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Breeders’ Cup 2015 Results and Replays

Breeders’ Cup 2015 Results and Replays:

14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies – Grade I – 1-1/16 Miles – Two-Year-Old Fillies – Keeneland

Likely cinching the year-end honors of Champion Two-Year-Old Filly, Songbird (Medaglia d’Oro – Ivanavinalot, by West Acre) easily trounced all-comers in the 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (GI). The undefeated juvenile filly professed her dominance in her three races on the West Coast, including wins in the Del Mar Debutante and Chandelier (both GI), and that dominance echoed in her Juvenile Fillies victory. Claiming the lead from the get-go, Songbird, the heavy favorite, took an easy front-running position with second-favorite Rachel’s Valentina settling behind her. That fan favorite never proved to be a threat as Songbird flew to a 5-3/4-length championship win. Jockey Mike Smith never doubted his precocious mount, saying, “Once we jumped out the gate, it was just a matter of me staying on. She’s so talented, and she gives you so much confidence. I almost felt like yawning as we went along. I don’t mean that in a bragging way. She just gives me that much confidence. I’m really blessed to be a part of this great team.”

TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint – Grade I Turf – 5-1/2 Furlongs – Three-Year-Olds and Up – Keeneland

The five-year-old Mongolian Saturday (Any Given Saturday – Miss Hot Salsa, by Houston) claimed a win for his Mongolian connections with his victory in the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (GI). The gelding has not finished off the board in his nine starts this year, and he prepped for the Turf Sprint with a solid runner-up result in Keeneland’s Woodford Stakes (GIII). Guided by jockey Florent Geroux to the rail after the break, Mongolian Saturday settled behind Ready for Rye as he set the pace. The gelding easily overtook that foe turning into the stretch and moved away from the field as Lady Shipman quickly closed, but Mongolian Saturday prevailed to take the Turf Sprint by a neck. Enebish Ganbat, Mongolian Saturday’s trainer, was not too surprised by the gutsy win, saying, “I was expecting the horse to run well. I thought he would come first or second. Here, he’s been doing very, very well. We came here to win a Breeders’ Cup, and we did.”

TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint – Grade I – 7 Furlongs – Fillies and Mares Three-Year-Olds and Up – Keeneland

Regardless of her rather difficult trip, Wavell Avenue (Harlington – Lucas Street, by Silver Deputy) was still able to claim her first graded stakes victory in the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (GI). Faced with many of these opponents before, the dark bay four-year-old filly finished second to La Verdad in her prep for this race, the Gallant Bloom Handicap (GII). The tables would turn in the Filly and Mare Sprint. Wavell Avenue was trapped and forced to check after five furlongs, but once she got out of traffic, she took off down the lane to catch La Verdad. She easily passed that rival to claim her right to a Breeders’ Cup victory by a solid 1-3/4 lengths. Trainer Chad Brown credited jockey Joel Rosario and his excellent staff for the winning ride, saying, “Joel has gotten along with this filly so well. He’s really been instrumental in her development, as much as me. It’s really been a team effort.”

Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf – Grade I Turf – 1-3/16 Miles – Fillies and Mares Three-Year-Olds and Up – Keeneland

Claiming Breeders’ Cup win number two of the day for trainer Chad Brown, Stephanie’s Kitten (Kitten’s Joy – Unfold the Rose, by Catienus) took a rousing edition of the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (GI). The six-year-old mare has been at the top of her game for most of her career, and some of her wins this year include victories in the Flower Bowl Invitational (GI) and Hillsborough Stakes (GIII) and a second in last year’s Filly and Mare Turf. This year, Stephanie’s Kitten wouldn’t play the bridesmaid. Breaking from post 11 of 12, Stephanie’s Kitten settled at the back of the pack while Secret Gesture set an easy pace. At the eighth pole, the Ramsey-owned mare began to split and pick off horses, and down the stretch she pulled away to be 1-1/4 lengths ahead of the rest of the field at the wire. Chad Brown thanked the Ramseys for the mare’s success, reflecting, “Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey deserve a lot of credit because they had a chance to sell her last year, and they bought her back and raced her as a six-year-old, which isn’t a popular thing to do. They were rewarded today.”

TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint – Grade I – 6 Furlongs – Three-Year-Olds and Up – Keeneland

Sprinting sensation Runhappy (Super Saver – Bella Jolie, by Broken Vow) fulfilled expectations with his win in the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (GI). Trained by Maria Borell, the three-year-old colt has dazzled under her care with dominating allowance wins and a most impressive victory in the King’s Bishop Stakes (GI) before taking his run at other talented speedsters in the Sprint. Guided by Edgar Prado, Runhappy didn’t go to the lead as expected, instead opting to run in third behind Private Zone and Holy Boss. At the turn into the stretch, Runhappy was still back in third, but it didn’t take him long to get past his foes on his way to a three-quarter-length victory in track record time. Borell was both ecstatic and pleasantly surprised about getting her first Breeders’ Cup victory with her first starter, exclaiming, “Oh my God, oh my God. I was worried, I’m not going to lie. Track record, really? Oh my God. I am just not used to him not going to the lead like that. I was nervous. That is the first time he stalked off the pace like that. I was nervous, but he did it. I can’t believe it.”

Breeders’ Cup Mile – Grade I Turf – One Mile – Three-Year-Olds and Up – Keeneland

The loss of Beholder took away some of the female star quality for Breeders’ Cup Saturday, but Tepin (Bernstein – Life Happened, by Stravinsky) certainly made up for it with her win over males in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (GI). The four-year-old filly has racked up a stellar record this year with four wins, three of them in graded stakes events, and two incredibly close runner-up finishes. In the Mile, Tepin stayed close to pacesetter Obviously and was guided out in the three-path by jockey Julien Leparoux. She took over entering the stretch and easily shook clear of the rest of the field to win by 2-1/4 lengths. Trainer Mark Casse earned his second lifetime Breeders’ Cup win with Tepin’s triumph, the first coming Friday thanks to Catch a Flight in the Juvenile Fillies Turf (GI), and he was simply awestruck when she hit the wire first. “To be in the same company with Goldikova, Miesque, and Royal Heroine, beating the boys in the Mile, I’m not sure I have the words. Am I dreaming? She just continues to amaze me.”

Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile – Grade I – 1-1/16 Miles – Two-Year-Olds – Keeneland

Along with undefeated juvenile filly and West Coast sensation Songbird, Nyquist (Uncle Mo – Seeking Gabrielle, by Forestry) maintained his perfect record with his win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI). Trained by Doug O’Neill, Nyquist dominated the juvenile ranks in California with victories in the Grade II Best Pal Stakes, Grade I Del Mar Futurity, and Grade I FrontRunner Stakes. Running out of his home state for the first time at Keeneland in the Juvenile, Nyquist was bumped at the start and forced to run wide through the first turn but shook it off well enough to make a wide run down the stretch. He opened a bit of daylight on the field, but his closing familiar foe Swipe cut his win margin down to half a length by the wire. “From day one, before this horse ever debuted, he had the mind and the stride of a two-turn horse. When he debuted, like, ‘wow,'” O’Neill commented after the race. “The other day, maybe he wasn’t that impressive, maybe because we came back quickly. He was pressured early, and I think with that race under his belt, he turned it around today.”

Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf – Grade I Turf – 1-1/2 Miles – Three-Year-Olds and Up – Keeneland

Another filly won one for the females with Found’s (Galileo – Red Evie, by Intikhab) claim to the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (GI). The European-based, Aidan O’Brien-trained three-year-old has managed several impressive runner-up finishes in group races in England, Ireland, and France. Although the impressive Euro Golden Horn was heavily favored, Found managed to get that rival’s measure. Found settled behind Golden Horn in fourth in the early stages of the race and stayed close to him into the lane. As he began to edge away, Found refused to let him go without a fight, and under strong handling by expert jockey Ryan Moore, the filly got past that rival to win by half a length. “I’m absolutely delighted,” O’Brien expressed following his charge’s victory. “To run in two Champion Stakes (Irish and English), an Arc, and then to come and win the Breeders’ Cup Turf is quite remarkable. She’s very special.”

Breeders’ Cup Classic – Grade I – 1-1/4 Miles – Three-Year-Olds and Up – Keeneland

It only made sense for Triple Crown champion American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile – Littleprincessemma, by Yankee Gentleman) to cap off his incredible career with an electrifying win in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI), forming the first Grand Slam of horse racing. The long-awaited hero’s accomplishments along the Triple Crown trail this year have been well-documented and discussed, and even with his recent loss in the Travers Stakes (GI), he failed to lose any of his well-earned respect. The Breeders’ Cup Classic may as well have been the bay colt’s final workout as he took the lead and never looked back, flying Victor Espinoza to an unchallenged 6-1/2-length victory in the last start of his life. Owner Ahmed Zayat has been nothing but grateful and proud throughout his star colt’s career, and his final comments regarding the Classic victory oozed gratitude. “I am happy for the sport enjoying American Pharoah and his going off on a high note. He’s kind. He’s brilliantly fast. He’s just a different kind of animal. We owe American Pharoah everything. He’s once in a lifetime. This race was only about American Pharoah.”

