Talk about a blur. What a week that was. Everything basically started with Election Day – who won, who didn’t win, who said this, who said that – before mercilessly meandering to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
Future Stars Friday went off without a hitch, then news of Joe Biden’s projected win Saturday morning leading into Championship Saturday. After nine races under perfect conditions at Keeneland Race Course Thoroughbred racing had much more clarity in the divisional chase for championships and Horse of the Year. Don’t believe anything you read, it’s settled there, too.
How about a quick little look back at the day’s action, plus a brief recap of jump racing from Callaway Gardens. See you in 2021 for the 38th renewal at Del Mar.
By the Numbers
1:59.60: Authentic’s winning time in the Classic, breaking American Pharoah’s track record 2:00.07 when he won the Classic in 2015.
3: Consecutive Bill Shoemaker Awards for jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., one of five jockeys to win two races over the two days. The Shoemaker Award goes to the rider with the most wins and a tiebreaker system of 10-3-1 settles it if needed.
4: Wins by Brad Cox, matching the feat of Hall of Famer Richard Mandella in 2003 at Santa Anita. Cox won the Juvenile Fillies Turf with Aunt Pearl, Juvenile with Essential Quality, Dirt Mile with Knicks Go and Distaff with Monomoy Girl. Mandella pulled off his feat during the former single-day, eight-race format of the Breeders’ Cup.
4: Jockeys and trainers to win their Breeders’ Cup races over the weekend. The jockeys were Pierre-Charles Boudot, who won two; Luis Saez, Tom Eaves and Colin Keane. The trainers were Dermot Weld, Ron Moquett, Kevin Ryan and James Fanshawe.
6: American classic winners to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic – Authentic, Ferdinand, Alysheba, Sunday Silence, Unbridled and American Pharoah.
27,730,275 – Dollars in purses earned at the Breeders’ Cup by John Velazquez, second most behind Mike Smith’s $36,634,605.
34,985,000 – Dollars in purses earned at the Breeders’ Cup by Bob Baffert, more than $8 million ahead of second-place Aidan O’Brien at $26,645,590.
160,472,894: Total all-sources handle dollars bet, sixth highest since the Breeders’ Cup expanded to two days in 2007 and an 8 percent decrease from 2019 record handle of $174,000,574 at Santa Anita.
“For a big old grumpy gelding, he’s got a lot of girls wrapped around his finger.”
Ron Moquett on Sprint winner Whitmore, who gets plenty of attention and spa treatment from the trainer’s team at the barn
“She’s a mare of a lifetime, very rare. It’s like finding a diamond.
Jockey Florent Geroux on Distaff winner Monomoy Girl
“She is just brilliant. She is the fastest filly going one turn I’ve ever trained. I wanted it bad for her. What she’s gone through. She deserved it. Of all my races, this meant the most to me.”
Trainer Bob Baffert on Filly and Mare Sprint winner Gamine
“My horse never settled for me. He was pulling me the whole way, hard. When I sent to looking for him he was done.”
Jockey Manny Franco on Tiz the Law, sixth in the Classic
“I thought ‘oh no, not today.’ ”
Trainer Mike Trombetta on Turf Sprint runner-up Wet Your Whistle’s slow start
“Blinder. Umberto (Rispoli) is convinced if he had been better draw, he’d have been right there. That’s turf sprints for you. He ran well and he showed up. He got the ride we wanted and you couldn’t ask for more than that.”
Trainer Brendan Walsh on Turf Sprint fourth Extravagant Kid
“She’s shown us all the right vibes since we have come here. And Kevin knows his horses like the back of his hand. And I come off the track yesterday and he said, ‘we’re in business, I can’t be any happier.”
Jockey Tom Eaves on Turf Sprint winner Glass Slippers and trainer Kevin Ryan
“Put it this way, I’m glad we ran. I know there’s some skepticism of ‘should you be running in there’ or whatever, but she’s doing great and she was third in the Breeders’ Cup.”
Trainer Bill Mott on running Harvey’s Lil Goil in the Filly and Mare Turf
“We give credit to the horse. I take care of a lot of horses and none of them are as fast as Whitmore, so I can tell you the horse does matter. We do everything we can do to try to get the most out of him and to make his job easier to perform well. But we’re so grateful that the horse found us.”
