Breeders’ Cup Notes: Clement, Yahagi Get First BC Victories, Ward Wins Juvenile Turf Sprint For Third Consecutive Year

There were 14 World Championship races this weekend at Del Mar and no one main base of operations had a stranglehold on the victors.

Domestically, four winners were based in Kentucky, three in New York and two in California, European runners accounted for three victories and Japan posted its first two World Championships victories.

In all, six foreign-breds won Breeders’ Cup races, a record for a single year. Plus, winning owners came from Japan, England, Ireland, South Korea, and the UAE.

The Kentucky-based winners were Twilight Gleaming (IRE) in the Grade 2 Juvenile Turf Sprint, Golden Pal in the G1 Turf Sprint, Aloha West in the G1 Qatar Racing Sprint, and Knicks Go in the G1 Longines Classic.

The New York-based winners were Echo Zulu in the G1 NetJets Juvenile Fillies, Pizza Bianca in the G1 Juvenile Fillies Turf, and Life Is Good in the G1 Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile.

The California-based winners were Corniche in the G1 TVG Juvenile presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and Ce Ce in the G1 Filly and Mare Sprint.

The European-based winners were Modern Games (IRE) in the G1 Juvenile Turf, Space Blues (IRE) in the G1 FanDuel Mile presented by PDJF ,and Yibir (GB) in the G1 Longines Turf.

The Japan-based winners were Loves Only You (JPN) in the G1 Maker’s Mark Filly and Mare Turf and Marche Lorraine (JPN) in the G1 Longines Distaff.

 

Godolphin Becomes First Owner and Breeder to Win Three Races at One Championship

Godolphin, led by its prominent sire Dubawi (IRE), produced several firsts at the just-concluded Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar.

With victories by Modern Games (IRE) in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, Space Blues (IRE) in the G1 FanDuel Breeders’ Cup l Mile presented by PDJF, and Yibir (GB) in the G1 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf, Godolphin became the first owner and breeder to win three races at a single Championship and Dubawi (IRE) became the first sire to have three of his offspring win Breeders’ Cup races in a single year.

Charlie Appleby trained all three winners and William Buick rode all three winners.

 

Irad Ortiz Jr. Wins Fourth Consecutive Bill Shoemaker Award

Irad Ortiz Jr., who rode three winners and added a second-place and three fourth-place finishes, won the 19th annual Bill Shoemaker Award given to the most outstanding jockey in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup World Championships hosted by Del Mar.

Ortiz’s victories came on Twilight Gleaming (IRE) in the G2 Juvenile Turf Sprint, Golden Pal in the G1 Turf Sprint, and Life Is Good in the G1 Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile. He finished second in the G1 Longines Turf on Broome (IRE).

William Buick also rode three winners, but had no other top-four finishes that formed the basis for the Shoemaker Award tiebreaker with jockeys riding an equal number of winners. Buick’s wins came on Modern Games (IRE) in the G1 Juvenile Turf, Space Blues (IRE) in the G1 FanDuel Mile presented by PDJF, and Yibir (GB) in the G1 Longines Turf.

Joel Rosario and Jose Ortiz each rode two winners.

Rosario won aboard Knicks Go in the G1 Longines Classic and Echo Zulu in the G1 NetJets Juvenile Fillies and Ortiz was victorious on Pizza Bianca in the G1 Juvenile Fillies Turf and Aloha West in the G1 Qatar Racing Sprint.

Shoemaker remains the oldest jockey to ride a Breeders’ Cup winner when he guided Ferdinand to victory in the 1987 Classic at Hollywood Park. He was 56 years, 3 months, and 2 days old at the time.

On Friday, Mike Smith recorded his record-enhancing 27th Breeders’ Cup victory aboard Corniche in the G1 TVG Juvenile presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. Smith is a week younger than Shoemaker was when he rode Ferdinand to the 1987 victory.

 

Two Jockeys Claim Initial Breeders’ Cup Victories

Yuga Kawada, who was making his Breeders’ Cup debut, and Oisin Murphy, who was riding in his fifth World Championships, each posted their initial Breeders’ Cup victories on Saturday.

Kawada scored with his second mount, Loves Only You (JPN) in the G1 Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf and Murphy won with his 11th overall mount, Marche Lorraine (JPN) in the G1 Longines Distaff.

