American Pharoah wins Breeders’ Cup Classic; Tepin takes the Mile
Triple Crown champion American Pharoah took charge out of the gate, winning the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic by 6 1/2 lengths Saturday in his final race before retirement.
The 3-year-old colt ran 1 1/4 miles in a track-record 2:00.07 as the sentimental 3-5 favorite among the crowd of 50,155 at Keeneland. Fans stood 20-deep all along the rail, cheering and snapping cellphone photos of the superstar horse.
Except American Pharoah didn’t hear them. He wears ear plugs to muffle any sounds that might startle him.
He paid $3.40, $3 and $2.40.
Effinex, a 33-1 shot, returned $14.20 and $6.60. Honor Code was another 4 1/2 lengths back in third and paid $3.40 to show.
American Pharoah took on seven rivals after mare Beholder and Smooth Roller dropped out.
It probably didn’t matter how many faced him on a cloudy, cool day at Keeneland.
He smashed the old track record of 2:05.36 by more than five seconds.
American Pharoah won nine of his 11 career starts, including the first sweep of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont in 37 years this spring. He earned a total of $8,650,300 for Ahmed Zayat, the Egyptian-born owner who chose to keep his popular horse in training so fans could see him run.
“We wanted him to go out as a winner,” Zayat said. “He is a winner.”
Next up for American Pharoah is a new career as a breeding stallion at a farm in Kentucky bluegrass country near Keeneland.
The colt became the first horse to win the Triple Crown and the Classic in the same year, and the only one to have such a chance since the Breeders’ Cup didn’t begin until 1984.
Decisive win for Tepin in the Mile
Tepin beat a strong international field to win the $2 million Mile at the Breeders’ Cup.
She did it decisively, opening up a commanding lead at the top of the stretch before finishing 2 1/4 ahead of Ireland-bred Mondialiste.
The 4-year-old mare gave trainer Mark Casse his second win in this year’s Cup. Tepin ran the distance in 1:36.69 under Julien Leparoux and paid $11.80, $5.20 and $4 at 9-2 odds.
The victory capped a season in which Tepin won five of seven starts, including three Grade 1 victories.
Mondialiste returned $13.60 and $8.20, while Grand Arch paid $6.20 to show.
Britain-bred Make Believe, the 5-2 favorite, finished fifth.
Nyquist wins the Juvenile
There’s an early favorite for next year’s Kentucky Derby and it’s Nyquist. The 2-year-old colt based in Southern California won the $2 million Juvenile by a half-length at the Breeders’ Cup on Saturday.
He’s trained by Doug O’Neill, ridden by Mario Gutierrez and owned by J. Paul Reddam, the same trio behind I’ll Have Another. That colt won the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness.
American Pharoah, with Victor Espinoza aboard, wins the Breeders’ Cup Classic by 6 1/2 lengths on Saturday at Keeneland Racecourse.(Mark Humphrey / Associated Press)
Triple Crown-winning horse trained by La Cañada Flintridge’s Bob Baffert claims racing Grand Slam with victory in final race at Breeders’ Cup.
