ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) - Make it 9-for-9 for the unstoppable
The 4-year-old filly stayed perfect in the $2 million Breeders'
Cup Ladies' Classic at Santa Anita on Friday, roaring from last to
first around the turn to win and make a case for Horse of the Year
Zenyatta, ridden by Mike Smith, trailed by as much as 10 lengths
on the back stretch. When Smith asked, she responded with her
trademark push to beat Cocoa Beach by 1½ lengths. The heavy
favorite paid $3.00, $2.60 and $2.10 while covering the 1 1-8 miles
Cocoa Beach made a late bid and paid $4.60 and $3.80. Cocoa
Beach's stablemate Music Note was third and paid $3.80.
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) - Stardom Bound appears to be just that.
The 2-year-old gray filly came through with an electrifying
victory in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, the early
highlight of Ladies' Day at Santa Anita.
On the five-race card devoted exclusively to fillies and mares,
Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel pulled off an upset in the $1
million Filly & Mare Sprint and former assistant Chad Brown quickly
followed in his mentor's footsteps with a win in the $1 million
Juvenile Fillies Turf.
"It was just an incredible performance," said jockey Mike
Smith after leading Stardom Bound to a 1½-length win over Dream
Empress. "I'm at a loss for words."
Trainer Christopher Paasch dubbed his star "Baby Z" in honor
of undefeated 4-year-old Zenyatta, running later Friday in the
Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic.
Stardom Bound isn't undefeated. But after gamely finishing off
her third straight Grade 1 win, she is unquestionably this season's
champion 2-year-old. Stardom Bound paid $5.20 as the seventh
straight favorite to win the Juvenile Fillies, and only one in the
first four Cup races Friday to deliver.
Blame it on Frankel, Brown and a dynamite rally by Forever
Together in the $2 million BC Filly & Mare Turf.
The 4-year-old gray filly prevailed by three-quarters of a
length in a wide-open stretch scramble in which the entire 10-horse
field seemingly had a shot in the final yards. Forever Together
covered the 1¼ miles in 2:01.58 and paid $11.80, $6.40 and $4.80.
Sealy Hill, ridden by Patrick Husbands, edged Wait A While for
second. Wait A While had a chance in the middle of the stretch
before fading to third and paid $3.60.
Jockey Julien Leparoux picked up his second career Breeders' Cup
victory by smartly keeping Forever Together outside the jumbled
Earlier Friday, Frankel's Ventura surged past heavy favorite
Indian Blessing midway through the stretch to take the $1 million
BC Filly & Mare Sprint, and Brown backed it up by taking the
inaugural $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf half an hour later with
Ventura, a 4-year-old, moved effortlessly by Indian Blessing in
the final eighth-of-a-mile to win by four lengths and cover the
seven furlongs in a blistering 1:19.90 over the synthetic Pro-Ride
"She made a devastating run around the turn," Frankel said.
"I was just hoping that she sustained it."
The win was the sixth Breeders' Cup victory for Frankel, moving
him into a tie for third with Richard Mandella and Neil Drysdale.
Ventura paid $7.40 to win.
Indian Blessing, hoping to become a repeat Breeders' Cup winner
for trainer Bob Baffert, held on for second. The 3-year-old had won
three straight and captured the BC Juvenile Fillies at Monmouth
last year. Zaftig took third.
"She did all she could, but the winner just ran a tremendous
race, almost a track record," Baffert said. "Frankel was right.
He was telling me all week he was going to get me, and he did."
It took Frankel 17 years to break through at horse racing's
richest weekend. It took Brown, who spent several years working for
Frankel before going out on his own following last year's Breeders'
Cup, one race.
Maram held off a challenge from Heart Shaped at the wire to give
Brown a win in his Breeders' Cup debut.
Maram, with Jose Lezcano aboard, stretched her unbeaten streak
to three, edging the late-charging Heart Shaped by a nose. The
2-year-old covered the mile in 1:35.15 and paid $24.20.
Heart Shaped, piloted by John Murtagh, couldn't quite close the
Laragh, the 5-2 favorite, took command early and led by four
lengths at the turn for home before fading to third under Edgar
The races kicked off the two-day Breeders' Cup.