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Breeders’ Cup


Jockey Joel Rosario, on Accelerate, wins the Breeders’ Cup Classic, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY.

A jubilant Frankie Dettori crosses the finish line with Enable in the BC Turf (©Michael McInally/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM)

Florent Geroux gives a joyous wave to the crowd after the Longines Distaff. (©Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM)

Jockey Paco Lopez gets his first BC win piloting Roy H to a repeat Twinspires BC Sprint victory. (©Kaz Ishida/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM)

Joel Rosario rides Game Winner to victory in the Sentient Jet BC Juvenile and to early Kentucky

BC18_Saturday_006: Jockey Florent Geroux, on Monomoy Girl, wins the Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY.

Jockey Lanfranco Dettori, on Enable, wins the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, at Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY.

From Richard R. Gross, Horse Network

The 35th Breeders’ Cup World Championships took place at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, November 2-3, 2018. Considered one of the premier Thoroughbred horseracing events of the year, the Breeders’ Cup attracts the best horses, breeders, trainers, and owners from across the globe. Saturday’s attendance was 70,423, and the two-day attendance total was 112,672, the third highest in Breeders’ Cup history. This was the ninth Breeders’ Cup run at Churchill Downs. Next year’s Breeders’ Cup returns to Santa Anita in Arcadia, CA and comes back to Kentucky at Keeneland in 2020.

Following are some highlights from the top five races. Find complete information at:

(1)   Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) – 3-year-olds & Up – 1¼ mile – Dirt

Accelerate (#14), ridden by Joel Rosario, wins the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday.

Race highlights: Mendelssohn and jockey Ryan Moore got the break trainer Aidan O’Brien hoped for and went right to the lead in the expected repeat of the speed tactic that won a runaway UAE Derby (UAE-1) and put away Diversify in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. It almost worked.

McKinzie and West Coast tracked close by on the outside as did Thunder Snow on the rail, and favorite Accelerate moved inside from far outside post 14 to save ground as the quartet blazed through a :22.68 seconds first quarter. Yoshida and Gunnevera were in the back of the pack, helped later in the race by the fast pace.

Mendelssohn settled in with a slower pace, still in the lead at the half and 3/4 mile markers. Gunnevera, Yoshida and Lone Sailor trailed, as Discreet Lover made a move but gained little ground. Mendelssohn softened as they came around the second turn into the stretch as he, McKinzie, West Coast and Accelerate were head-to-head across the track.

Accelerate, well…accelerateed at the quarter pole to take the lead and Thunder Snow roared in from fifth to draw alongside Mendelssohn, then in second and tiring. He began to fall back as Gunnevera and Yoshida made their moves. Both overtook Mendelssohn and Thunder Snow. Gunnevera was still closing at the finish, but ran out of track as Accelerate got the win. Thunder Snow rallied for third.

Top five finishers: 1. Accelerate 2. Gunnevera 3. Thunder Snow (IRE) 4. Yoshida (JPN) 5. Mendelssohn
(2)   Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) – 3-year-olds & Up – 1½ mile - Turf

A jubilant Frankie Dettori crossed the finish line with Enable in the BC Turf!

Race highlights: Glorious Empire went right to the lead with Channel Maker second on the inside. Enable was third. Robert Bruce, Hi Happy and Hunting Horn stayed close by. Magical was 5 lengths off the lead at this stage. They completed the first quarter in :24.65 seconds, a moderate pace. Hi Happy moved into third and Talismanic into fourth as they passed the finish line the first time in the 1½  mile contest. Enable then dropped to fifth 5 ½ lengths back and Magical lost another length as they completed the half mile in :49.11 seconds. Hunting Horn moved into fifth position; Magical moved up a notch ahead of Enable into sixth.

At the mile marker, Enable was only 3 lengths off the lead, but in seventh place with four horses side-by-side-by-side in front blocking her path.

At this point, jockey Frankie Dettori made a fateful decision. He moved Enable to the outside, losing some ground, which could lose the race if any one of the quartet in the lead had any speed left.

They do not. But Magical, the other filly, did and jockey Ryan Moore also moved out of the crowd with Enable as the pair moved an eventual 14 lengths wide to the center of the track in what became a match-race 3/4-mile sprint! The rest of the field was now so far behind, they were out of camera view. “Racing royalty!” the race announcer screamed as the grandstand cheering became deafening. They crossed the finish line, and racing history was made as the consecutive Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe victor, with barely over a month’s rest and a transatlantic flight for a race over a course she has never seen or set hoof on, became the first Breeders’ Cup race winner by ¾ length in 2:32.65 and the first horse to win both the Arc and the Turf in the same year! Wow!

Top five finishers: 1. Enable (GB) 2. Magical (IRE) 3. Sadler’s Joy 4. Arklow 5. Waldgeist (GB)

(3)   Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) – F & M 3-year-olds & Up – 1 1/8 mile – Dirt

Florent Geroux’s only need for the whip was for a joyous wave to the crowd after the Longines Distaff.

Race highlights: This was supposed to be between Kentucky Oaks winners, favorite Monomoy Girl and second choice Abel Tasman. It was not.