Jockey Victor Espinoza and American Pharoah lead the field during their winning ride in the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Oct. 31.(Dylan Buell / Getty Images)
Mongolian Saturday, with Florent Geroux aboard, poses in the Winner’s Circle at Keeneland Racecourse with its owners and trainer Saturday.(Rob Carr / Getty Images)
Jockey Julien Leparoux and Tepin (7) challenge for the lead going into the first turn of the Breeders’ Cup Mile on Saturday.(Rob Carr / Getty Images)
Nyquist, with Mario Gutierrez aboard, finishes ahead of Swipe and jockey Victor Espinoza in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Saturday.(Brynn Anderson / Associated Press)
Jockey Ryan Moore heads to the Winner’s Circle aboard Found after winning the Breeders’ Cup Turf on Saturday.(Dylan Buell / Getty Images)
Jockey Irad Ortiz, Jr., aboard Stephanie’s Kitten, looks back at the field en route to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf on Saturday.(Garry Jones / Associated Press)
Jockey Joel Rosario guides Wavell Avenue (7) past La Verdad (4), with Jose Ortiz aboard, for victory in the Filly & Mare Sprint.(Dylan Buell / Getty Images)
Jockey Mike Smith rides Songbird to the win in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Keeneland Racecourse on Saturday.(Rob Carr / Getty Images)
Runhappy, with Edgar Prado aboard, wins the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Keeneland Racecourse on Saturday.(Brynn Anderson / Associated Press)
Florent Geroux acknowledges fans after riding Catch a Glimpse to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf on Friday.(Garry Jones / AP)
Hit It a Bomb (14), with Ryan Moore up, finishes ahead of Airoforce (8) and Julien Leparoux in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on Friday.(Garry Jones / Associated Press)
Javier Castellano rides Stopchargingmaria down the front strecth enroute to winning the Breeder’s Cup Distaff at Keeneland Racecourse on Friday.(Rob Carr / Getty Images)
Jockey Javier Castellano rides Liam’s Map to the win in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Keeneland Racecourse on Friday.(Dylan Buell / Getty Images)
Nyquist threaded his way through traffic in the 14-horse field to run 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.79. He paid $11.40, $6.20 and $4 at 9-2 odds.
Nyquist improved to 5-0 in his young career, winning his third straight Grade 1 race. He’s a son of Uncle Mo, who also was undefeated in his 2-year-old season. Uncle Mo was the early favorite for the 2011 Kentucky Derby, but he was scratched the day below with a gastrointestinal infection. He was later diagnosed with a rare liver disease.
Swipe returned $25 and $13, while Brody’s Cause was another 2 1/4 lengths back in third and paid $5 to show. Greenpointcrusader, the 7-2 favorite, finished seventh.
Upset in the Filly & Mare Sprint
Wavell Avenue rallied to win the $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint by 1 3/4 lengths at Keeneland on Saturday.
Ridden by Joel Rosario, Wavell Avenue ran seven furlongs in 1:22.39 and paid $22, $10.20 and $6.60 at 10-1 odds.
La Verdad returned $8 and $5.40, while Taris paid $4.80 to show.
Cavorting, the 3-1 favorite, finished fourth in the field of 14.
Trainer Chad Brown notched his first victory of the two-day world championships. He has a leading 14 horses entered.
Upsets continue in the Turf
Found surprised heavily favored Golden Horn to win the $3 million Turf on Saturday at Keeneland.
In the showdown between European-based 3-year-olds, the filly got the best of the colt by a half-length.
Found, beaten by Golden Horn in their two prior meetings in Ireland and France, turned the tables to give the team of trainer Aidan O’Brien and jockey Ryan Moore their second wins in this year’s Cup.
Shining Copper played the role of rabbit, opening up a huge lead to ensure a solid pace for stablemate Big Blue Kitten.
Found ran 1 1/2 miles in 2:32.06 and paid $14.80, $7.80 and $4.60 at 6-1 odds.
Golden Horn returned $2.60 and $2.20 as the 4-5 favorite.
Big Blue Kitten paid $3 to show.
Stephanie’s Kitten rallies for win
One of horse racing’s most colorful owners earned a Breeders’ Cup victory in his hometown of Lexington with a horse named after his granddaughter.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey watched Stephanie’s Kitten rally from last to win the Filly & Mare Turf by 1 1/4 lengths over heavily favored Legitissimo on Saturday at Keeneland.
“It’s just a culmination of all of our breeding and everything that’s gone into it,” Ken Ramsey said of the 6-year-old mare. “She’s been a family pet.”
The 80-year-old Ramsey is known for using “Kitten” as part of the names for offspring of family sire Kitten’s Joy in a nod to his wife’s nickname. Bobby’s Kitten won last year’s Turf Sprint.
The Ramseys have been the dominant owners at Keeneland and Churchill Downs in recent years.
Stephanie’s Kitten is scheduled to be sold on Sunday, but Ramsey could have second thoughts.
“She might be a late scratch,” he said. “I hate to see her go.”
A first for Mongolia
Mongolia’s first representative in the 32-year history of the world championships won the $1 million Turf Sprint with the fittingly named Mongolian Saturday.
The winner’s circle was a colorful scene as the owners, dressed in traditional garb and headgear, accepted the trophy after the 15-1 upset.
