Here & There – Breeders’ Cup Wrap

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Amazingly we’re a week removed from the 2015 Breeders’ Cup World Championships yet still in the process of unpacking, digging out and going through notes and voice recorders for snippets of information from a whirlwind weekend in Lexington.

Keeneland Race Course hosted a great two-day party put on by Breeders’ Cup Ltd. and the proof of the event’s popularity was evident on track and at the betting windows. Friday’s crowd of 44,947 was the largest for Breeders’ Cup Friday and Saturday’s attendance of 50,155 was extremely strong. Handle figures were also strong, including a record on-track amount through the windows Friday.

We’ll close the book on the 2015 Breeders’ Cup (we think) with another installment of Here & There.


Worth Repeating

“It’s been a privilege to train this horse. It’s been a privilege to watch him train, to watch him breeze.”
Trainer Bob Baffert on American Pharoah

“Well, he’s 5-for-5 special.”
Owner Paul Reddam when asked about Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Nyquist

“There isn’t anything to say, she just said it all.”
Tom McGreevey, primary bloodstock agent to owner Rick Porter, after Songbird crushed the Juvenile Fillies

“I said, ‘I know just the guy.’ “
Trainer Mark Casse about bringing in owner Gary Barber when another of Juvenile Fillies Turf winner Catch A Glimpse’s owners said they were looking for a partner

“What’s amazing is way back when we were freshman you knew at the time what you wanted to do with your life and now you’re doing it today.”
Rob Tatro, college roommate to TIHR’s Tom Law in 1989-’90 at Vermont’s Castleton State College

“I want to run against the best.”
Owner Robert Masterson on decision to run Tepin against males in the Breeders’ Cup Mile

“I’ve never been in one of these, it’s pretty nice.”
Casse stepping up to the post-race interview dais following the Juvenile Fillies Turf. He returned Saturday when Tepin won the Mile.

“First I felt pretty humbled. Then it scared me half to death. All I could say is I hope it runs a heck of a lot faster than I ever ran.”
Army Col. Liam Collins, one of the first Special Operations forces to land in Afghanistan post 9-11 and namesake of Dirt Mile winner Liam’s Map

“I get to sleep in my own bed tonight.”
Kiki Courtelis, owner of Distaff winner Stopchargingmaria with her mother Louise, when asked if it was extra special to win in Kentucky

“Perfect wouldn’t be a good enough adjective to describe it.”
Co-owner Michael Dubb describing Wavell Avenue’s winning trip in the Filly and Mare Sprint

“Try a hundred Mike.”
Bethlehem Stable’s Mike Caruso to Dubb after he said they owned about 80 horses together


By the Numbers

2.6: Television rating earned by NBC Sports for coverage of this year’s Breeders’ Cup, the best since 1995

3: Trainers who collected their first Breeders’ Cup victories this year – Maria Borell, Enebish Ganbat and Mark Casse (who won two).

20: Nations represented by journalists at this year’s Breeders’ Cup – Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mongolia Peru, Spain, Sweden, South Korea, Uruguay, United Arab Emirates, U.K., U.S. and Venezuela.

22: Career Breeders’ Cup wins for Mike Smith after he rode Songbird to victory in the Juvenile Fillies. He’s also earned $28,943,260 in purses, and both are Breeders’ Cup bests.

$33.80: Win payoff for Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Mongolian Saturday, the biggest of the two-day event.

21,500: Number of uncashed $2 win tickets on American Pharoah in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland.

$2,455,520: Difference in career Breeders’ Cup earnings for all-time leader D. Wayne Lukas ($22,580,520) and second-place Bob Baffert ($20,125,000) after the 2015 edition.

$39,989,451: On-track handle at the recently concluded Belmont Park Fall Championship meeting, down 6.3 percent from 2014.

$150,574,656: Total handle for the two-day Breeders’ Cup, down less than 1 percent from last year.

$315,826,290: Total handle for the Belmont fall meet, up 7.2 percent from a year ago.


Handicapping Report

The two-day Breeders’ Cup produced some memorable racing and the 13 races proved particularly difficult for our happy band of seven handicappers. Three of our handicappers – Joe Clancy, John Shapazian and Gaile Fitzgerald – finished the weekend with three winners while Sean Clancy, Tom Law, Chad Summers and Charles Bedard correctly selected two each.

The biggest win payoff for our group was Tom’s pick of Hit It A Bomb in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Friday for a $16.40 return. Joe correctly tabbed Nyquist, who returned $11.40 winning the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, to lead the way Saturday.

Amazingly – or perhaps foolishly – only Sean and Chad picked American Pharoah ($3.40) to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The average win payoff for the four Breeders’ Cup Friday races was $12.60, while the average for the nine races Saturday was $13.68.