Accelerate and Enable lead star-studded cast on Breeders’ Cup Saturday
Enable completed the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe/Breeders' Cup Turf double in the same year on Saturday at Churchill Downs (c) Coady Photography
A monstrous day of racing at Churchill Downs on Saturday was capped by the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). Accelerate, the 5-2 choice, drew widest in the 14-horse contingent but he nonetheless proved to be best, giving trainer John Sadler his first Breeders’ Cup win.
The five-year-old son of Lookin at Lucky led in the lane and held on late for a one-length decision beneath Joel Rosario. The Hronis Racing colorbearer went 1 1/4 miles on the fast surface in 2:02.93 to stake his claim for Horse of the Year honors. Gunnevera closed from well back for second, with Thunder Snow finishing a nose ahead of Yoshida for third.
The queen of Europe was a star facing the boys in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), adding to her living-legend status. Juddmonte homebred Enable took a short lead nearing midstretch and powered home a three-quarter length heroine in the Breeders’ Cup contest. The John Gosden trainee clocked 12 furlongs over the good turf oval in 2:32.65 with Frankie Dettori along for the ride. Magical was valiant in second, finishing nine lengths clear of 37-1 outsider Sadler’s Joy.
The Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) kicked things off on Saturday and gave us the biggest price of the day when Conrad Farms’ Shamrock Rose lunged on the win to earn a head decision. The sophomore filly was last after the opening half-mile of the seven-furlong affair, but closed with a huge rush to win at the wire as a 25-1 long shot. The Mark Casse trainee stopped the teletimer in 1:23.13 with Irad Ortiz Jr. in the silks. Chalon, Anonymity and 9-10 favorite Marley’s Freedom rounded out the top four.
Defending champ Stormy Liberal won a stretch-long duel with favored World of Trouble to annex the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) for conditioner Peter Miller. Rockingham Ranch and David Bernsen’s six-year-old gelding finished a neck in front at the wire after running 5 1/2 furlongs on the yielding course in 1:04.05 beneath Drayden Van Dyke. Disco Partner was 7 1/4-lengths in arrears in third.
In the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), Mr. and Mrs. William Warren’s City of Light seized command soon after the start and never looked back en route to a commanding 2 3/4-length triumph. The son of Quality Road swept home in a swift 1:33.83 under Javier Castellano. Seeking the Soul was second followed by sophomore Bravazo.
Chad Brown saddled five in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1), and his Sistercharlie rallied late to post a narrow win. The 3-1 second choice finished off 1 3/8 miles over a good surface in 2:20.96 with regular pilot John Velazquez at the controls. The four-year-old daughter of Myboycharlie was followed by 2-1 favorite Wild Illusion and early leader A Raving Beauty.
Roy H moved to the fore at the top of the lane and left little doubt in defending his Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) crown for conditioner Peter Miller. The gelded son of More Than Ready was 3 1/4 lengths clear at the finish while completing six panels on the fast main oval in a brisk 1:08.24 under Paco Lopez. Whitmore was 1 1/4 lengths clear of 8-5 choice Imperial Hint to complete the top three.
Juddmonte Farms’ homebred Expert Eye moved to the clear for the home stretch and got up late in posting a half-length score in the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1). The Acclamation sophomore stopped the teletimer in 1:39.80 for his work for conditioner Sir Michael Stoute and pilot Frankie Dettori. Catapult and Analyze were next under the line.
Standout sophomore Monomoy Girl continued her excellence with a convincing one-length victory in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1). Trained by Brad Cox, the Tapizar filly finished the better of Wow Cat and Midnight Bisou while going nine panels on the fast main oval in 1:49.79. Florent Geroux was along for the ride.