The races are complete and most of the competitors are back home, off to the breeding shed or the farm and looking to the future. Before we look ahead we’ll sneak a peek back at last weekend’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar.

The 38th renewal of the event will be remembered for several things, from Knicks Go’s front-running score in the Classic, Japan’s victories in the Distaff and Filly and Mare Turf, Godolphin and Charlie Appleby’s brilliance on the positive side and the botched mess that was the Juvenile Turf and fines levied against riders for overuse of the whip on the negative end.

The weather certainly cooperated – as expected in Southern California – and bettors responded enthusiastically even after a great deal of teeth gnashing over social media Friday night.

How did our handicappers do? Check out the handicapper’s reports below, along with some other usual features in our special edition of Here & There for the 2021 Breeders’ Cup. See you down the road.


Worth Repeating
“We cooked up a winner.”
Trainer Wayne Catalano, a Twitter superstar for his cooking videos, after Aloha West won the Sprint

“He just took off again.”
Jockey Joel Rosario on Knicks Go turning for home in front in the Breeders’ Cup Classic

“Who’s the best 3-year-old now?”
Jockey John Velazquez after riding Medina Spirit to a runner-up finish to Knick Go in the Classic

“I never woke up in the morning thinking ‘I’ve got to win a Breeders’ Cup to change my life.’ That’s not the way I am. I wake up in the morning thinking I’ve got wo win my next race with my next runner. But I’m very happy that we’ve won the Breeders’ Cup.”
Trainer Christophe Clement after winning his first Breeders’ Cup race in the Juvenile Fillies Turf with Pizza Bianca

“He was marching around the track like he was American Pharoah.”
Trainer Bob Baffert on Juvenile winner Corniche

“A fantastic weekend. I can take a couple of them home fresh.”
Trainer Charlie Appleby, who won three Breeders’ Cup races from four starters after the gate scratches of Albahr in the Juvenile Turf and Master Of The Seas in the Mile

“I’m an attorney and I speak for a living but I don’t know what to say.”
L and N Racing’s Lee Levinson after winning the Juvenile Fillies with Echo Zulu

“And we’re going to get pen to paper for your Eclipse speech.”
Trainer Steve Asmussen to Levinson before their post-race press conference

“It looked a lot like (Gun Runner’s) Pegasus. Out, over, relax and then go.”
Winning co-owner Ron Winchell on Echo Zulu

“You never know what you’re going to get.”
Bobby Flay, owner and breeder of Juvenile Fillies Turf winner Pizza Bianca, on matings and breeding Thoroughbreds

“It was a lot more than he was worth before today.”
Trainer Wesley Ward on the deal put together to sell Golden Pal to Coolmore

“As soon as I moved my hands and she didn’t respond the way I thought, I knew I was in trouble.”
Jockey John Velazquez on Gamine, third as the odds-on favorite in the Filly and Mare Sprint

“Bruce Headley, a great trainer, once told me when he had Kona Gold, ‘stay in there long enough and you’ll get one as good as this.’ ”
Wesley Ward after Golden Pal equaled the course record in the Turf Sprint

“It was everything that we were hoping for and then maybe even more.”
Todd Pletcher on Life Is Good’s win in the Dirt Mile

“I just followed Jose Ortiz. He has a lot more experience on dirt than I have. When he wasn’t going early I knew the fractions were very fast.”
Jockey Oisin Murphy, who rode Japan’s Marche Lorraine to an off-the-pace victory in the Distaff

“It’s probably the toughest loss I’ve ever had. It’s just a shame because it’s two years in a row where she should have won the Distaff.”
Trainer Chad Brown after Dunbar Road was nosed out in the Distaff by Marche Lorraine

“I just hate to ever see her lose.”
Pletcher on Distaff third Malathaat

“Sometimes it’s just hard to win all the time.”
Rosario on Jackie’s Warrior, sixth as the favorite in the Sprint

“I’d like to say thank you to my horse.”
Trainer Yoshito Yahagi after winning Japan’s first Breeders’ Cup race with Loves Only You in the Filly and Mare Turf

“Being third’s not as good as first.”
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott after War Like Goddess finished third in the Filly and Mare Turf

“Well, at my stage in life I want more fun than money.”
Owner and breeder Bo Hirsch on keeping Ce Ce in training as opposed to sending her to the breeding shed

“We had an extraordinary two days of racing showcasing the best Thoroughbreds from around the world and we want to thank our partners here at Del Mar, who did an amazing job, and the greater San Diego community, our gracious hosts this week. The Breeders’ Cup is a truly global event with winners this weekend bred, raised and raced on three different continents.”
Breeders’ Cup President and CEO Drew Fleming


By the Numbers
0: Amount bettors cashed on Juvenile Turf winner Modern Games, who ran for purse money only after being announced as a scratch at the gate.

