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Nov 12, 2010

Blame upsets Zenyatta for Breeders' Cup Classic win


Louisville. KY (Sports Network) - Champion mare Zenyatta ran out of room for the first time in her career and fell a head short of winning her second $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic.

In the final race of the 27th World Championships, Blame, the 5-1 second choice, held off the even-money favorite to spoil the six-year-old's perfect career record.

Zenyatta came into the race undefeated in 19 lifetime starts. She was the 8-5 morning-line favorite and was bet down to even-money in the 12 horse field.

Ridden by Mike Smith, the two-time Eclipse Award winner trailed the field through the first portion of the 1 1/4-mile race. On the lead were First Dude, Quality Road, Espoir City and Haynesfield.

Racing off the pace was Blame with jockey Garrett Gomez. Smith got his mount to begin advancing from last as the field went up the backstretch.

Blame, trained by Al Stall Jr., gained ground coming off the final turn as Zenyatta was sent to the inside. Smith, though, found the going tight as the field entered the stretch.

Blame had the lead in mid-stretch while Zenyatta moved to the outside and was eating up ground. With 100 yards to run Zenyatta appeared to be set for her 20th straight win.

However, for the first time in her historic career, Zenyatta was unable to catch the leader at the wire.

Blame, winner of the Whitney Handicap, held off Zenyatta and prevented her from back-to-back Classic victories.

"She responded really, really well. My hat's off to Blame," Smith said following the disappointing finish. "He ran an incredible race. He didn't fold, and I needed him to fold just a little bit but he didn't. He hung in tough.

"When I got her out, like I said, it was a gallant effort on her part. She made up a whole lot of ground. To only come up a nose short, it's pretty tough to swallow."

Finishing third was Belmont Stakes runner-up Fly Down and Preakness champ Lookin At Lucky was fourth followed by Paddy O'Prado, Etched, Musket Man, First Dude, Pleasant Prince, Espoir City, Haynesfield and Quality Road.

The time for the 27th Breeders' Cup Classic was 2:02.28.

Blame is owned by Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm, and has won nine of 13 career starts. Saturday's win was worth $2.7 million to give the four-year- old colt lifetime earnings of better than $4.3 million.

"It's just an unbelievable feeling," said Seth Hancock of Claiborne Farm. "We made a game plan a year ago to point for this, and usually when you make plans like that in the horse business, it never works out. You don't even make the race.

"But then the closer we got to the race, we realized we were going to make it and knew who we were running against, but just were filled with anticipation of what might be. And then to see it come true, it's a feeling that I can't describe."

Blame returned $12.40, $4.40 and $3.80. Zenyatta, second for the first time in her career, paid $3.60 and $2.80, and Fly Down paid $8.60 to show.

Garrett Gomez recorded his first Classic victory, but his 12th career win in the Breeders' Cup. The veteran rider began the Saturday races with a win in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.

Pluck, ridden by Gomez, rallied down the stretch to capture the Juvenile Turf to begin the second day of the World Championships at Churchill Downs.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Pluck gave Gomez both turf victories for juveniles in this year's Breeders' Cup. The veteran jockey rode More Than Real to a win in Friday's Juvenile Fillies Turf.

The pace in the mile turf race was set by Madman Diaries with Humble and Hungry to the outside. Jockey Jeffrey Sanchez had Madman Diaries on the lead around the final turn as Banned ranged up to challenge.

Banned, with rider Joel Rosario, had the lead off the final turn, but could not sustain the drive. Pluck came surging down the stretch to overtake Madman Diaries and post a length win.

Soldat got up for second followed by Willcox Inn and Madman Diaries in the 12- horse field. Rounding out the order finish was Banned, Master of Hounds, Utley, Humble and Hungry, Air Support, Mantoba and Deciphering Dreams.

During the race Rough Sailing had trouble with the turf course, fell and threw his jockey Rosie Napravnik.

"Rough Sailing fell going around the first turn, and after they caught him, they found that he was lame in the right forelimb," said veterinarian C. Wayne McIlwraith. "He sustained a fracture of the humerus in the right forelimb. It's not a fracture that's repairable in an adult horse. The owner has gone ahead and requested euthanasia."

Typhoon Slew was an early scratch.

The time for the mile was 1:36.98.

"We knew he (Pluck) had an explosive turn of foot," Pletcher said. "To me, he's been a colt that has been very talented but he's still learning. It was a matter of putting it all together and focusing on running straight. His last start was an improvement but you could still see that when he made the lead, he waited a little bit. He was doing a lot of things on natural talent but today, he really polished off the race at the end."

Pluck is owned by Team Valor and has won three of five races. The Juvenile Turf win was worth $540,000 to bring the colt's earnings to $725,440.

Pluck returned $14.80, $6.60 and $5.00. Soldat paid $5.20 and $4.00, and Willcox Inn paid $8.80 to show.

Big Drama took the lead shortly after the start and rolled to victory in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint.

Ridden by Eibar Coa, Big Drama covered the six furlongs in 1:09.05 on a fast track at Churchill Downs.

