DEL MAR, CA — A 17 to 1 Longshot Caledonia Road went into the $2 million, Grade 1, 14 Hands Winery Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies race still eligible for an allowance race for “non-winners other than maiden, claiming or starter.”
One minute and 45.05 seconds later, the Zoom and Fish Stable color bearer came out a Grade 1 winner.
While the owners and trainer Ralph Nicks were celebrating Caledonia Road's victory, Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith was savoring his 26th career Breeders Cup win.
Caledonia Road, a daughter of Quality Road from the Dixie Union mare Come a Callin, was worth the $140,000 Zoom and Fish, Charlie Spring and the Newtown Anner Stables paid for her at auction. Her worth as a Breeders' Cup winning broodmare is inestimable.
Caledonia Road defeated 12 rivals in the 1-1/16- mile contest over the fast Del Mar track.
Smith kept her off the pace of the favored Moonshine Memories, and later of Alluring Star until the field approached the far turn. Caledonia Road hit the stretch a head behind Alluring Star and Joe Talamo and then went on to beat that one by 3-1/4 lengths. Long shot Blond Bomber took third money.
Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint
The parade of long shots to the Del Mar winners' circle continued when Stormy Liberal, a three-time overnight stakes winner out here and an eighth place finisher in Belmont's Grade 3 Jaipur in June, won the $1 million, Grade 1 Turf Sprint over 11 opponents with Joel Rosario in the saddle.
The bettors sent the 5-year-old gelding postward at 30 to 1 and saw him beat 13 to 1 Richard's Boy, the winner of Pimlico's Turf Sprint in May, by a head. Disco Partner, the second choice in the betting was another head back in third.
The win for trainer Peter Miller, a four-time leading trainer at the Del Mar meetings, was his first in Breeders' Cup competition.
Filly and Mare Sprint
Less than a half hour later, the New York-bred Bar of Gold captured the $1 million, Grade 1 Filly and Mare Sprint with New York champion jockey Irad Ortiz at the controls for trainer John Kimmel.
Largely because Chestertown, N.Y.’ Chester and Mary Broman's homebred had never won on a fast track, the punters sent her away at 60 to 1. They had some anxious moments until the photo finish camera showed her nose on the line just ahead of the Ontario-bred Ami's Mesa with Luis Contreras up who was 18 to 1. The 20 to 1 Carina Miss finished third.
Those who played the Pick 3 on the first three B.C. races received $6,926.75 for a 50-cent wager.
Off of some good works on dry tracks back in New York, trainer John Kimmel raised the possibility with Chester Broman of running in the Filly and Mare Sprint. He reported telling his owner, “If you're willing to put up the money, I'm willing to go.” Broman responded with “It's all going to come down to the trip with 14 horses in the race. “I think we should go.”
Having made the trip from the shores of the Long Island Sound to the Pacific beaches, Bar of Gold now sports a record of seven wins and 10 in-the-money finishes from 25 starts. With her Breeders' Cup purse included, she has banked over $1.5 million for the Bromans.
Filly and Mare Turf
After the 3-2 favorite Lady Eli was rank at the start and then was heavily bumped in traffic in the first furlong of the $2 Million Grade 1 Filly and Mare Turf, Godolphin lessee Wuheda and Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith's Rhododendron, the only 3-year-old fillies in the race who were racing against their elders, finished first and second.
The last time those two met, Rhododendron won Chantilly's Grade 1 Longines Prix l'Opera while Wuheda was running fourth.
Wuheda, racing with cheeks pieces on for the first time, defeated her sophomore rival by a length getting the mile and a furlong in 1:47.94 over a seaside course labeled firm.
Cambodia was third another three parts of length back.
Breeders’ Cup Sprint
The list of falling favorites added another victim when Drefong, the B.C. Sprint defending champion, failed to defend his title.
