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Top Ten Major Upsets in Breeders’ Cup History

Top Ten Major Upsets in Breeders’ Cup History: The Breeders’ Cup World Championship is usually formed by full field races with evenly matched horses which sometimes produce unbelievable upsets. It’s fair to say that every horse in the Breeders’ Cup has a chance to win, even those that didn’t look so great on paper. As the Breeders’ Cup approaches us on Friday, October 31, and Saturday, November 1, 2014, let’s take a look at the top ten major upsets in Breeders’ Cup History.

1993 Arcangues (Classic) 
Arcangues was a France based horse who had raced only on the turf before being sent to California to run the Breeder’s Cup Classic on the dirt. On paper nothing suggested a win, but the day of the Classic he ran an amazing race and caught the favorite Bertrando to win the Breeder’s Cup Classic paying huge odds! The tote-board said 99/1, but it was really 133/1. He was ridden by Jerry Bailey and trained by Andre Fabre.

2002 Volponi (Classic) 
Before the Classic, Volponi wasn’t an outstanding horse, just a Grade 3 winner. On race day at Arlington, Volponi with Jose Santos in saddle ran like a Grade 1 horse winning by 6 ½ lengths over the favorite Medaglia D’oro paying 43/1 to win. It was Volponi’s best effort of his career, but he did it in just the right moment.

2010 Dakota Phone (Dirt mile)
Joel Rosario rode the biggest upset in the Breeder’s Cup Dirt Mile history in the 2010 edition at Churchill Downs. Dakotha Phone came from the clouds and caught Morning Line at the wire to win by a head. He paid $77.40 to win.

1984 Wild Again (Classic) 
The first edition of the Breeder’s Cup Classic was at Hollywood Park resulting in a big upset as Wild Again, ridden by Pat Day, defeated Gate Dancer and the big horse Slew O’gold. Wild Again set fast fractions but never faded and won the race in an amazing demonstration of courage.

2004 Better Talk Now (Turf) 
Better Talk now is an example of soundness and longevity. It was at the age of five when he peaked and won the Breeder’s Cup Turf, beating the heavy favorite Kitten’s Joy, now a successful sire. This was the first Breeder’s Cup victory for the jockey Ramon Dominguez and the trainer Graham Motion. Better Talk now resulted in a big upset of $57.80 to win.

1991 Sheikh Albadou (GB) (Sprint) 
Sheikh Albadou became the first Euro based to win the Breeder’s Cup Sprint. He was a great turf sprinter in Europe but never tried the dirt. He won in a superb effort by 3 lengths at 26/1 odds. Later it was known that the favorite Housebuster suffered a slight injury during the race.

2000 Spain (Distaff) 
With a perfect ride, Victor Espinoza led Spain to an amazing victory in the Breeder’s Cup Distaff at huge odds of 55/1. Spain saved ground much of the trip and the heavy favorite Riboletta (Brz) didn’t fire finishing seventh.

1996 Alphabet Soup (Classic) 
The gray Alphabet Soup was an unbelievable upset, especially because he defeated the champion Cigar in the 1996 Breeder’s Cup Classic at Woodbine. All the people was waiting for Cigar’s show, but the gray ran his best race and said to the world that nothing is impossible. Alphabet Soup paid 41.40 dollars to win.

2009 Vale of York (Juvenile) 
The Euro invader with the unknown jockey Ahmad Ajtebi in the saddle was a big surprise in the 2009 Breeder’s Cup Juvenile, beating with a driving finish the favorite Looking At Lucky by a head at 30/1 odds.

1992 Fraise (Turf) 
In the 1992 Breeder’s Cup Turf, Fraise faced a tough field, including the talented Sky Classic, Navarone, and the winner of Prix de L’arc de Triomphe; Subotica. However Fraise with Pat Valenzuela in the saddle tried hard and beat the heavy favorite Sky Classic by a nose at a 14/1 odds.

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