Big Drama broke sharply from the gate and easily took the lead. He led the field up the backstretch while racing off the rail. Cash Refund was running second with Supreme Summit third.

Big Drama continued on the lead around the final turn and increased his advantage down the stretch. The four-year-old colt was never challenged and notched a 1 1/2-length win over Hamazing Destiny.

"He always gets out of the gate good and has speed to get good position," Coa noted. "Today, he broke sharp and we got the lead and kept going. He did everything on his own to the stretch. When the rest started coming to me, he just pushed harder and won."

Finishing third in the 12-horse field was Smiling Tiger with Supreme Summit holding on for fourth. Completing the order of finish was Warrior's Reward, Wise Dan, Kinsale King, Cash Refund, Riley Tucker, Atta Boy Roy, Girolamo and Pashito the Che.

Atta Boy Roy was pulled up following the conclusion of the race with an injury to the right front leg.

Big Drama is owned by Harold Queen and trained by David Fawkes. The Sprint win was worth $540,000 to bring the colt's career earnings to $2.1 million. He has won nine of 16 lifetime starts.

Big Drama paid $12.40, $7.00 and $5.00. Hamazing Destiny returned $19.80 and $12.20, and Smiling Tiger paid $5.00 to show.

Chamberlain Bridge, ridden by Jamie Theriot, came from off the pace to win the $1 million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.

Sent off as the 6-1 third choice in the 14-horse field, the six-year-old gelding broke from the inside post and raced along the rail off the lead.

Theriot was able to get the horse off the rail entering the stretch to begin the rally. Chamberlain Bridge ran down the leader, Central City, who started from post two to set the pace.

The gelding charged down the stretch and came away with a 1 1/2-length win over Central City followed by Unzip Me and Bridgetown. Race favorite Silver Timber was fifth followed by Due Date, Rose Catherine, California Flag, Grand Adventure, Quick Enough, Waveline, Tropic Storm, Stradivinsky and Canadian Ballet.

The time for the five-furlongs was :56.53.

Chamberlain Bridge added $540,000 to his bankroll for owner Carl Moore Management and trainer Bret Calhoun. Calhoun is the trainer of Dubai Majesty, who won Friday's Filly and Mare Sprint.

"He found a seam late," Calhoun said about Chamberlain Bridge. "Going down the backside he was retreating like I thought he would do, and I was absolutely concerned. I didn't think he had much chance and the horses in front of him were not opening up (a hole) for him. This was great. Can you believe it?"

The six-year-old has won 16 of 31 career starts for $1,585,245.

Chamberlain Bridge returned $15.80, $8.20 and $5.60. Central City paid $9.80 and $7.80, and Unzip Me paid $7.00 to show.

Uncle Mo took the lead at the top of the stretch and went on to capture the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

The winner of the Juvenile is usually made the early Kentucky Derby favorite.

Ridden by John Velazquez, the two-year-old colt pressed the pace being set by Riveting Reason. Racing to their outside was J.B.'s Thunder in the 10 horse field.

Around the final turn, Uncle Mo drew even with Riveting Reason and quickly went to the lead entering the stretch. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Uncle Mo took control with 300 yards to run.

The colt hit the wire 4 1/4-lengths ahead of second-place finisher Boys At Tosconova. Rogue Romance was third with Biondetti finishing fourth.

Rounding out the order of finish was Stay Thirsty, J P's Gusto, Jaycito, Riveting Reason, J. B.'s Thunder and Murjan.

The time for the 1 1/16-miles was 1:42.60.

"That was as impressive as they get," Pletcher said. "It was an unbelievable performance; crazy fast like he's been doing all along. He runs really fast for a long time. He was right there and they were going quick all the way. Johnny (Velazquez) pushed the button on the turn and he had another gear. When Johnny turned for home, I felt like we were in good shape. I don't get goosebumps very often, but I had them today."

Uncle Mo, owned by Mike Repole, has won all three starts and picks up $1,080,000 for the win. The colt has earnings of $1,296,000 and won the Champagne Stakes last month at Belmont Park.

On Friday, Pletcher won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and Velazquez guided Eldaafer to victory in the Marathon.

Uncle Mo paid $4.80, $3.40 and $2.60. Boys At Tosconova returned $4.20 and $3.40, and Rogue Romance paid $4.20 to show.

Defending champ Goldikova, ridden by Olivier Peslier, rallied down the stretch to capture the $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile and become a three-time winner of the race.

The five-year-old mare becomes the first horse to win three Breeders' Cup races and to win the same event three straight times.

Miesque (1987-88) and Lure (1992-93) were back-to-back winners of the Mile and Da Hoss won the race in 1996 and 1998.

The pace in the turf race was set by Santa Anita Derby winner Sidney's Candy. Goldikova was racing in the middle of the 11 horse field, about five-wide around the first turn.

Goldikova, the 6-5 favorite, began her rally entering the stretch and surged down the middle of the turf course. Also making a rally was 7-2 second choice Gio Ponti.

