The Latest: Forever Unbridled wins Breeders’ Cup Distaff
DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the Breeders’ Cup (all times local):
There’s been an upset in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff.
Forever Unbridled, a 7-2 shot, held off Abel Tasman to win by a half-length on Friday at Del Mar.
Ridden by John Velazquez, Forever Unbridled ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.25 and paid $9.40, $5 and $3.40.
Abel Tasman returned $5.40 and $3.60, while Paradise Woods paid $3.80 to show.
Elate, the 2-1 favorite, finished fourth in the eight-horse field.
It was trainer Dallas Stewart’s second career Cup victory. He won the Distaff with Unbridled Elaine in 2001. Velazquez earned his 14th victory. Forever Unbridled finished third in last year’s Distaff at Santa Anita.
The 5-year-old bay mare came into the Distaff off a 73-day layoff, and now she’s won three races in a row.
The strongest of European connections has prevailed in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf as Mendelssohn rallied after a rail-skimming trip to outsprint 13 rivals and win by a length.
Trained by Aidan O’Brien, Mendelssohn went off a tepid 9-2 favorite and paid $11.60, $8.40 and $5.60. He ran one mile on turf in 1:35.97 under jockey Ryan Moore on Friday at Del Mar.
It was Mendelssohn’s first U.S. race after posting a win and a second in four starts in England and Ireland.
For O’Brien, the victory was his 12th in the Breeders’ Cup. Moore earned his ninth Cup victory.
In a race featuring six 2-year-old fillies hailing from Europe and eight from the U.S., Mendelssohn wrestled the lead from Sands of Mali just past the eighth pole and drew clear late.
U.S.-based Untamed Domain came widest of all into the stretch to finish second, a half-length ahead of Voting Control. Untamed Domain paid $11 and $7 and Voting Control returned $6.20.
Longshot Battle of Midway prevailed by a half-length after dueling with Sharp Azteca through the stretch in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.
A 14-1 shot ridden by Flavien Prat, Battle of Midway collared the frontrunning Sharp Azteca at the top of the stretch but was able to get the better of that one in the final strides to return $30.40, $11.40 and $8.20.
The 3-year-old Kentucky-bred colt trained by Jerry Hollendorfer won for the fifth time in 10 starts this year, covering the distance in 1:35.20. Battle of Midway finished third in the Kentucky Derby in May.
The race proved a rocky start to the weekend for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. His two horses — 2-1 favorite Mor Spirit and Cupid — finished eighth and last in the field of 10.
The victory was Prat’s second in a Cup race. Hollendorfer now has three career Cup victories.
Sharp Azteca returned $4.80 and $4. Awesome Slew was another 4 1/4 lengths back in third and paid $7 to show.
Rushing Fall has won the $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf by three-quarters of a length to begin Breeders’ Cup weekend at Del Mar.
The season-ending world championships worth over $28 million opened with four races Friday under partly sunny skies in 68-degree conditions near the Pacific Ocean.
Sent off at 3-1 odds, Rushing Fall ran one mile on turf in 1:36.09 and paid $8, $4.60 and $3.40. Trainer Chad Brown won the race for the second straight year. It was his ninth career Cup victory.
Jockey Javier Castellano earned his eighth career victory.
Best Performance returned $11.80 and $7.80, while Ireland-bred September was another length back in third.
Ireland-bred Happily, the 2-1 favorite, finished last in the field of 14.
The sun is out at the beach, and money and liquor are flowing ahead of the first Breeders’ Cup race at Del Mar near San Diego.
The track “Where the Turf Meets the Surf” that was founded by crooner Bing Crosby is hosting the world championships for the first time. Fans are forking over $20 for mixed drinks and lining up at the betting windows.
A small section of the infield includes a sandy beach where fans are sitting at umbrella tables near the rail in 68-degree weather.
High-end souvenirs available include Waterford crystal.
Stellar Wind is taking her third and final crack at winning the $2 million Distaff, the signature race on opening day of the Breeders’ Cup.
The 5-2 favorite is headed into retirement after Friday’s race at Del Mar, the seaside track north of San Diego that is hosting the two-day world championships for the first time.
Stellar Wind lost by a neck in her first try in the Distaff in 2015. Last year, she finished fourth. Her trainer, John Sadler, is looking to end his 0 for 39 skid at the Breeders’ Cup.
Other Breeders’ Cup races to be run on Day 1 are the Juvenile Fillies Turf, the Dirt Mile and the Juvenile Turf. All are worth $1 million.
Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has two shots in the Dirt Mile, with 3-1 Mor Spirit and 8-1 Cupid.