Classic finish – Cindy Pierson Dulay photo




A magical day of 9 Breeders’ Cup races ended just about as good as it could be. Just as Beholder and Songbird lay it down on Friday in the Distaff, the fight to the finish of ARROGATE trying to catch CALIFORNIA CHROME was something from the silver screen.

And it was the silver-coloured colt ARROGATE, who touted himself all week with an amazing workout and awesome gallops, who popped the air balloon of the thousands of Chromies.

Arrogate, the 13 length winner of the Travers but unraced since then, had only lost once (his debut) and the aon od Unbridled’s Song was coming in with a 122 Beyer Figure.
Chrome had not lost all year and had done a lot of traveling. The 5yo looked like a monster all Cup week and it was a fitting showdown.
Ridden very confidently by Victor Espinoza, California Chrome always looked like a winner as he coasted along. Espinoza looked around and behind at least half a dozen times and no doubt his horse could feel the confidence.

And then Arrogate surged past and beat him.

Arrogate was full value for his win and powered through the stretch like the probable champion he will be named at the end of the year while the Chrome did nothing to squelch his Horse of the Year lead. It was a great horse race of so many great horse races over the 2 day Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

A brief recap of the events from Thoroughblog’s view…

Juvenile Fillies – This was a very slow race and a lot of horses got into trouble. CHAMPAGNE ROOM, by Broken Vow, had a dream trip and won at 33 to 1 with Mario Gutierrez on board for trainer Peter Eurton and a host of owners.
YELLOW AGATE had perhaps the worst trip of any as she was checked and steadied into the furst turn, around the first turn and through the backstretch and finally the finlly gave up. DADDYS LIL DARLING was forced out badly at the quarter pole and ran on to be 4th.

Champagne Room is the 2nd foal of a winning Bernstein mare.

QUEEN’S TRUST won the Filly & Mare Turf by inches with Frankie Dettori on board for Sir Michael Stoute. She is a Dansili 3yo who edged the reamrkable Lady Eli.
Candian Horse of the Year Catch a Glimpse faed to 8th, beaten about 5 lengths in a race that went in 1:57.75. Pretty decent run from her for her Canadian owners and Gary Barber.

The Sprint was won by the tough 3yo DEFRONG, by Gio Ponti from a Ghostzapper mare. He starteed off the good day for trainer Bob Baffert.

OBVIOUSLY can sprint! It had been a while since this classy old timer, now 8-years-old, had run shorter than 1 mile, but he loved the downhll strip and held on by a nose over OM. The time was 1:11.33 on the very fast grass.

CLASSIC EMPIRE held on to win the Juvenile for John Oxley and trainer Mark Casse. This colt is unbeaten in every race he has finished (he wheeled at the start in the Hopeful). He is a son of Pioneerofthe Nile (American Pharoah’s daddy) and from a Cat Thief mare who has produced 2 other stakes winners from 3 previous runners. He was a $475,000 yearling purchase and now is a contender for the Kentucky Derby next year.


CLASSIC EMPIRE – Terence Dulay photo













One of the best rides of the day was the strategy employed by Seamus Hefferman on HIGHLAND REEL, that cool horse from overseas who was gunned to a big lead down the backstretch and held on to win by 1 3/4 lengths over Flintshire and Found.

FINEST CITY, picked on Thoroughblog, was always close and won the Filly & Mare Sprint under Mike Smith for 28 yo trainer Ian Kruljac. In the Mile, TOURIST charged up the rail and held off the great Tepin to win for trainer Bill Mott.
Gary Barber, who through everything he could find at the Breeders’ Cup, is a part owner and got to lead in the pretty Tiznow horse.


TOURIST holds off TEPIN – Cindy Pierson Dulay photo










On the home front, CALGARY CAT was awesome in his wild rally from far off the pace to be 4th beaten 2 lengths in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint which was run in 1:11.33 for 6 1/2 furlongs on turf. The champion gelding was more than 12 lengths behind at one point and then flew home to post a 101 Beyer Fgure
Great run for the fellow who is owned by Stephen Chesney and Cory Hoffman and trained by Kevin Attard.

NOHOLDINGBACK BEAR was not ready for the start fo the Sprint and hopped a bit at the break. He rushed and chased ut finally faed and was eased up by Eurico da Silva. He came out of the race fine and will not be sold at the Fasig Tipton sale this week by Bear Stables.

At WOODBINE, it was a $10,000,000 wagering weekend capped by $6.5 million Breeders’ Cup day. This was better by $1.5 million over last year’s card on Cup day. This year we had three stakes races on a great card.



The turf course at Woodbine on Saturday was quite soft but it was very much to the liking of invader SHELBYSMILE, who won the River Memories under David Morab. She is scheduled to be sold this week.


It was a great week for Anne Kent and the Hope Stock Farm. Kent won 2 races as owner last week at Woodbine and then her and Punch Kent watched their homebred VANISH, owned by Gary Barber, won the Clarendon Stakes with a powerful rally to catch Katalox, trained by Ricky Griffith.
On Sunday, ARE YOU KIDDING ME crushed the field in the Grade 3 Autumn Stakes and continues to be a monster for the Roger Attfield barn. He just about broke the track record for 1 1/16 miles – missed it by 20/100s..1:42.45.
The 6yo horse is a major player for Older Horse of the Year with Breaking Lucky headed to the Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs soon.

GLENVILLE GARDENS won the Labeed by 9 lengths in 1:36 for 1 mile on the slow turf. Janice Attard’s dark bay fellow was amazing in this win with Luis Contreras up. Sid Attard trains.