Peter Miller sent out his second upsetter of the afternoon in the person of Roy H, the Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship winner and the titlist in Belmont's Grade 2 True North, both at six furlongs, the distance of this year's Sprint.
A buoyant Miller told interviewers after Roy H's win the horse “had a few niggling problems and just wasn't mentally right. So we gelded him.”
Since the ultimate equipment change for a race horse was performed on Roy H, “He's been a beast,” Miller said.
When asked about his second trip of the day to the interview podium, The jocular Miller, who trains a moderate sized string, said, “I feel like like Chad Brown or Bob Baffert or one of those guys.”
Roy H stayed within hailing range of the pace setting Imperial Hint through the first half mile. Roy H got his head in front as the field turned for home.
A hand ride from Kent Desormeaux got him home a length to the good of Imperial Hint who was two lengths ahead of Mind Your Biscuits. Roy H ran the six furlongs in 1:08.61.
Breeders’ Cup Mile
Live Oak Plantation's World Approval became the first favorite of the afternoon's Breeders' Cup races to win one when he galloped home a 1-1/4 length winner of the $2 million, Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Mile, a distance that has proved to be the 5-year-old gelding's best distance.
After the trophy presentation, trainer Mark Casse explained to the media, “The (Grade 1) United Nations win last year kind of messed me up. I began to think he could run farther than he can.”
Consecutive wins in Saratoga's Grade 1 Four Star Dave and the Woodbine 'Win and You're In Mile' have proved to Casse and owner Charlotte Weber they're on the right track in mile races.
Looking ahead, Casse said, “Everything we do is aimed at this (the Breeders' Cup). Tomorrow morning, we'll get up and start planning.”
When asked about the possibilities of traveling to Europe and taking on those who journeyed here to race against them, Mrs. Weber said, “There's never a never.”
World Approval's win marked Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez' 15th in Breeders Cup races with three of those coming in the Mile. He went to the winners' circle in 1998 with Da Hoss and in 2012 with Wise Dan.
Casse racked up his fourth B.C. win and his second in the Mile. Tepin was his 2015 winner at Keeneland.
World Approval's win was the horses' 11th from 24 lifetime starts. His $1.1 million winner's check boosted his racing bankroll within a few dollars of $3 million.
Breeders' Cup Juvenile
Good Magic broke his maiden at the races at Del Mar — the hard way. Racing for Bob and Kristine Edwards' eFive Racing Thoroughbreds and Stonestreet Stables, his breeder, the two-year-old colt made his third lifetime start a winning one when he defeated eleven rivals in the $2 million, Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
With Jose Ortiz in the saddle for trainer Chad Brown, the son of champion Curlin from the Hard Spun mare Glinda the Good came from fourth place with 5/16 of mile to run to break his maiden by 4-1/4 lengths at odds of 11 to 1.
Prior to his B.C. win, Good Magic was second in both a maiden special weight at Saratoga and the $500,000, Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont Park.
Good Magic's win was the second of the World Championships for eFive. They took the laurels on Friday with Rushing Fall in the race for juvenile fillies a day earlier.
Longines Breeders' Cup Turf
Jockeys Ryan Moore, on Highland Reel, the defending champion and 3 to 1 favorite, and Joel Rosario, on Beach Patrol, the 3 to 1 second choice, spent a lot of time watching Oscar Performance and Jose Ortiz set the pace early on in the $4 million Longines Breeders' Cup Turf.
They forget all about the wily European champion Mickael Barzalona aboard Talismanic, a 14 to 1 shot whose best race on his ledger was a Grade 2 affair in France in September.
After Oscar Performance ran out of steam around the far turn the final time, Beach Patrol and Highland Reel vied for the lead down the lane.
Barzalona sent his charge between the leaders and got home the winner by a half length over Beach Patrol with Highland Reel a neck back in third.
The teletimer showed Talismanic ran the mile and a half in 2:26.19 thus knocking 1.16 seconds off of the course record.
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