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Nov 04, 2005

Saint Liam claims Breeders' Cup Classic


Elmont, NY (Sports Network) - Woodward Handicap winner Saint Liam proved much the best on Saturday in the $4.6 million Breeders' Cup Classic. The Classic was the eighth and final event of the 22nd edition of the World Thoroughbred Championships at Belmont Park.

Coming up big in the Breeders' Cup races were jockey Garrett Gomez and trainer Richard Dutrow Jr. Gomez was on two winning mounts while Dutrow saddled two winners, including Saint Liam.

Saint Liam went off as the 2-1 favorite in the 13-horse field. Main rival Rock Hard Ten was scratched on Friday with foot problems, and highly-regarded Borrego was sent off as the 5-2 second choice.

Pennsylvania Derby winner Sun King took the early lead closely followed by Suave, Flower Alley and Saint Liam. Never far behind was veteran Perfect Drift.

Around the turn for home Saint Liam moved to the outside to join three other runners on the lead. Saint Liam took the lead at the top of the stretch and went on to a two-length win over Flower Alley. Perfect Drift, in his fourth Classic, finished third.

Completing the order of finish was Super Frolic, Suave, Choctaw Nation, Starcraft, Sir Shackleton, Sun King, Borrego, Oratorio, Jack Sullivan and A Bit O'Gold.

The time for the 1 1/4 miles was 2:01.49.

Saint Liam, owned by William and Suzanne Warren, also gave jockey Jerry Bailey his record 15th Breeders' Cup win. The five-year-old has won nine of 20 career starts and has earned more than $4.6 million. The Classic win was worth $2.6 million.

Saint Liam returned $6.80, $5.10 and $4.20. Flower Alley paid $8.70 and $7.10, and Perfect Drift paid $7.80 for show.

The Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships got underway under cloudy skies with the running of the $1 million Juvenile Fillies race.

Favorite Folklore cruised to a 1 1/4 length win in the 1 1/16-mile race. The two-year-old was ridden by Edgar Prado to a time of 1:43.85.

Folklore took the lead shortly after the start, but allowed Knights Templar to take over up the backstretch. Knights Templar took the field into the final turn with Folklore second and Original Spin third.

Coming out of the turn Folklore re-took the lead and never looked back. Wild Fit came from far back to rally for second place with Original Spin third and Ex Caelis fourth in the 10-horse field.

Folklore is owned by Robert and Beverly Lewis and trained by D. Wayne Lukas. The filly adds $520,000 to her bankroll, which is now $896,300. Last month at Belmont Park she won the Matron Stakes.

Folklore returned $6.70, $4.20 and $2.70. Wild Fit paid $6.40 and $4.30, and Original Spin paid $3.70 for show.

The track for the first Breeders' Cup race of the day was listed as fast with a post-time temperature of 44 degrees.

Stevie Wonderboy, owned by Merv Griffin, charged down the stretch to capture the $1.5 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile. The colt is named after singer-song writer Stevie Wonder.

The two-year-old posted a 1 1/4-length win over Henny Hughes, while heavy favorite First Samurai rallied for third. The time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1:41.64.

The win instantly makes Stevie Wonderboy the early favorite for the 2006 Kentucky Derby. However, no winner of the Juvenile has ever won the Run for the Roses, and many never even start on the first Saturday of May at Churchill Downs.

Stevie Wonderboy, ridden by Gomez, had to weave his way through traffic in the 14-horse field. First Samurai broke well from gate, but was shuffled back up the backstretch and did not find any racing room until the stretch.

The colt is trained by Doug O'Neill, and has now won his last three starts. Stevie Wonderboy prepped for the Breeders' Cup with a win in the Del Mar Futurity. He earned $780,000 with Saturday's win and now has $980,000 for the year.

Stevie Wonderboy returned $11.00, $5.90 and $3.80. Henny Hughes paid $8.80 and $4.90, and First Samurai paid $2.50 for show.

Intercontinental, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, captured the $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

The five-year-old mare finished first by 1 1/4 lengths over Ouija Board, winner of last year's running. Local runner Film Maker finished third in the 14-horse field.

The time for the 1 1/4 miles on the grass was 2:02.34.

Intercontinental is owned by Juddmonte Farms and trained by Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel. This was the third straight win this year for the mare, who has won 13 of 22 career starts. Intercontinental has now earned more than $2 million in her career. She has won 8 of her last 12 starts.

Intercontinental returned $32.20, $13.00 and $8.40. Ouija Board paid $5.90 and $4.30, and Film Maker paid $6.40 for show.

