Odds And Ends: Smith Extends Jockey Lead; Breakthrough Wins For Trainers Miller, Kimmel, Nicks

Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, 52, extended his lead for all-time Breeders’ Cup World Championship victories in the 14 Hands Juvenile Fillies on Caledonia Road on Saturday to bring his total to 26.

John Velazquez was the only rider to win two races on the 13-race Championship program and those two victories gave him 15 overall to tie Jerry Bailey for the second spot behind Smith.

Velasquez won the Longines Distaff on Forever Unbridled and the Mile on World Approval.

Smith increased his record Breeders’ Cup earnings to $35,874,605, while Velazquez is a clear second with $25,570,275.


Two Jockeys Claim Initial Breeders’ Cup Victories
Jockeys William Buick and Mickael Barzalona posted their first Breeders’ Cup victories Saturday with Barlazona’s triumph on Talismanic in the Longines Turf coming on his first Breeders’ Cup mount.

Buick, who was riding in his sixth Championships, won the Filly & Mare Turf on Wuheida. She was his 12th Breeders’ Cup mount.


Three Trainers Get First Breeders’ Cup Win
Three trainers won their first Breeders’ Cup races over the weekend with one doubling up.

Peter Miller struck in Saturday’s second Breeders’ Cup race in the Turf Sprint when Stormy Liberal ran down stablemate Richard’s Boy to complete a 1-2 finish for Miller. Three races later in the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint, Roy H gave Miller a second victory of the afternoon.

The other first-time winners were Ralph Nicks (Caledonia Road – 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies), and John Kimmel (Bar of Gold – Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint).

Aidan O’Brien notched his 12th Championships victory with Mendelssohn (Juvenile Turf) to stand third all-time among Breeders’ Cup trainers behind only D. Wayne Lukas (20) and Bob Baffert (14).

Chad Brown, who joined Miller as the only trainer to win two races, moved into fourth all-time with 10 victories. Brown, who won the Juvenile Fillies Turf with Rushing Fall and the Sentient Jet Juvenile with Good Magic, leap-frogged Hall of Famers Shug McGaughey, Bill Mott and Richard Mandella plus Todd Pletcher, all with nine Breeders’ Cup victories.

O’Brien, Brown Add to Grass Dominance
Trainer Aidan O’Brien added to his dominance in the Breeders’ Cup grass races by winning the Juvenile Turf with Mendelssohn. Overall, 10 of his 12 Breeders’ Cup winners have come in turf races with four victories in the Juvenile Turf.

Chad Brown, who opened the Championship weekend with a victory by Rushing Fall in the Juvenile Fillies Turf, has sent out eight of his 10 Breeders’ Cup winners in grass races.


World Approval, Mendelssohn Only Favorites to Win Over the Weekend
Only two favorites prevailed in the 13 Breeders’ Cup races over the weekend and they were World Approval in the Mile and Mendelssohn in the Juvenile Turf.

Only two other favorites hit the board: Bolt d’Oro (third in the Sentient Jet Juvenile) and defending champion Highland Reel (third in the Turf).

The highest price winner this year was Bar of Gold ($66.70-1) in the Filly & Mare Sprint.


No Repeat Winners from 2016 Championships
Five horses were attempting to defend their titles in the same race in which they prevailed in 2016 at Santa Anita and none was successful.

Highland Reel (Turf) finished third, Arrogate (Classic) dead-heated for fifth, Queen’s Trust (Filly & Mare Turf) finished fifth, Drefong (TwinSpires Sprint) finished sixth and Finest City (Filly & Mare Sprint) finished eighth.


Stormy Liberal Sets Record for Longest Layoff
Rockingham Ranch’s Stormy Liberal came off the longest layoff of any Breeders’ Cup winner in the 34-year history of the World Championships. It had been 147 days since his last race when he finished eighth in the Jaipur Stakes at Belmont Park. The previous longest layoff was 137 days before Magician won the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Turf. Prior to his victory at Santa Anita, he had last raced June 18 at Ascot. Precisionist, winner of the 1985 Sprint at Aqueduct and Calidoscopio, winner of the 2012 Marathon at Santa Anita, both had been off 132 days before their wins.


Winners Came From All Over the Map to Triumph at Del Mar
Regional winners were well balanced at the 34rd Breeders’ Cup World Championships Friday and Saturday at Del Mar racetrack.

Horses based primarily in California, New York, Kentucky and Europe won three races with Florida-based Caledonia Road prevailing in the 14 Hands Winery Juvenile Fillies.

The California-based contingent was led by trainer Peter Miller’s two winners: Roy H in the TwinSpires Sprint and Stormy Liberal in the Turf Sprint. The other California-based winner was Battle of Midway in the Dirt Mile.

New York-based stables produced three winners, including two from the barn of trainer Chad Brown in Rushing Fall (Juvenile Fillies Turf) and Good Magic (Sentient Jet Juvenile). The John Kimmel-trained Bar of Gold won the Filly & Mare Sprint.

Kentucky was represented by winners Gun Runner (Classic), Forever Unbridled (Longines Distaff) and World Approval (Mile).

The European contingent grabbed three victories with Mendelssohn (Juvenile Turf) on Friday and Wuheida (Filly & Mare Turf) and Talismanic (Turf) on Saturday.

The post Odds And Ends: Smith Extends Jockey Lead; Breakthrough Wins For Trainers Miller, Kimmel, Nicks appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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