Peslier guided his mount to a 1 3/4-lengths win over Gio Ponti with the The Usual Q. T. getting third and Paco Boy finishing fourth.

Court Vision was fifth followed by Sidney's Candy, Proviso, Delegator, Society's Chairman, Beethoven and Get Stormy.

The time for the historic Mile was 1:35.16.

Trained by Freddie Head, Goldikova picks up $1,080,000 with the victory to bring her career earnings to more than $6.1 million. The mare has won 15 of 21 career starts with Peslier the only rider she has ever had.

"It's quite unreal. She's amazing, she can do anything," the trainer exclaimed. "It's too good to be true. I'm very emotional. I was the first jockey to win this race twice with a mare, and now I'm the trainer of a mare winning (this race) three times. It's unreal. We don't know how good this filly is. She's extraordinary. I don't have the words."

Head was the rider of Miesque.

Goldikova returned $4.60, $3.20 and $2.40. Gio Ponti paid $4.00 and $3.20, and The Usual Q. T. paid $6.60 to show.

The late running Dakota Phone caught Morning Line at the wire to win the $1 million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. The time for the mile was 1:35.29.

Morning Line, who was the 7-2 program favorite, helped set the pace along with Hurricane Ike, Tizway and Vineyard Haven. The 5-2 post-time favorite was Here Comes Ben with Morning Line going off at 5-1. Dakota Phone was 37-1 and broke from the rail.

Morning Line, the 2010 Pennsylvania Derby winner, had the lead entering the stretch. Dakota Phone, ridden by Joel Rosario, came charging down the stretch from the outside.

Dakota Phone, third in his last two starts, nailed Morning Line at the wire to post a head victory over the three-year-old. Finishing third in the 12 horse field was Gayego.

"The way he runs, I knew I'd wind up going outside," Rosario said. "When we did, I got a good run from him. He was running well when I got up to the inside horse (Morning Line) and I thought I could go past him. I was 90 percent sure, and then he got him."

Rounding out the order of finish was Cool Coal Man, Tizway, Vineyard Haven, Thiskyhasnolimit, Aikenite, Hurricane Ike, Mine That Bird, Here Comes Ben and Mad Flatter.

An early scratch was Crown of Thorns.

Dakota Phone is trained by co-owner Jerry Hollendorfer whose Blind Luck was second in the Ladies' Classic. The five-year-old gelding picks up $540,000 with the win to bring his bankroll to more than $1.2 million. A winner of just six of 32 career starts, he won the San Diego Handicap at Del Mar in July.

Dakota Phone paid $77.40, $27.20 and $14.60. Morning Line returned $7.40 and $5.20, and Gayego paid $6.80 to show.

In the last race before Zenyatta's try in the Classic, Dangerous Midge, ridden by Frankie Dettori, got past Champ Pegasus down the stretch to win the $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf giving the jockey his fourth win in the race.

Making just his 11th career start and the first outside of England, Dangerous Midge stalked the pace that was set by Champ Pegasus. The two were on the lead the entire race and separated themselves from the other five horses entering the far turn.

Champ Pegasus, with jockey Joel Rosario, had the lead at the top of the stretch as the European based colt drew closer. The two hooked up for the duel down the stretch.

With less than 100 yards to run, Dangerous Midge went past Champ Pegasus and posted a 1 1/4-length victory over the four-year-old. Even-money favorite Behkabad was third with Winchester finishing fourth followed by Debussy, Telling and Al Khali

Morning-line favorite Workforce was scratched due to the firm turf course.

The time for the 1 1/2-miles was 2:29.40.

Dangerous Midge is owned by Iraj Parvizi and trained by Brian Meehan. The win was worth $1.6 million and gives the four-year-old $1.8 million in career earnings.

"We're happy," Meehan exclaimed. "We know he was quick enough on the straight and Frankie (Dettori) kept him balanced on the bends. He's talented and has been improving and improving. We've always liked this horse and we've just been developing him all the way through. This is a big galloping track. I wanted to be one off the lead, so he was ridden perfectly."

Bred in Kentucky, Dangerous Midge has won six of 11 starts and was ridden by Dettori for the first time. The veteran jockey also won the Turf with Red Rocks in 2005, Fantastic Light in 2001 and in 1999 with Daylami.

Dangerous Midge returned $19.00, $9.80 and $5.20. Champ Pegasus paid $9.00 and $4.80, and Behkabad paid $2.40 to show.

"While her story did not have a perfect ending, our entire sport was truly blessed by Zenyatta's amazing career. Congratulations to Blame, to the incomparable Goldikova, and to all of our champions whose performances this weekend were spectacular," said Breeders' Cup president and CEO Greg Avioli. "The Breeders' Cup extends its sincere thanks to all of the participants in our event, to the enthusiastic crowd, to our sponsors, and to our partners at Churchill Downs. We look forward to our return next year."

The 2011 Breeders' Cup World Championships will return to Churchill Downs.

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