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Nov 05, 2010

Zenyatta and Goldikova lead Breeders' Cup entries


Louisville, KY (Sports Network) - Defending champions Zenyatta and Goldikova top the list of entries for this year's 27th Breeders' Cup World Championships. The 14 race extravaganza will be conducted on Friday and Saturday at Churchill Downs.

Friday's six races will be televised on ESPN2 beginning at 4 p.m. (et). The eight races on Saturday will be broadcast from 1:30-3:30 p.m. on ABC and from 3:30-7:00 p.m. on ESPN.

Zenyatta and Goldikova will attempt to become the first three-time Breeders' Cup winners.

Zenyatta won the 2008 Ladies' Classic and is set to defend her title in Saturday's $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic versus males. Perfect in 19 career starts, the six-year-old mare is the 8-5 morning-line favorite for the 1 1/4- mile race and will face 11 rivals. For her final race Zenyatta will again be ridden by Mike Smith and start from post eight.

Only Tiznow, in 2000 and 2001, has won the Classic twice.

Goldikova is the two-time defending champ in the $2 million Mile, which is also on Saturday. The five-year-old mare is the 6-5 favorite for the turf race and will start from post 10 with Olivier Peslier riding.

Among the 11 entered in the Mile is 2009 Classic runner-up Gio Ponti. The five-year-old has won half his 22 career starts, never having raced on a natural dirt track. Gio Ponti is the 4-1 second choice and will start from post three with rider Ramon Dominguez.

"He came out of the Shadwell Mile in great order," Gio Ponti's trainer Christophe Clement said. "I'm very excited to run him in the Breeders' Cup Mile."

Saturday's Championships races will begin at 1:50 p.m. with the $1 million Juvenile Turf for two-year-old grass runners. The mile race has drawn 13 entrants. European based colt Master of Hounds is the 9-2 morning-line favorite and will be ridden by John Murtagh from post five.

The $1 million Sprint follows with 12 sprinters set to go six-furlongs on Churchill Downs dirt track. The last two Breeders' Cups were held at Santa Anita which had a synthetic main track.

Godolphin Racing's Girolamo has been installed as the 3-1 favorite. Coming off a win in the Vosburgh, the four-year-old colt will have Alan Garcia riding from post two.

California Flag is back to defend his victory in the $1 million Turf Sprint at five-furlongs. Last year the gelding won the race as the 3-1 favorite and is listed at 10-1 for Saturday. Victor Espinoza has the mount and the pair will break from post 12 in the 14 horse field.

"I'm expecting that he'll show up (in the Turf Sprint)," noted trainer Brian Koriner. "It was unsettling not to see him really try last time (Woodford Stakes on October 9 where he finished 11th and last). He just couldn't seem to get a hold of that course over there. But if he 'gets' this one, he'll be back in the game."

The 4-1 morning-line favorite for the Turf Sprint is Woodford winner Silver Timber. The seven-year-old gelding will break from post five with Julien Leparoux aboard.

Two-year-olds return for the $2 million Juvenile at 1 1/16-miles on the main track. The winner of the race is traditionally the early favorite for next year's Kentucky Derby.

Undefeated Uncle Mo is the 7-5 program favorite. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the colt will again be ridden by John Velazquez from post seven in the 10 horse field.

Following the running of the Mile is the $1 million Dirt Mile. Pennsylvania Derby champ Morning Line has been made the 7-2 favorite in the 13 horse field. The three-year-old colt will start from post 10 with Javier Castellano getting the mount.

The $3 million Turf at 1 1/2-miles has attracted a field of eight grass runners from around the world. Workforce, from Great Britian, is the 7-5 morning-line favorite and will break from post six with jockey Ryan Moore.

The first day of the Breeders' Cup begins at 4:10 p.m. with the 1 3/4-mile Marathon with a purse of $500,000. The third running of the longest Championships race will have a field of 12.

Hollywood Gold Cup winner Awesome Gem has been made the 7-2 favorite for the Marathon. The seven-year-old gelding will be ridden by David Flores from post seven.

The $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf for two-year-old females will be run over Churchill's grass course at one-mile. Undefeated Winter Memories is the 2-1 favorite in the 14 horse field. The gray filly has drawn post seven with Jose Lezcano back to ride.

Defending champ Informed Decision will take on 13 rivals in the $1 million seven-furlong Filly and Mare Sprint. The five-year-old mare is 7-2 in the program and will start from post four with Julien Leparoux riding.

The 3-1 favorite is four-year-old filly Rightly So. A winner of her last two starts, she will start from post 13 with Cornelio Velasquez in the saddle.

The $2 million Juvenile Fillies at 1 1/16-miles will have a field of 13 two- year-olds. Trainer Bob Baffert's A Z Warrior is the 7-2 program favorite. The filly will be ridden by Martin Garcia from post eight.

The last two winners of the $2 million Filly and Mare Turf top the 1 3/8-mile race. Midday returns to defend her crown versus 10 challengers, including 2008 winner Forever Together.

Based in England, Midday has drawn post seven and is the 6-5 morning-line favorite. Thomas Queally is again the rider for the four-year-old filly.

Forever Together is 10-1 in the program and has not won in five starts this year. Breaking from the far outside post, the six-year-old mare will have Rosie Napravnik riding.

Friday's program concludes with the running of the $2 million Ladies' Classic and a field of 11 fillies and mares in the 1 1/8-mile race. Alabama and Kentucky Oaks winner Blind Luck is the 9-5 favorite. The three-year-old will start from post 10 with Joel Rosario aboard.

Churchill Downs will again host the Breeders' Cup World Championships in 2011.

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