European Team Wins Five to Climax 25th Breeders’ Cup World Championships; Curlin Fourth in Classic Defense
ARCADIA, Calif. –European-trained horses won five of nine Championship races, and Stonestreet Stable’s 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin finished fourth defending his Breeders’ Cup Classic title on Saturday at Santa Anita on a spectacular day of racing to complete the two-day 25th Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
Breeders’ Cup President Greg Avioli said, “It was a tremendous two days of racing with incredible performances both days. We had 80,000-plus fans here over the two days and everything went smoothly in the operation – a testament to our hosts, the Oak Tree Racing Association.”
Four-year-old Curlin, already a winner of more than $10 million during his brilliant career, hit the front near the top of the stretch in the 1 ¼ miles Classic with the enthusiastic crowd of 51,331 cheering him on, but gave way grudgingly as H.R.H. Princess Haya of Jordan’s 3-year-old Raven’s Pass won by 1 ¾ lengths with Mrs. John Magnier’s 3-year-old Henrythenavigator second in a European one-two finish.
Wagering for the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita conducted in perfect warm weather was as follows: a preliminary total of $155,474,553 was wagered around the world on the 21 races conducted over the two days, an increase of 5.5% percent over the $147,381,170 bet last year at Monmouth Park in New Jersey. The on-track two-day total at Santa Anita Park was $18,685,080.
Championship Saturday wagering was $107,610,778 of which $11,832,983 was bet on track.
The $3 million Ultra Pick Six paid $55,920.80 on the 30 tickets that correctly picked six of six winners; five of six paid $775.60.
The Breeders’ Cup was run on Santa Anita’s new Pro-Ride surface, the first time the main track races were contested on a synthetic surface. In addition to Raven’s Pass, European-trained winners Saturday included Muhannak (Marathon), Goldikova (Mile), Donativum (Juvenile Turf) and Conduit (Turf).
The four American-trained winners were Desert Code (Turf Sprint), Albertus Maximus (Dirt Mile), Midshipman (Juvenile) and Midnight Lute (Sprint).
The riding star of the Breeders’ Cup was Garrett Gomez, winning four of the 14 races worth $26.4 million, beginning Friday with Ventura (Filly & Mare Sprint) and three more on Saturday – Albertus Maximus (Dirt Mile), Midshipman (Juvenile) and Midnight Lute (Sprint).