Moquett on Whitmore
“She’s been a remarkable horse for us. One of the smaller horses we’ve trained and has one of the biggest hearts. If not the biggest heart, the biggest turn of foot. She’s going to be extremely difficult to replace and whoever is the next person to own her is a very lucky person.”
Trainer Chad Brown on 2019 Mile winner Uni, who finished 10th this year and sold for $4.1 million Sunday at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November mixed sale
“You have to remember that he was a classic winner back in June and has been on the go quite a bit.”
Jockey Oisin Murphy on Breeders’ Cup Mile favorite Kameko, who finished seventh
“For a minute I thought I was going to win it, but, man, that other filly is something.”
Jockey Luis Saez, who rode Valiance to runner-up effort to Monomoy Girl in the Distaff
“I’m disappointed that we didn’t win, but I’m not disappointed in her. What she has done in her career, she has never let anybody down, she hasn’t disappointed anybody. The way she ran in the Preakness, she doesn’t have to validate herself from here on out. She’s a special filly and everybody knows her. She gets a little time now and will come back next year stronger.”
Jockey Robby Albarado on Swiss Skydiver, seventh in the Distaff
“I’m getting older and … I think I appreciate it now. I know I appreciate it more now. And chasing this race for a long time. It is my first time I win it, so to get from that and to give thanks for Bob.”
Jockey John Velazquez after his first Classic victory aboard Authentic
“I do my best work with older riders. … You’re not old. You’re a veteran.”
Baffert to Velazquez
“I stayed up late last night responding to texts from people congratulating me. They may not even like me, but they like the horse. I had texts from Mandella, Baffert, Asmussen, Pletcher, Zito and Lukas. I’m so proud that Whitmore’s touched those guys because they know something about a good horse.”
“I don’t know why you wouldn’t. What else would you do with him? He’s only 4,”
Mott on bringing back Tacitus, fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, in 2021
Handicapper’s Report – Breeders’ Cup
How’d you do with your selections for the two-day Breeders’ Cup?
Spotty results from the handicappers here at This Is Horse Racing, with the exception of first-timer Paul Halloran.
Paul came up with six winners, three each day. He started hot Friday, picking Golden Pal ($3.60) in the Juvenile Turf Sprint, Vequist ($15.20) in the Juvenile Fillies and Essential Quality ($9.40) in the Juvenile. He followed that up Saturday with successes by Knicks Go ($5.60) in the Dirt Mile, Monomoy Girl ($4) in the Distaff and Tarnawa ($11.40) in the Turf. Most importantly that’s a positive R.O.I. of $21.20 if you wagered $2 win on each of Paul’s selections.
Charles Bedard finished second with three winners - Golden Pal, Aunt Pearl and Aunt Pearl ($7.20) in the Juvenile Fillies Turf and Monomoy Girl.
Tom Law and Sean Clancy finished with the same two apiece - Golden Pal and Knicks Go – while John Shapazian also doubled up, picking Golden Pal and Monomoy Girl. Joe Clancy, perhaps a bit busy with show prep for the NSA live stream from Callaway Gardens, singled with Golden Pal.
Handicapper’s Report – Callaway Gardens
Speaking of Callaway Gardens, the TIHR handicappers slogged through a similarly lackluster performance at the NSA’s penultimate 2020 meeting.
Sean and Joe came away with a pair of winners – Officer Sydney in the George Sloan Memorial apprentice timber and Adjutant in the George Seier Memorial apprentice hurdle. Tom had one winner – Officer Sydney.
The final meeting of the season goes Sunday with the Steeplechase of Charleston meeting. Five races are on tap with Jonathan Sheppard already locked up the training title with 16 wins. Jack Fisher leads the money list with $374,560 in purses to Sheppard’s $348,640.
Bruton Street-US has a lock on the owner’s race by money won at $253,950. Irv Naylor and Bruton Street-US are tied with six wins apiece on the season and Naylor could edge clear with his one runner – Mighty Mark – in the $15,000 ratings handicap hurdle at Charleston.
The jockey’s race is very tight, with Mikey Mitchell holding a single win lead over Gerard Galligan, 11-10, with Tom Garner and Sean McDermott tied for third with eight. Mitchell leads the money race with $284,260 to Garner’s $238,500. Mitchell and Galligan each have four rides Sunday.
Check out the overnight for Charleston.