Claire’s Honor Wins Breeders’ Cup
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) _ Claire’s Honor, a 23-1 outsider, set the early pace and then withstood a challenge from Soviet Line to post a nose victory in the $286,500 Grade III Firecracker Breeders’ Cup for 3-year-olds and up at Churchill Downs on Sunday.
In a $66,120 allowance race, Touch Gold, who won last year’s Belmont Stakes to end the Triple Crown bid of Silver Charm, returned from nearly an eight-month layoff to beat Truckee by 2 3/4 lengths.
Ridden by Pat Day, the 4-year-old son of Deputy Minister took the lead a quarter of a mile into the race and covered the mile in 1:34, just one-fifth of a second off the track record.
The victory was the second in a row for Claire’s Honor as the 4-year-old gelded son of Iron Courage covered the mile on a firm turf course in 1:35 4-5. Ridden by Tony D’Amico, Claire’s Honor paid $48, $20.40 and $9.20.
Soviet Line, who won this race last year, moved between horses at the top of the stretch then narrowly missed repeating. He paid $6.60 and $5.20.
Optic Nerve finished another three-quarters length back in third and paid $10.20.
Lasting Approval, the even-money favorite, closed from last on the final turn to finish fifth in the field of nine.
Owned by the Mereworth Farm and trained by Mike Tamarro, Claire’s Honor earned $177,690 to more than double his lifetime winnings to $253,772. The victory was his third in five starts on the turf and second at Churchill Downs.