Breeders Cup Still The Best

It's still the most exciting day in racing, its the Breeders Cup. No other day in racing brings together so many champions. Champion jockeys, trainers and thoroughbreds from all corners of the globe, gather for the greatest day in racing. One thing is for sure though, on Breeders Cup day, expect the unexpected. 

Here's the recap of Breeders Cup Day.
Belmont Park Saturday, Oct. 27th, 2001


The day started unexpectedly, as it often does when 6-5 favorite Flute and Jerry Bailey were well beaten. Spain and Victor Espinoza opened up a clear margin in the stretch only to be gunned down on the wire by a patented late closing charge from Hall Of Fame jockey  Pat Day and his mount Unbridled Elaine. 
There was an unfortunate incident before the race when Exogenous was fractious and fell hitting her head. She also became lodged under a railing and needed help to exctricate herself. After being vanned off, later reports said that she is doing much better.

Juvenile Fillies

In the second event it was Bobby Frankels You who was the heavily backed favorite. But it was not in the cards for You this afternoon. The famous Godolphin stable sent out a tremendous pair of fillies to take the top spots. Tempera guided by west coast jock David Flores scored a 1 1/2 length victory over fellow Godolphin runner Imperial Gesture who ran well at long odds. This duo returned a $768 exacta, Wow!!


Many believed the Mile to be one of the most contentious races of the afternoon. With strong east and west coast runners entered, as well as some good European representatives. But in the end it was the West Coast runner Val Royal, a French bred son of Royal Academy, who stole the show. He absolutely ate up the ground to win going away under a hand ride by Jose Valdivia Jr., giving that jockey his first Breeders Cup triumph on his very first Breeders Cup mount. Forbidden Apple and Cory Nakatani finished gamely for 2nd and the European runner Bach made a late rally to grab 3rd.


Many people believed that Kona Gold would return to Breeders Cup Sprint glory this afternoon. Again, many were fooled, as Kona Gold never showed much interest today and finished a well beaten 7th. The filly Xtra Heat and Jorge Chavez made a realistic pace but were wore down in the stretch by the West Coast invader Squirtle Squirt and Jerry Bailey. Squirtle Squirt gave trainer Bobby Frankel his first Breeders Cup Score. Congratulations Bobby!!

Filly & Mare Turf

This was an awesome performance by European runner Banks Hill. The Frenchman Olivier Peslier rated her perfectly and she kicked clear in one of the most impressive performances of the afternoon. Spook Express made a late rally to grab the place. Banks Hill a daughter of Danehill, gave Juddmonte Farms and French trainer Andre Fabre a well deserved Breeders Cup triumph.


The Juvenile was supposed to be a showcase for the talent of the Baffert runner Officer. He came up short in the betting today, but it was not to be for Officer. The undefeated European runner Johannesburg and champion jockey Mick Kinane made an impressive stretch rally and drew away in the end. Johannesburg came into the race a perfect 6 for 6 but had never run on dirt before. He proved this afternoon that he is a force to be reckoned with on dirt as well as turf. Longshot runner Repent rallied for the place and produced another large exacta return of $530.


The turf turned out to be a showcase for the Godolphin runner Fantastic Light. The European Champ proved that he is one of the great turf horses in the world, as he scored an impressive victory under champion rider Frankie Dettori. Fantastic Light proved the first and only favorite runner to win a race on the afternoon. Milan and Mick Kinane made up ground late but were little match for the impressive winner.


The Big Dance. The Whole Enchilada. The Classic. This race again produced a thrilling stretch drive between the West Coast star Tiznow and European runner Sakhee. Sakhee got about a half a length ahead of Tiznow in the lane and looked like the winner. But Tiznow is all heart and battled back like a true champion to produce another great Classic Finish. Chris McCarron was aboard for the victory, just edging out the European champion Frankie Dettori. Tiznow becomes the first runner to ever win the Classic back to back. What a horse!!

- 10-27-'01