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf – Grade I Turf – One Mile – Two-Year-Olds – Keeneland

Racing fans are referring to Hit It a Bomb‘s (War Front – Liscanna, by Sadler’s Wells) late kick to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (GI) as an “explosion,” an accurate description of the closing colt’s rocking charge to the wire. The bay Irish-raced colt trained by Aidan O’Brien won his two races in Ireland, including a stakes event, before heading to Keeneland for the Breeders’ Cup. Running at the back of the pack of 14, Hit It a Bomb seemed perfectly content to sit off the pace and wait to make his move. After racing between his opposition into the far turn, the colt geared down and split rivals before moving about six-wide for his stretch run. Favorite Airoforce was likewise making a powerful stretch run, but Hit It a Bomb surged strongly to nip that foe by a neck. In regards to his late move, O’Brien noted that jockey Ryan Moore   planned to let him relax in the early stages of the race because he was aware of the colt’s potential. He added, “This was always the plan; he’s a real classy miler.”

Las Vegas Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile – Grade I – One Mile – Three-Year-Olds and Up – Keeneland

In opting for the Las Vegas Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (GI) over the Classic (GI), Liam’s Map (Unbridled’s Song – Miss Macy Sue, by Trippi) was more or less declared to be a cinch seeing as the gray four-year-old colt has impressed lately. Claiming a second to Honor Code in the Whitney Stakes (GI) and a win in his most recent run in the Woodward Stakes (GI), Liam’s Map has proven time and again his brilliant mixture of speed and stamina. In the Dirt Mile, however, the colt didn’t go to the lead as expected. Instead, he sat a bit off the pace in fifth after breaking slowly and eagerly ran along within a cluster of his rivals. When Liam’s Map tried to move up nearing the five-eighths pole, Mr. Z forced him to steady, and jockey Javier Castellano opted to move him wide to make his run. He easily cruised by the front-running Lea, and although he failed to switch leads until late in his run, he was still able to score a 2-1/2-length win. Trainer Todd Pletcher noted the bittersweet implications of his new Breeders’ Cup winner going off to stud after that win, but he was quite impressed by his charge’s run: “The thing he did today was he overcame adversity, so he took it to another level today.” SEE PAYOUTS/WATCH REPLAY

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf – Grade I Turf – One Mile – Two-Year-Old Fillies – Keeneland

Catch a Glimpse (City Zip – Halo River, by Irish River) claimed a well-deserved first Breeders’ Cup victory for trainer Mark Casse with her win over other fillies in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (GI). After an initial fifth-place finish in her debut, the chestnut filly broke her maiden in front-running style and whipped up a five-length victory in the Natalma Stakes (GII) as her prep for the Juvenile Fillies Turf. Catch a Glimpse didn’t get the lead in her Breeders’ Cup win but closely stalked front-runner Ruby Notion throughout the race but eagerly pulled away leaving the seven-eighths pole. Down the stretch Keeneland turf specialist Florent Geroux encouraged Catch a Glimpse and piloted her to a three-quarter-length victory. In winning his first Breeders’ Cup event with his 26th starter, Casse expressed, “It feels good. It feels really good. When this is all you’ve ever done for your entire life…this is my entire life. This is important.” SEE PAYOUTS/WATCH REPLAY

Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff – Grade I – Three-Year-Olds and Up Fillies and Mares – Keeneland

Pletcher claimed his second Breeders’ Cup win of the weekend with Stopchargingmaria‘s (Tale of the Cat – Exotic Bloom, by Montbrook) thrilling triumph in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (GI). Coming into the Distaff off a disappointing fourth-place finish in the Personal Ensign Stakes (GI), Stopchargingmaria had already made her case as a solid runner with past wins in the Shuvee Handicap (GIII), Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes (GIII), and 2014 Alabama Stakes (GI). The four-year-old filly settled in fifth in the field of fifteen along the outside of the pack, and near the quarter pole she began to make her move. Stopchargingmaria took control entering the stretch and hooked up with Stellar Wind nearing the wire. The two bumped along down the stretch, and although Stellar Wind’s jockey Victor Espinoza lodged a complaint and created an inquiry situation, the result was upheld with Stopchargingmaria winning by a neck. SEE PAYOUTS/WATCH REPLAY

American Pharoah

It only made sense for Triple Crown champion American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile – Littleprincessemma, by Yankee Gentleman) to cap off his incredible career with an electrifying win in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI), forming the first Grand Slam of horse racing. Breeders’ Cup Photo ©