Trained by Enebish Ganbat, Mongolian Saturday broke from post 14 on the far outside and immediately challenged Ready For Rye for the lead.
Mongolian Saturday won that duel at the top of the stretch and then needed an all-out drive to the wire to hold off filly Lady Shipman by a neck.
The 5-year-old gelding ridden by Florent Geroux ran 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.49.
Mongolian Saturday paid $33.80, $13.60 and $7.80. Lady Shipman returned $5.40 and $4.60 while Green Mask paid $5.40 to show.
Undrafted, the 7-2 favorite owned by former NFL star receiver Wes Welker, finished fifth.
Chad Brown is on a roll at the Breeders’ Cup
New York-based trainer Chad Brown has won a second straight race, with Stephanie’s Kitten rallying from last to win the $2 million Filly & Mare Turf at Keeneland on Saturday.
The 6-year-old mare made her move along the rail before splitting horses in deep stretch for her second Cup win. She captured the 2011 Juvenile Fillies Turf and ran second in this race last year.
One race earlier, Brown won the Filly & Mare Sprint with Wavell Avenue.
Stephanie’s Kitten and jockey Irah Ortiz Jr. beat 4-5 favorite Legatissimo, which was Europe’s best hope in the race, by 1 1/4 lengths.
She ran 1 3/16 miles in 1:56.22 and paid $17.60, $5.40 and $3.60.
It was a popular victory for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who live in Lexington.
Legatissimo returned $3 and $2.60, while Queen’s Jewel paid $6.80 to show.
Runhappy wins the Sprint
Runhappy held off Private Zone to win the $1.5 million Sprint by three-quarters of a length at the Breeders’ Cup.
Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado won his first Cup race since 2010. The 48-year-old is best known for riding Barbaro to victory in the 2006 Kentucky Derby before the colt was seriously injured in the Preakness and later had to be euthanized.
Runhappy covered six furlongs in a track-record time of 1:08.58 and paid $5.20, $3.40 and $2.80 at 8-5 odds. The 3-year-old colt is trained by Maria Borell.
Private Zone returned $4.20 and $3.80, while Favorite Tale was another length back in third and paid $10.80 to show.
Songbird led all the way to win the $2 million Juvenile Fillies by 5 3/4 lengths as the first of nine Breeders’ Cup races began at Keeneland.
Ridden by Mike Smith, Songbird ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.73. Sent off as the 3-5 favorite, the 2-year-old filly based in California paid $3.20, $2.40 and $2.10.
Smith extended his record as the all-time Cup-winning jockey to 22 victories. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer won his second career Cup race.
Rachel’s Valentina, a 2-year-old daughter of retired superstar Rachel Alexandra, returned $3.80 and $3.40. Dothraki Queen was another 1 1/4 lengths back in third and paid $5.80 to show.
Smooth Roller scratched from Classic
Smooth Roller has been scratched from the Breeders’ Cup Classic, leaving seven horses to challenge Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.
The 4-year-old gelding was scratched by the Keeneland stewards early Saturday on the advice of the Kentucky state veterinarian because of a tendon issue in Smooth Roller’s left front leg.
Smooth Roller has won three of his four career races, all in California. He was listed at 15-1 on the morning line for the $5 million Classic. He is trained by Victor Garcia and was to be ridden by Tyler Baze.
The Classic lost mare Beholder on Thursday when she dropped out because of a fever, spoiling the highly anticipated match-up between her and American Pharoah, who is running for the last time.
Hard Not to Like, Talmada scratched
More horses are out of the Breeders’ Cup.
Hard Not to Like and Talmada have been scratched from the $2 million Filly & Mare Turf.
Trainer Christophe Clement says Hard Not to Like coughed a few times after training on Saturday morning, so he’s not comfortable running the 10-1 shot.
Talmada was scratched by the Keeneland stewards for unauthorized administration of the anti-bleeding medication Lasix by a private veterinarian. The 4-year-old filly trained by Roger Varian was listed at 30-1 odds after getting into the field on Friday.
The race lost Bawina on Friday when she was scratched because of muscle cramping, leaving 10 horses to run in the Filly & Mare Turf.
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