Drosselmeyer wins Cup Classic
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Talk about a battle of the sexes -- and a couple of exes.
Drosselmeyer, a 14-1 long shot, roared down the middle of the track and caught Game On Dude in the closing strides to win the $5 million Classic by 1½ lengths Saturday, capping a weekend of upsets at the Breeders' Cup.
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith beat his former fiance, Chantal Sutherland, who rode Game On Dude. A year ago, Smith walked off the track in tears after losing the race on superstar Zenyatta by a head.
"Chantal did a great job," said Bob Baffert, who trains Game On Dude. "I can't believe she got beat by Mike Smith."
The former couple, together on and off for six years, broke up in 2010, but remain cordial, even taking part in a "Battle of the Exes" match race at Del Mar in August.
Then, and now, Smith was the winner.
"I turned the page a long time ago," he said. "I wish everyone else would."
Drosselmeyer ran 1¼ miles in 2:04.27 under the lights at Churchill Downs and paid $31.60 to win. Ruler On Ice was third.
Filly Havre de Grace, the 4-1 second choice, finished fourth against the boys. Flat Out, the 7-2 favorite, was fifth for 70-year-old trainer Scooter Dickey.
So You Think, the 5-1 co-third choice with Uncle Mo, was sixth. To Honor and Serve was seventh, followed by Ice Box, Rattlesnake Bridge, Uncle Mo, Stay Thirsty and Headache.
Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott swept the weekend's top two races, winning the $2 million Ladies' Classic with Royal Delta on Friday. Smith tied Jerry Bailey with his 15th Breeders' Cup victory after winning the Sprint earlier Saturday.
Sutherland appeared on her way to becoming the first female jockey to win North America's richest race.
Instead, she was aced out by the guy whose ring she once wore.
"When I looked at the wire and I saw white I said, 'You've got to be kidding me. Mike Smith. Ugh,'" she said. "But I'm very happy for Mike. That's his 15th Breeders' Cup so he's a pretty good rider."
As expected, Game On Dude went right to the front and fought off a challenge from Uncle Mo on the turn for home. Uncle Mo, last year's BC Juvenile winner, was making a comeback from a life-threatening liver disease that knocked him out of the Triple Crown races.
After Uncle Mo briefly got his head in front, Game On Dude dispensed with him and had the lead in the stretch.
There was only one challenger left.
Smith and Drosselmeyer, the 2010 Belmont Stakes winner, were back in 10th with a quarter-mile to go. They angled to the far outside and unleashed a powerful run down the center of the track, with Game On Dude hugging the rail.
Drosselmeyer surged to the lead in the final sixteenth of a mile for only his second win since last year's Belmont.
Afleet Again kicked off the second day of the Breeders' Cup by coming from well off the pace to score a 2¼-length victory in the $500,000 Marathon at 41-1 odds.
Ridden by Cornelio Velasquez, Afleet Again ran 1¾ miles in 3:00.39 on Saturday and paid $85.20 to win for the first time in nine starts this year.
Birdrun was second and Giant Oak was another head back in third.
It was the first Breeders' Cup win for trainer Butch Reid and the fifth for Velasquez.
A.U. Miner was pulled up by jockey Calvin Borel and didn't finish the race at Churchill Downs. The on-call veterinarian says the horse fractured the sesimoid bone in his left front leg. Meeznah also didn't finish the race, apparently because of fatigue.
Wrote captured the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, becoming the first European-based horse to win at the world championships.
Bred in Ireland, Wrote rallied in the deep stretch to beat Excaper by 2¼ lengths with Farraaj third, completing a sweep by foreign horses. Excaper is based in Canada while Farraaj also is from Europe.
Wrote gave trainer Aidan O'Brien a fifth Breeders' Cup win. Jockey Ryan Moore got his third victory, all in races on the grass.
Wrote improved to 3 for 5, running the mile in 1:37.41 in his U.S. debut. He paid $25.20 to win.
Amazombie rallied to win the $1.5 million Sprint by a neck at 7-1 odds, extending the string of early upsets on the second day of the Breeders' Cup.
Ridden by Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, Amazombie ran six furlongs in 1:09.17 on Saturday at Churchill Downs and paid $17.80 to win.
It was Smith's 14th Breeders' Cup victory, leaving him one behind the record of 15 by retired jockey Jerry Bailey, and the first for trainer Bill Spawr, who co-owns the 5-year-old gelding.
Force Freeze was second and Jackson Bend was another 2¼ lengths back in third.
Regally Ready won the $1 million Turf Sprint with a strong inside move.
The first winning favorite of the day at 2-1 after three upsets, Regally Ready carried Corey Nakatani to his ninth Breeders' Cup victory, and second this weekend. Trainer Steve Asmussen also picked up his second victory of these championships.