The Breeders' Cup Sprint was expected to be a coronation of undefeated Lost in the Fog, but another three-year-old, Silver Train, ruined the plans of everyone concerned.

Lost in the Fog entered the race with a perfect record in 10 career starts, including eight this year. The colt broke well from the gate and was close to the lead on the backstretch. Under jockey Russell Baze, Lost in the Fog made his move around the turn for home.

He had the lead at the top of the stretch, but Silver Train, with rider Edgar Prado, closed strongly to pull the upset. Silver Train won by a head over Taste Of Paradise with Lion Tamer third and Attila's Storm fourth in the 11-horse field. Lost in the Fog faded to seventh.

A claim of foul by Taste Of Paradise jockey Gomez was disallowed. Gomez claimed that Silver Train interfered with Taste Of Paradise down the stretch.

The time for the six-furlongs was 1:08.86.

Despite the loss, it is expected that Lost in the Fog will be named the 2005 champion Sprinter.

Silver Train registered his second straight win and just his fourth career victory. The colt is owned by Buckram Oak Farm and trained by Dutrow. The win was worth $520,000 and brings Silver Train's career earnings to more than $720,000.

Silver Train returned $25.80, $10.40 and $8.10. Taste Of Paradise paid $10.60 and $7.20, and Lion Tamer paid $7.60 for show.

Artie Schiller, last year's defeated favorite, came from off the pace to capture the $1.5 million Breeders' Cup Mile. Artie Schiller was ridden for the first time by Gomez, who notched his second win of the day.

Race favorite Leroidesanimaux broke well from the gate and raced near the lead the entire event. Leroidesanimaux had the lead in mid-stretch, but was overtaken by the eventual winner.

Artie Schiller registered a 3/4-length win over the favorite with Gorella third and Whipper fourth in the 12-horse field. Funfair was unable to finish the race because of a broken hind leg.

The time for the mile on the grass was 1:36.10.

Artie Schiller's win gave trainer James Jerkens his first win in the Breeders' Cup. It is also the first Breeders' Cup win for any member of the Jerkens family.

The four-year-old colt adds $780,000 to his earnings which now total $1.7 million. Owned by Mrs. Thomas J. Walsh and Timber Bay Farm, Artie Schiller has won 10 of 19 career starts.

Artie Schiller returned $13.20, $5.00 and $3.90. Leroidesanimaux paid $3.80 and $3.00, and Gorella paid $6.00 for show.

Pleasant Home, ridden by Cornelio Velasquez, exploded down the stretch to win the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff.

The field of 13 females was taken up the backstretch by Capeside Lady followed by Yolanda B.Too and Healthy Addiction. Racing in midpack was the favorite Ashado with Pleasant Home further back.

Ashado began her move on the final turn and had the lead with Society Selection entering the stretch. Pleasant Home geared up from the outside and went on to win by 9 1/4 lengths. Society Selection finished second with Ashado third and Stellar Jayne fourth.

The time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:48.34.

A win by Ashado, last year's Distaff winner, would have made her the top earning female in racing history. Azeri currently is the all-time leader with more than $4 million.

Pleasant Home is owned by the Phipps Stable and trained by Shug McGaughey. The four-year-old filly has won five of 12 career starts for $1.4 million. This was her first win since April.

Pleasant Home returned $63.50, $25.60 and $13.40. Society Selection paid $12.80 and $7.90, and Ashado paid $3.30 for show.

Shirocco, in his first race in North America, won the $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf. The first three finishers were all horses based in Europe.

Ridden by Christophe Soumillon, Shirocco was running a distant second in the 1 1/2 mile race behind Shake the Bank. Shake the Bank was strictly serving as a rabbit for stablemate Better Talk Now, who was trying to repeat his 2004 victory.

Entering the final turn Shirocco overtook the leader and down the stretch held off a challenge by Ace. Shirocco finished 1 3/4 lengths in front of Ace at the wire with Azamour third. Better Talk Now was seventh and favorite Shakespeare finished next to last in the 13-horse field.

The time for the 1 1/2 miles on the turf was 2:29.30.

Shirocco is owned by Baron Georg Von Ullman and trained by Andre Fabre. This was Fabre's fourth Breeders' Cup win. Shirocco has won four of nine career starts for more than $1.8 million.

Shirocco returned $19.60, $11.80 and $4.70. Ace paid $15.40 and $10.00, and Azamour paid $4.70 for show.

The 2006 Breeders' Cup will be conducted at Churchill Downs for the sixth time. New Jersey will host the World Thoroughbred Championships for the first time in 2007 when Monmouth Park will be the site.

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