DEL MAR, Cal. — e Racing Thoroughbreds' Rushing Fall sent the first Breeders' Cup trophy and purse check back to New York when the filly came from the middle of the field of 14 to win the $1 million, Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf Stake on Day 1 of the 34th Breeders' Cup World Championships at Del Mar Turf Club on Friday.
The win was the second straight in the same race for owners Bob and Kristine Klein and New York champion trainer Chad Brown.
He sent out New Money Honey for the Kleins' to win the 2016 running at Santa Anita last year.
The New Jersey-born Klein got into racing five years ago along with his wife, a native of Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Their second Breeders' Cup win in that span came when Hall of Fame rider Javier Castellano overcame some early problems to gain a good position around the first turn.
“I was lucky to be able to save some ground around the first turn and then get to the outside,” the rider said.
Noting Castellano had the opportunity to pick the spot where he wanted to mount his run for the wire, Brown said, “He moved when he felt the time was right.” He then summed up the filly's ability saying, “She has a devastating move when you turn her loose.”
With bloodstock agent Mike Ryan acting on his behalf, Edwards took Rushing Fall out of the 2015 Saratoga Select Yearling Sale for $360,000.
Her Breeders' Cup win boosted her lifetime purse account to $680,000.
The win was the third in as many starts for the daughter of More Than Ready from the Forestry mare Autumnal. She broke her maiden at Belmont in mid-September and then prepped for her Breeders' Cup win with a victory in Keeneland's Grade 3 Jessamine on Oct. 11.
Rushing Fall covered the one mile on a firm Del Mar turf course in 1:36.09 to gain a three-quarters of a length win over long shot Best Performance. September, a shipper from Ireland, was another length back in third place.
“When asked about plans for Rushing Fall, Edwards replied, “Ocala. She's going down to Stonestreet and take the winter off. She deserves it.”
The $550,000 winner's share of the $1 million, Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile stayed out here when Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and Jockey Flavien Prat teamed up to win with Whispering Oaks Farm's long shot Battle of Midway.
Despite two wins in his last four starts (and one of those over this track), the bettors sent Battle of Midway off at 14 to 1 against nine rivals.
Prat kept the 3-year-old within striking distance before launching his bid. The son of Smart Strike put his bay nose in front passing the furlong pole and got home a half length ahead of Sharp Azteca, the winner of Belmont's Grade 2 Kelso and the Grade 3 Monmouth Cup with Paco Lopez aboard. Awesome Slew was third.
The win, in 1:35.20 over a fast track, earned Battle of Midway $550,000 and put him in the racing millionaires' club.
The Coolmore triumvirate of Michael B. Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier and Derrick Smith were able to overcome a last place finish for Happily in the Juvenile Fillies turf when their Mendelssohn defeated 13 rivals in the $1 million, Grade 1 Juvenile Turf.
The Kentucky-bred son of Scat Daddy from the Tricky Creek mare Leslie's Lady was sent to Ireland's champion trainer Aiden O'Brien for his early racing career.
During that time he was he was one for four before joining a band of 13 horses that O'Brien shipped over for this year's Breeders' Cup World Championships.
The 32,278 on hand — and the millions betting world-wide — made Mendelssohn the 4 to 1 favorite in the mile turf race.
With Ireland's Ryan Moore in the irons, the colt made the lead a 16th of a mile out and stayed on to win by a length over Woodbine's Grade 2 Summer Stakes winner Untamed Domain. Klaravich Stables Voting Control was another half length back in third.
Mendelssohn ran the mile over the seaside turf course in 1:35.37 to earn a check for $550,000 and raise his lifetime account over the three-quarters of a million dollar mark.
Forever Unbridled, the winner of Saratoga's Grade 1 Personal Ensign and Churchill's Grade 2 Fleur de Lis since she finished third in last year's Breeders' Cup Distaff, repelled a challenge from Abel Tasman to post the win in the $2 million, Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Distaff.
The battle down the stretch was a match between Hall of Fame riders John Velazquez astride Forever Unbridled and Mike Smith aboard Abel Tasman, the winner of this year's Kentucky Oaks, Acorn and Coaching Club American Oaks.
At the wire, it was Forever Unbridled staying on for a half length win over Abel Tasman with Paradise Woods, the Grade 1 Zenyatta winner at Santa Anita, another three lengths astern in third.
Forever Unbridled defeated a field of seven getting the mile and a furlong in 1:50.25 over a fast main track.
The win was the 5-year-old bay mare's eighth from 17 starts for Canadian mining operator Charles Fipke and trainer Dallas Stewart.
The Distaff winner's purse of $1.1 million raised her bankroll over $3.1 million.
After the race, Velazquez said was “in a comfortable position where a I thought she was going well.” But his comfort balloon broke “when I was following Jose Ortiz' horse (the favored Elate) and all of a sudden she stopped.”
That forced Velazquez and Forever Unbridled “to go a little sooner that I wanted to. I got the lead a little too soon for me,” but the outcome, he reported “was perfect.”
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