare Zenyatta, in the $2 million Ladies' Classic. The 8-1 choice came roaring down the stretch to win the Ladies' Classic concluding the first day of competition.

Zenyatta was held out of the Ladies' Classic to run in Saturday's $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic versus the males. Also absent from the race was three- year-old filly Rachel Alexandra who is on vacation till next year.

Post-time favorite Careless Jewel set the pace in the 1 1/8 mile event for fillies and mares. The three-year-old filly led by as much as 10-lengths on Santa Anita's synthetic track.

Around the final turn the leader began to tire as the rest of the field cut into her lead. Careless Jewel faded badly down the stretch as Life Is Sweet and jockey Garrett Gomez rallied down the middle of the track.

Life Is Sweet, trained by John Shirreffs, posted a 2 1/2-length victory over Mushka with Music Note finishing third for the second straight year.

The time for the Ladies' Classic was 1:48.58.

Completing the order of finish was Proviso, Rainbow View, Cocoa Beach, Lethal Heat and Careless Jewel.

Owned by Pam and Martin Wygod, Life Is Sweet earned $1 million with the win. In 15 career starts the four-year-old filly has six wins for $1.7 million.

Life Is Sweet returned $18.20, $8.00 and $5.00. Mushka paid $12.80 and $6.40, and Music Note paid $3.20 to show.

The program began with Man of Iron winning the $500,000 Marathon. Ridden by John Murtagh, Man of Iron defeated Cloudy's Knight by a nose in the 1 3/4 mile race.

Setting the pace in the Marathon was Black Astor with Nite Light running in second and 2008 winner Muhannak in third. Not far behind the leaders was 7-5 favorite Mastery.

With a mile to run Black Astor still had the lead followed by Nite Light, Muhannak, Sir Dave and Mastery. Entering the far turn Mastery drew closer to the lead as Cloudy's Knight ranged on the outside.

Cloudy's Knight took the lead around the final turn with Mastery moving into second. At the top of the stretch Cloudy's Knight had the lead over Mastery as Man of Iron began to rally on the inside.

At the wire Man of Iron caught Cloudy's Knight to win the race with Mastery third and Gangbuster finishing fourth in the 10 horse field.

Completing the order of finish was Muhannak, Father Time, Eldaafer, Nite Light, Black Astor and Sir Dave

The time for the Breeders' Cup Marathon was 2:54.11.

Man of Iron is trained by Aidan O'Brien for Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith. The European based three-year-old has now won four of 10 career starts. The Marathon victory was worth $300,000 to bring his career earnings to $356,506.

"That was brilliant," said O'Brien. "We're delighted. Johnny (Murtagh) gave him a wonderful ride. Johnny said that he was just going to take his time because that's the way he likes to be ridden. That's what he did. It was just a marvelous ride."

Man of Iron paid $14.80, $7.20 and $4.40. Cloudy's Knight returned $7.40 and $4.60, and Mastery paid $2.40 to show.

Tapitsfly, ridden by Robby Albarado, defeated Rose Catherine to win the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Rose Catherine set the pace in the one-mile turf event with Tapitsfly running in second followed by Potosina and Hatheer. Rose Catherine, with Javier Castellano riding, had the lead around the turn for home as Tapitsfly continued in second.

The two fillies battled down the stretch with Tapitsfly getting up at the wire to edge the Todd Pletcher-trained horse by a half-length.

Finishing third was House of Grace with Hatheer holding on to fourth in the 12 horse field.

The time for the mile was 1:34.25 on a firm turf course.

Completing the order of finish was Jungle Tale, La Nez, Potosina, Lillie Langtry, Smart Seattle, Lisa's Kitten, Elusive Galaxy and Junia Tepzia.

Tapitsfly was sent off at odds of 9-1 in her seventh career start. Trained by Dale Romans, the gray filly is owned by Frank Jones. The win was worth $540,000 to bring the filly's earnings to $670,000. The two-year-old has now won three of seven races.

"No one deserves to win a race like this more than (owner) Mr. Jones," Romans commented. "He's been in the business a long time and has had horses for over 30 years. My father trained for him before me. It's just a great win for him and for me too."

Tapitsfly returned $21.60, $8.60 and $6.00. Rose Catherine paid $6.80 and $5.80, and House of Grace paid $5.00 to show.