 

Clement, Yahagi Notch First Breeders’ Cup Victories

Christophe Clement saddled his first Breeders’ Cup starter in 1997; Yoshito Yahagi saddled his first Breeders’ Cup starter on Saturday.

By the end of the weekend, both trainers had added Breeders’ Cup winner to their resumes.

Clement won with his 42nd starter when Pizza Bianca won the G1 Juvenile Fillies Turf on Friday.

Yahagi did him one better by winning with his first two starters: Loves Only You (JPN) in the G1 Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf and Marche Lorraine (JPN) in the G1 Longines Distaff.

 

Knicks Go, Golden Pal Claim Second Different Breeders’ Cup Victory

Until this year’s World Championships, only four horses had won two different Breeders’ Cup races.

Add two more to the list.

Two 2020 winners at Keeneland came back in different races this year to return to the winner’s circle in different races. Knicks Go, winner of the 2020 G1 Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile, scored a front-running victory in the G1 Longines Classic and Golden Pal, winner of the 2020 G2 Juvenile Turf Sprint, repeated his front-running performance to win the G1 Turf Sprint.

The other four winners were Zenyatta, 2008 Distaff and 2009 Classic; Beholder, 2012 Juvenile Fillies and 2013 and 2016 Distaff; Stephanie’s Kitten, 2011 Juvenile Fillies Turf and 2015 Filly & Mare Turf; and Secret Circle, 2011 Juvenile Sprint and 2013 Sprint.

 

Ward Wins Juvenile Turf Sprint for Third Consecutive Year

The past three years, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships have started with the G2 Juvenile Turf Sprint and for the past three years, Wesley Ward-trained runners have been the first to visit the winner’s circle.

Twilight Gleaming (IRE) opened this year’s event Friday afternoon with a half-length score to follow in the hoofprints of Four Wheel Drive in 2019 and Golden Pal in 2020.

Two other trainers besides Ward have won the same race in three consecutive years: D. Wayne Lukas, who did it twice, and Chad Brown.

Lukas won the Distaff in 1985, 1986, and 1987 with Life’s Magic, Lady’s Secret, and Sacahuista, respectively, and the 1986, 1987, and 1988 Juveniles with Capote, Success Express, and Is It True, respectively.

Brown won the Juvenile Fillies Turf in 2016, 2017, and 2018 with New Money Honey, Rushing Fall, and Newspaperofrecord (IRE), respectively. Bob Baffert won the Classic from 2014-2016 with Bayern, American Pharoah, and Arrogate.

 

Channel Maker, Firenze Fire Make Fifth Breeders’ Cup Starts

A total of seven horses have made five starts in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships with Channel Maker and Firenze Fire joining the club Saturday.

Channel Maker finished fifth in the Longines Turf, his fourth appearance in that race to go with a Juvenile Turf start in 2016 at Santa Anita.

Firenze Fire finished eighth in his third Sprint start. Previously he had run in the Juvenile and Dirt Mile.

Other five-year starters are Better Talk Now (all in the Turf), California Flag (all in the Turf Sprint), Kona Gold (all in the Sprint), Obviously (IRE) (four times in the Mile and once in the Turf Sprint), and Perfect Drift (all in the Classic).

 

Gun Runner 10th Classic Winner to Sire a Breeders’ Cup Winner

When Echo Zulu won Friday’s G1 NetJets Juvenile Fillies, she made 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Gun Runner the 10th Classic winner to sire a Breeders’ Cup winner.

The other Classic winners to have sired World Championships winners are A.P. Indy, American Pharoah, Awesome Again, Curlin, Ghostzapper, Pleasantly Perfect, Tiznow, Unbridled, and Wild Again.

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Five Favorites Won Over the Weekend

Five favorites delivered victories from the 14 Championship races during the 2021 Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar.

The winning favorites were Echo Zulu (G1 NetJets Juvenile Fillies), Corniche (G1 TVG Juvenile presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance), Golden Pal (G1 Turf Sprint), Life Is Good (G1 Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile), and Space Blues (IRE) (G1 FanDuel Mile presented by PDJF). Echo Zulu and Life Is Good were odds-on choices.

The highest price winner of the weekend was Marche Lorraine (JPN) in the G1 Longines Distaff with a $101.80 win mutual on a $2 bet.

The post Breeders’ Cup Notes: Clement, Yahagi Get First BC Victories, Ward Wins Juvenile Turf Sprint For Third Consecutive Year appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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