Abel Tasman broke poorly as Canadian filly Wonder Gadot went to the early lead and closed ground going to the rail.  Monomoy Girl moved up beside her as Abel Tasman moved into third. Mopotism moved into fourth around the first turn.

Wonder Gadot held the lead into the backstretch as Argentina’s Blue Prize moved into fourth. Midnight Bisou moved up into the mix. Abel Tasman was still in third and Monomoy Girl in sixth, 6 lengths off the lead. Champagne Problems wrested fifth from Mopotism as they completed the 1/2 mile.

Wonder Gadot went into the far turn still the leader, but Monomoy Girl moved beside her on the near outside. Blue Prize moved up to third, as Abel Tasman began to fall back, unresponsive to jockey Mike Smith’s urging.

Monomoy Girl easily took the lead as the horses come out of the turn and into the stretch. Blue Prize tried to stay with her as Abel Tasman continued to lose ground, sixth and fading. Midnight Bisou moved up on the outside gaining on Blue Prize as Monomoy Girl extended her lead with 1/16 mile left to go. Wow Cat sneaked up on the inside as Midnight Bisou overtook Blue Prize.

But Monomoy Girl, under a hand ride by Florent Geroux, cruised across the finish line as Wow Cat clawed her way to second, with Midnight Bisou third. Abel Tasman never got going and finished last.

Top five finishers: 1. Monomoy Girl 2. Wow Cat (CHI) 3. Midnight Bisou 4. Blue Prize (ARG) 5. Mopotism
(4)   Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) – 2-year-olds – one 1/16 mile – Dirt

Joel Rosario rode Game Winner to victory in the Sentient Jet BC Juvenile and to early Kentucky Derby favorite status.

Race highlights: Tight Ten, 35-1 (at post time), broke well from post 4 and went into the early lead. Knicks Go engaged early. Complexity stayed outside away from the tight pack of five. Favorite Game Winner was in the middle of the pack, 6 lengths off the leader coming out of the first turn.

Into the backstretch, Complexity moved into the lead with 40-1 longshot Knicks Go second, Well Defined third, 52-1 Topper T in fourth, 41-1 Mr. Money fifth. Favorite Game Winner was not yet engaging the leaders.

Into the back stretch, jockey Joel Rosario began to urge Game Winner, moving into fifth, but losing it back to Mr. Money with a half mile left in the race, the pace a moderate :46.87 seconds.

Around the second turn, Complexity remained the leader, Knicks Go was still second, Mr. Money held third and Game Winner had moved up into fourth. Game Winner came under pressure and Complexity lost the lead to Knicks Go as they came out of the far turn and entered the stretch.

Knicks Go drifted outside as Game Winner moved alongside him – and the two horses bumped slightly twice. The pair were then firmly in command of the race with under one furlong to go. Despite the bumping, which the stewards examined on the replay, Game Winner took the lead.

As they approached the finish, Game Winner began to extend his lead. Knicks Go was in pursuit while trying to fend off a fast-closing Signalman.

Game Winner opened a two-length lead, going away at the finish. Knicks Go held second (for a payout at 40-1 to place) and Signalman snared third.

Top five finishers: 1. Game Winner 2. Go Knicks 3. Signalman 4. Mr. Money 5. Gunmetal Gray
(5)   Twinspires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) – 3-year-olds & Up – 6 furlongs – Dirt

Jockey Paco Lopez got his first BC win piloting Roy H to a repeat Twinspires BC Sprint

Race highlights: It was like a scene from The Cincinnati Kid when you could hear the echo of Lancey Howard (Edward G. Robinson/Roy H) as the old pro laid down the winning poker card against his upstart young opponent (Steve McQueen/Imperial Hint).

Promises Fulfilled broke well and took the early lead. Distinctive B, Warrior’s Club and Always Sunshine were engaged early. Last year’s winner, Roy H was on the outside. Favorite Imperial Hint was in the middle of the pack, four lengths off the leader. Limousine Liberal and Squared were close by him.

At the half mile pole, the pace was a fierce :21.35 seconds. Promises Fulfilled held the lead, followed by Distinctive B and Always Sunshine. Roy H was in fourth and Imperial Hint claimed fifth.

Roy H moved up into third on the outside, ahead of Always Sunshine, while Imperial Hint dropped back to fifth. Limousine Liberal came wide to challenge. Whitmore tried to find room on the inside and was 8 lengths from the lead as they entered the stretch.

Roy H vaulted into the lead at the top of the stretch, easily passing Promises Fulfilled. Imperial Hint was trying to close on the outside, but Roy H and jockey Paco Lopez give up no ground. He was 4 lengths in front at the 1/16 pole and maintained that lead to a 1:08.24 victory.

Whitmore closed on the inside to snare second and Imperial Hint third as the leader through much of the race, Promises Fulfilled, couldn’t and faded to fifth.

Top five finishers: 1. Roy H 2. Whitmore 3. Imperial Hint 4. Promises Fulfilled 5. Limousine Liberal

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