17.60: Payoff in dollars if you placed a win bet on Tiz The Bomb (who finished second) in the Juvenile Turf.

54.75: Seconds needed for Golden Pal to win the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, equaling Del Mar’s course record set by Fast Parade in 2006.

11,500: Fines in dollars levied against four jockeys – Florent Geroux, Ricardo Santana Jr., E. T. Baird and Tom Eaves – for violating California’s whip rules on Breeders’ Cup Weekend.

20,536: Attendance for Future Stars Friday.

47,089: Total attendance for the two-day event.

19,032,307: On-track handle in dollars for the two-day event.

182,908,409: Record all-sources common-pool handle for the two-day Breeders’ Cup, a 4.7 percent increase over the prior mark of $174,628,986 set in 2019 at Santa Anita Park and a 14 percent gain from last year’s pandemic-restricted event at Keeneland.


Handicappers’ Report
Four of our eight handicappers came up with six winners on the weekend to lead the way in our handicapping race. John Shapazian, Sean Clancy, Joe Clancy and Tom Law each came away with the half dozen.

Tom rallied to tie for the lead with four wins Saturday – Ce Ce in the Filly and Mare Sprint, Life Is Good in the Dirt Mile, Aloha West in the Sprint and Space Blues in the Mile. John came up with three Saturday – Golden Pal in the Turf Sprint, Life Is Good and Space Blues. Joe picked three winners Saturday – Golden Pal, Life Is Good and Aloha West. Sean, celebrating three wins by Riverdee Stable over jumps Saturday, also came up with Life Is Good, Space Blues and Classic winner Knicks Go.

Rob Whitlock, winner of the Bankroll Challenge (see below), picked four winners Saturday in Life Is Good, Aloha West, Space Blues and Knicks Go. That gave him four for the weekend.

Charles Bedard also came up with four after a pair Saturday in Space Blues and Knicks Go. Paul Halloran finished his weekend with three winners Saturday – Life Is Good, Japan’s Loves Only You in the Filly and Mare Turf and Aloha West – to finish with four overall.

Jessica Paquette also came up with Loves Only You Saturday and finished with two wins overall.

If you were scoring at home, and we were trying to, the Friday handicapper scorecard went like this: Sean had Twilight Gleaming in the Juvenile Turf Sprint; John, Joe, Sean and Tom had Echo Zulu in the Juvenile Fillies; John had Pizza Bianca in the Juvenile Fillies Turf; John, Charles, Joe, Sean and Tom had Corniche in the Juvenile . . . and, well, technically Jessica and Joe wound up with Tiz The Bomb on top when considering active betting interests after the scratch of Albahr and the scratch/no-scratch/purse-money-only decision with Modern Games. Paul had Modern Games on top. 


Bankroll Challenge
We wound up with a good battle in our Breeders’ Cup Saturday Bankroll Challenge and everything came down to the final race.

Rob Whitlock came out on top thanks to Knicks Go winning and his $80 win bet on the likely Horse of the Year. Rob picked up a cool $336 for that bet to push his total $737. He edged Tom Law, who finished at $694.20 from his $200 mythical bankroll.

John Shapazian finished third with $175, while Charles Bedard and Jessica Paquette were blanked at the mythical windows.

Tom jumped out to a quick lead with his $20 win bet on Ce Ce in the Filly and Mare Sprint, followed by a $40 win bet on Aloha West in the Sprint. Rob counted with a $20 win bet on Aloha West and a $50 win bet on Space Blues, which yielded $246 and $155, respectively. Tom cashed a $2 five-horse exacta box on the Mile – picking Space Blues and Smooth Like Strait among his quintet – to pick up another $58.20. Then Knicks Go’s front-running victory sealed the deal for Rob.


Tweet of the Weekend
"Tom put Aloha West on the front cover of the Saratoga Special."