It was the ninth win in 17 starts for the consistent 4-year-old gelding. He ran the five furlongs in 56.48, paying $6.60 to win. Regally Ready beat Country Day by 1½ lengths, with Perfect Officer taking third.
Caleb's Posse came charging down the stretch to overtake pacesetter Shackleford and win the $1 million Dirt Mile by four lengths.
Ridden by Rajiv Maragh, Caleb's Posse ran one mile in 1:34.59 at Churchill Downs. The 3-year-old colt paid $15.60 at 6-1 odds.
Shackleford was second and Tres Borrachos was another 1¾ lengths back in third.
Caleb's Posse's previous biggest victory was over Uncle Mo in the King's Bishop at Saratoga in August. Uncle Mo was the morning-line favorite in the $5 million Classic later Saturday.
Joseph O'Brien became the youngest jockey to win a Breeders' Cup race when he guided St Nicholas Abbey to victory in the $3 million Turf.
It was a family affair as the 18-year-old was embraced in the winner's circle by his father, Aidan O'Brien, the trainer who gave him the mount on the 4-year-old colt.
St Nicholas Abbey rallied widest of all in the lane for his sixth win in 11 starts. He beat Sea Moon by 2¼ lengths, with Brilliant Speed taking third. Sarafina, the 2-1 favorite, was fourth.
St Nicholas Abbey ran the 1½ miles in 2:28.95, paying $15.60 to win.
It was the second win of the day for the team of Aidan O'Brien and owners Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier and Michael Tabor.
Hansen upset even-money favorite Union Rags by a head to win the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile, tabbing the gray colt as the winter book favorite for the Kentucky Derby.
Ridden by Ramon Dominguez, Hansen ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.44 on Saturday at Churchill Downs and paid $16.20 to win at 7-1 odds while improving to 3-0. He's named for co-owner and breeder Kendall Hansen, a doctor in Kentucky, and is trained by Mike Maker.
Union Rags lost for the first time in four starts. Creative Cause was another length back in third.
Hansen went to the front out of the gate, while Union Rags was caught wide throughout after breaking from the No. 10 post in the 13-horse field.
Court Vision pulled off a 64-1 upset in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile as three-time champion Goldikova finished third in her final race.
Court Vision nipped Turallure by a nose.
Goldikova, the champion mare from France, failed in her quest for an unprecedented fourth straight Breeders' Cup win. She battled her way to a brief lead in deep stretch but could not hold off the pair of late challengers.
Goldikova held third, as a claim of foul by Patrick Valenzuela aboard Courageous Cat was disallowed.
Court Vision paid $131.60, the second highest payoff in the world championships after the $269.20 Arcangues paid in the 1993 Classic.
Robby Albarado was aboard for trainer Dale Romans as Court Vision ran the one mile on the turf in 1:37.05.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
November 2 & 3
Full Cup Coverage
• Fort Larned wins Classic in upset
• Wise Dan looks great in BC Mile win
• Trinniberg upsets in Breeders' Cup Sprint
• Little Mike comes up huge in BC Turf
• Shanghai Bobby wins Juvneile
• Royal Delta repeats in Ladies' Classic
• Zagora tenacious in BC F&M Turf
• Mizdirection scores Turf Sprint for Jim Rome
• Groupie Doll cruises in F&M Sprint
• Tapizar overpowers in Dirt Mile
• Beholder wins BC Juvenile Fillies
• George Vancouver best in Juvenile Turf
• Flotilla takes BC Juv Fillies Turf
• Calidoscopio upsets in BC Marathon
• Hightail takes Juvenile Sprint
• TCI: A look at BC pre-entries
• Podcast: Handicapping the Cup Part 2
• Podcast: Handicapping the Cup Part 1
• Podcast: Bloodhorse writer Claire Novak
• Podcast: Owner Aron Wellman
• Podcast: Trainers Lopresti & Pletcher
• Podcast: British racing analyst Nick Luck
• West: Front-running has its privileges
• Cronley: Home cooking at the Cup
• Finley: Best and worst at Breeders' Cup
• Ehalt: Velazquez made a 'Wise' decision
• West: Thoughts on Saturday
• Duckworth: Continued Hope
• Novak: Patience a virtue for Leon
• West: From the Cup to Eclipse
• Duckworth: Girl Power
• West: A Classic Halloween treat
• Cronley: Breeders' Cup picks
• West: Race is on in Ladies' Classic
• Finley:Marathon, Juvenile Sprint must go
• Moran: Breeders' Cup sends unclear message
• West: Breeders' Cup is upon us
• Cronley: Breeders' Cup mazes
• Finley: Top 10 Breeders' Cup moments
• West: No place like home for Mandella
• Moran: The legacy of the Ladies' Classic
• Cronley: Breeders' Cup possibilities
• West: Breeders' Cup nostalgia
• Finley: Conquering the Europeans?
• Cronley: Breeders' Cup advice