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Top Five Shocking Losses in Breeders’ Cup History

Top Five Shocking Losses in Breeders’ Cup History: The Breeders’ Cup is usually composed of full field races with evenly matched horses, but being the favorite does not always guarantee victory. Over the years, some favorites considered to be unbeatable simply lost without showing what was expected from them. As the Breeders’ Cup approaches on Friday, October 30, and Saturday, October 31, let’s take a look at the top five shocking losses in Breeders’ Cup history.

2012 Game On Dude (Classic)
In the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Classic, Game On Dude showed heart in trying to wire the field. He almost did it but for a longshot, Drosselmeyer, who came from the clouds to beat him. The next year, Game On Dude had the opportunity to vindicate himself while running as the heavy favorite. On paper he looked superior, but from the start, the race was a disaster. He didn’t break well and was forced to stalk the pace, so when he tried to attack the front-runners, he was simply out of gas. Fort Larned won that Classic in gate-to-wire style; Mucho Macho Man finished second with the rest of the field several lengths behind.

2000 Fusaichi Pegasus (Classic)
Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus had an almost perfect record in 2000, his sole defeat coming in the Preakness Stakes at the hands of Red Bullet. After that race, he took a well-deserved rest and returned four months later in the Jerome Handicap (GII) at Belmont Park, winning in a hand ride. All signs indicated Fusaichi Pegasus was ready to romp over the BC Classic field, but he was never a real threat in the race that was won by Tiznow after an epic battle with Giant’s Causeway.

2007 Dylan Thomas (BC Turf)
The 2007 l’Arc de Triomphe winner Dylan Thomas came to America with all the credentials to win the BC Turf handily and indeed was the unanimous favorite at post time. Inexplicably, however, the horse did not fire and finished a distant fifth. The second favorite on the tote board, English Channel, demonstrated with his seven-length win that in horse racing, nothing is written in stone.

2000 Riboletta (BC Distaff)
Depending on the particular point of view, the result of the 2000 edition of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff was an upset. Before the race, the Brazilian superstar Riboletta had won seven races in a row, something that only superstars are capable of doing. Obviously the favorite of the race was Riboletta, and everybody was expecting another easy victory. But, that day wasn’t Riboletta’s day, and the mare did not show her abilities. The race was won by Spain, the 50/1 shot who had a perfect ground-saving ride under Victor Espinoza.

2007 Discreet Cat (BC Dirt Mile)
After a flop in the Dubai World Cup, Discreet Cat returned to the United States with one goal: to participate in and win the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. In a race that was considered to simply be a prep, Discreet Cat finished third in the Vosburgh Stakes (GI) over six furlongs. Best known for being the only horse to have successfully taken down Invasor, Discreet Cat entered the BC Dirt Mile as the favorite but failed badly, finishing a distant third. Although the race was run over a sloppy track, Discreet Cat had a perfect trip; he was simply not good enough. Corinthian, a horse who was at first cataloged as a Breeders’ Cup Classic contender, took the cut-back in distance in stride and trounced the field by 6½ lengths.