She Be Wild rallied along the inside to win the second running of the $2 million Juvenile Fillies. The two-year-old filly was ridden by Julien Leparoux, his first of two wins Friday, for owner Nancy Mazzoni.

She Be Wild was racing second and third in the 1 1/16 mile race behind pacesetter Always a Princess and Connie and Michael. Always a Princess still had the lead around the final turn as the field began to bunch up heading into the stretch.

Trained by Wayne Catalano, She Be Wild was along the rail down the stretch as Always a Princess faded. She Be Wild posted a three-quarter length win over Beautician followed by 7-2 favorite Blind Luck and Biofuel in the 12 horse field.

"When they were loading, she was getting a little excited but she broke good," noted Catalano. "Everything went well. I'm really happy with her. I was a little worried when it looked like she might get trapped but I have a good rider who is patient. I felt good when she poked her head in the hole. She's not a big filly so it doesn't take much room."

Completing the order of finish was Always a Princess, Negligee, Zilva, Connie and Michael, Ms Vanenzza, Bickersons, Devil May Care and Champagne d'Oro

The time for the race was 1:43.80 on Santa Anita's synthetic surface.

The victory was worth $1 million to bring the filly's earnings to $1,231,040. She Be Wild has now won four of five starts with a second-place finish.

She Be Wild paid $16.80, $9.00 and $5.00. Beautician returned $9.40 and $6.00, and Blind Luck paid $3.00 to show.

European invader Midday held off a late running Pure Clan to win Friday's $2 million Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf. Finishing third was 2008 winner Forever Together.

The pace in the 1 1/4 mile grass race was set by Visit. Dynaforce was running in second with Rutherienne in third. Forever Together was racing in the rear of the eight horse field.

Around the turn for home Forever Together began her rally from the back of the pack. Down the stretch Midday and jockey Thomas Queally found room along the rail as Pure Clan followed in their path into contention.

Midday posted a one-length victory over Pure Clan with Forever Together getting up for third and Visit holding on to fourth. Rounding out the order of finish was Magical Fantasy, Maram, Rutherienne and Dynaforce.

The time on Santa Anita's turf course was 1:59.14.

"The biggest win of my career, undoubtedly," exclaimed Queally. "She hit a flat spot over on the backside, and I had to get after her. She has a top gear that is really something, but we had to find it. When she quickens, it's just a dream. I saw lots of rails all the way around. It was a dream run. Nine times out of ten it won't work out that way for you, but today was the day. I am over the moon."

Trained by Henry Cecil, Midday is owned by Juddmonte Farms and earned $1 million with the victory. The three-year-old filly has won four of 11 career races for $1.5 million.

Midday returned $6.60, $4.80 and $3.00. Pure Clan paid $7.80 and $4.00, and Forever Together paid $2.40 to show.

Informed Decision held off defending champion Ventura to win Friday's $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. Informed Decision was the 3-1 second choice behind 4-5 favorite Ventura.

The victory means that Informed Decision is perfect in seven career starts on artificial tracks. It was the second win of the day for jockey Julien Leparoux. He won the Juvenile Filly race with She Be Wild.

Free Flying Soul set the pace in the seven-furlong event. Informed Decision and jockey Leparoux were stalking the leader with Seventh Street racing in third.

Informed Decision took the lead coming out of the final turn as Ventura began her rally. The favorite was unable to cut into the leader's advantage down the stretch.

Informed Decision posted a 1 1/4-length victory over Ventura with Free Flying Soul getting third and Sara Louise finished fourth in the nine horse field.

Rounding out the order of finish was Only Green, Silver Swallow, Evita Argentina, Seventh Street and Game Face.

The time for the seven-furlongs was 1:22.66.

Informed Decision is owned by Augustin Stable and trained by Jonathan Sheppard. Friday's victory was the 11th career win for the filly in 14 starts. The four-year-old adds $540,000 to her bankroll which now stands at $1.77 million.

"She was always up there, clear and close to the pace," said the winning trainer. "She got the lead in plenty of time and kept driving to the wire. If there were a chink to her armor, Ventura would have caught her but she finished up strongly. She usually does. It worked out perfectly. Julien gave her a great ride."

Informed Decision paid $8.80, $3.00 and $2.80. Ventura returned $2.60 and $2.20, and Free Flying Soul paid $7.40 to show.

The eight races Saturday, concluding with the Classic, will be televised on two networks; from 1-3:30 p.m. (et) on ABC and from 3:30-7 p.m. (et) on ESPN.

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