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Nov 08, 2013

AMERICAN TURF CLUB LEAD-BREEDERS CUP

By: JOE GIRARDI


                              The World Series of racing better known as the Breeders’ Cup was run over two days at Santa Anita on November 1st and November 2nd. There are fourteen total races with five on Friday and nine on Saturday.

               The Breeders’ Cup Mile and the Breeders’ Cup Distaff were the highlights on the Friday card. The Breeders’ Cup Mile had 11 horses in the field with three year old Verrazano going off as the slight 5-2 favorite. The fellow three year old, Goldencents was sent off as the 7-2 second choice. Over a speed favoring main track, GOLDENCENTS from post 11, he was gunned to the lead and was able to set the pace while under pressure for yet another three year old Broadway Empire. Down the backstretch through very fast fractions of 22, 44:3, 1:08:3, Goldencents started to edge away. As they moved into the lane Goldencents held a five length lead while Golden Ticket was closing in well from second. As they got to the wire Goldencents under Rafael Bejarano held on by almost three lengths, Golden Ticket was second with Brujo De Olleros checking in third, Verrazano never seemed comfortable after getting jostled about on the first turn and checked in fourth. That was supposed to be his last race but he may make one more start in the Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on November 30th.

               In the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, we had a star studded field of six go postward with last year’s victress Royal Delta going off as the 7-5 favorite. Three year olds Princess of Sylmar and Beholder were both sent off as the 5-2 co-second choices with Princess of Sylmar with a bit more money than Beholder. As the gates opened Authenticity held her rail position while being tracked by Royal Delta with Beholder just off those in third. Through fractions of 22:3, 46:1, 1:10:1, Beholder started to move on the leaders while Royal Delta began to drop back. Moving around the final turn Beholder under Gary Stevens took off and opened up a clear lead while Close Hatches moved into second and Authenticity held on for third. Royal Delta came home a well beaten fourth while Princess of Sylmar couldn’t even beat the longshot Street Girl and she checked in sixth and last. The final time of the race was a solid 1:47:3 and this outcome will make for an interesting vote for top three year old filly.

               Moving on to day 2 we will take a look at the Breeders’ Cup Mile and the Breeders’ Cup Classic. In the Breeders’ Cup Mile there was a field of 10 horses that went postward with reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan going off as the 4-5 favorite. Obviously, last year’s third place finisher in the Breeders’ Cup Mile came out of the gate running, he set some sharp fractions of 21:4, 44:2, 1:08:2 to the middle of the turn. As they moved into the lane Za Approval made a good move to take over the as the leaders began to fade but at the same time Wise Dan was coming down the middle of the turf course under jockey Jose Lezcano (replacing and injured John Velazquez) and he got up at the wire by ¾’s of a length. Za Approval held on well for second and Silentio checked in a good third at 31-1. Jose Lezcano who is now three for three this year on Wise Dan had to step in when John Velazquez was injured in a spill earlier in the card. He has a big chance to repeat as Horse of the Year.

               In the Breeders’ Cup Classic there was a field of 11 that went postward with Game On Dude was sent off as the 8-5 favorite, very similar to last year when he had a big year but flopped as the favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Coming out of the gate there were a few horses that were sent for the lead, three year old Moreno was sent, last year’s winner Fort Larned was battling with him with Game On Dude just outside those two. Going down the backstretch through fractions of 23:1, 46:1, 1:10:1, Moreno began to back up along with Game On Dude while Gary Stevens and Mucho Macho Man taking over into the lane. In midstretch, Mucho Macho Man held the lead over European Declaration Of War with Will Take Charge closing well down the center of the track. As they came to the wire Mucho Macho Man held on by a nose over Will Take Charge who was a head in front of Declaration Of War who checked in a good third in his first try over the dirt. This was the first win for Gary Stevens in the Classic and also a first for a woman trainer in the Classic as Kathy Ritvo trained Mucho Macho Man.

               These results in the Breeders’ Cup could make for some interesting voting in the year end awards.



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