With his winning ride aboard Besilu Stable’s 4-year-old filly Royal Delta for trainer Bill Mott in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic Friday at Santa Anita, Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith became the all-time leading rider of Breeders’ Cup winners with his 16th score, breaking out of a 15-15 tie with retired Hall of Famer Jerry Bailey.
Smith extended his lead with a second win on Saturday aboard 4-year-old filly Mizdirection for trainer Mike Puype in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint to bring his win total to 17. Smith also came close to another victory when he drove Reeves Thoroughbred Racing’s 4-year-old Mucho Macho Man to finish a game second by a half-length behind wire-to-wire winner Fort Larned in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Smith and Rajiv Maragh were the only jockeys to win more than one race of the 15 Breeders’ Cup races on Friday and Saturday this year. Maragh won the Juvenile Sprint on Hightail and the Filly & Mare Sprint on Groupie Doll.
No trainer won more than one race. Hall of Fame horseman D. Wayne Lukas sent out Bluegrass Hall Stable’s 2-year-old colt Hightail for an upset victory in the $500,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint, posting his first victory since 2005 with Folklore in the Juvenile Fillies.
However, Hightail’s win extended Lukas’ long lead in the all-time standings in the trainers’ standings for wins with his 19th, 10 more than closest pursuers Shug McGaughey and Bill Mott, with the latter getting his ninth with Royal Delta’s repeat victory in the Ladies’ Classic.
Three other trainers came into this year’s 29th edition of the World Championships with six previous wins and got one apiece for a seventh to draw into a three-way tie for fifth in the all-time standings behind Lukas, McGaughey, Mott and Bob Baffert, who is fourth with eight wins.
Richard Mandella sent out Beholder to capture the Juvenile Fillies, his third victory over the years in that event and all seven coming at Santa Anita. Todd Pletcher got his seventh with Shanghai Bobby in the Juvenile and Irish-trainer Aidan O’Brien his seventh with George Vancouver in the Juvenile Turf.
Royal Delta’s Repeat Tally Tops “Repeat” Winner Efforts
Besilu Stables’ Royal Delta scored her second straight victory in the $2 million Ladies’ Classic Friday in the best effort of the weekend by the eight previous Breeders’ Cup winners who performed during the 15-race World Championships held at Santa Anita Park. The 4yo filly by Empire Maker captured the 9f race by 1 ½ lengths after having taken last year’s running by 2 ½ lengths at Churchill Downs when she ran in the silks of Palides Investments.
My Miss Aurelia was next best of the “repeaters” when she was second to Royal Delta in the Ladies’ Classic. The Smart Strike 3yo filly, who carries the colors of Stonestreet Stables and George Bolton, was victorious last year by three lengths in the Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs.
Following My Miss Aurelia’s effort was the third-place finish by Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith’s, St Nicholas Abbey, the 5yo horse by Montijeu who was third-best in Saturday’s $3 million Turf behind Little Mike. Last year the Irish-bred won the Turf by 2 ¼ lengths in the 1 1/2m race in Kentucky.
Stronach Stables’ Awesome Feather, the 2010 winner of the Juvenile Fillies by 2 ¼ lengths, finished sixth in Friday’s Ladies’ Classic. The daughter of Awesome of Course had been undefeated in 10 starts coming into Friday’s feature.
Pinnacle Racing Stable or Kaplan’s Musical Romance finished sixth in Saturday’s $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint, captured by Groupie Doll. The Concorde’s Tune 5yo mare won in the 2011 edition of the same race at Churchill Downs by 1 ¼ lengths.
Eldaafer, the 7yo A.P. Indy gelding, finished seventh in the 2012 edition of the Marathon, which was won by the Argentinian horse Calidoscopio. Eldaafer, who races for E-Racing.Com, Jacobson, et al, proved best in the 2010 running of the Marathon at Churchill Downs by 1 ¾ lengths.
Thomas Sanford and Bill Spawr’s Amazombie, hero of the 2011 Sprint at Churchill Downs by a neck, was the eighth-place finisher in the 2012 edition of the 6f race, won this year at Santa Anita by Trinniberg.
The final “repeater” was Barbara Card and partners’ California Flag, who was the 13th-place runner in the 2012 version of the Turf Sprint, taken by Mizdirection. California Flag, an 8yo gelding by Avenue of Flags, was the victor by 1 ¾ lengths in the 2009 edition of the race, also held at Santa Anita.
More Breeders’ Cup World Championships Odds and Ends
Four post-time favorites won Breeders’ Cup races this year. The winning favorites were Groupie Doll (.70-1 in Filly & Mare Sprint), Shanghai Bobby (1.30-1 in Juvenile), Royal Delta (1.70-1 in Ladies’ Classic), and Wise Dan (1.80-1 in Mile). Of the four winning post-time favorites, just one prevailed on Championship Friday.
The highest priced winner this year was Little Mike (17.30-1) in the Turf.
The 30th Breeders’ Cup World Championships will be held Friday-Saturday, Nov. 1-2, 2013 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California.