* MILE: Opening Verse, ridden by Pat Valenzuela, was winless in five starts since he had run 1 1/8 miles on grass in 1:47 1/5, the Churchill Downs record, in the Early Times Stakes last May. After Opening Verse overtook In Excess at the top of the stretch Saturday, he had to hold off Val Des Bois in the final strides. Star of Cozzene, a $120,000 supplementary entry, was third.
In Excess was ridden by Gary Stevens, who said: "We picked up the pace on the far turn, but then we had no excuse. My horse just didn't fire his best race."
In Excess bobbled leaving the gate, but trainer Bruce Jackson wouldn't use that as an excuse. "We just got beat today," Jackson said. "We took our chances by going in this race. We've won four Grade Ones and broken track and stakes records. I still think we should be considered for horse of the year."
Tight Spot didn't have perfect trip. "We had a little problem on the first turn," jockey Laffit Pincay said. "I thought he was going to pull away down the stretch, but he got a little tired."
* TURF CLASSIC: Miss Alleged suffered a broken ankle, underwent surgery and was sidelined for eight months. On Saturday, the 4-year-old filly was in fifth place with an eighth of mile to run before before she and jockey Eric Legrix overtook Itsallgreektome at the wire. The favorites, Pistolet Bleu and Sky Classic, finished fifth and fourth, respectively.
"We were stopped early because of a bad post," Legrix said. "She was going very easy early, and they were not going that fast. When I called on her into the (stretch), she had plenty of gas."
Itsallgreektome also had finished second last year, in the Mile. "He's the kind of horse who likes another horse to run at, and we didn't have anything," trainer Wally Dollase said. "But in a mile-and-a-half race, there's nothing you can do about that."
* DISTAFF: There was speculation after Dance Smartly's convincing victory about what she would have done in the Classic, which was once a consideration for the filly's handlers.
"Where she would have finished (in the Classic) is hard to say, but I think she might have won," trainer Jim Day said. "I don't think we ducked anyone all year. We just had a program that she dragged us in to."
Dance Smartly was ridden by Pat Day, whose sixth Breeders' Cup victory tied for the lead.
* SPRINT: Housebuster, becoming the seventh consecutive favorite to lose in this stake, suffered ligament damage to his left foreleg and was taken from the track in a van after finishing ninth.
Housebuster injured his right front hoof by kicking himself leaving the gate. Favoring that side probably led to the other injury.
The pre-race plan had been for Housebuster to retire.
Sheikh Albadou came from fourth place, making his winning move at the head of the stretch, with Pleasant Tap and Robyn Dancer finishing second and third, respectively.
* JUVENILE FILLIES: Shortly after watching his Pleasant Tap run in the Sprint, Chris Speckert saddled Pleasant Stage for her victory.
Pleasant Stage had been a maiden, with a third and a second at Del Mar, before she won the Oak Leaf at Santa Anita on Oct. 14.
La Spia, who had broken stride when she was third behind Pleasant Stage and Soviet Sojourn in the Oak Leaf, was distracted again in the stretch Saturday. "I thought we had the winner," jockey Alex Solis said. "At the eighth pole, she ducked from a shiny spot on the track, where there was some water and the sun was shining on it. She lost her concentration at that point."
Pleasant Stage gave jockey Eddie Delahoussaye his third Breeders' Cup victory.