Unrivaled Belle held off a late charge by favorite Blind Luck to win the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic.
The Bill Mott-trained filly, ridden by Kent Desormeaux, covered the 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.04 yesterday on the first day of the Breeders’ Cup Championships at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Blind Luck was second and Havre De Grace was third.
“She made an explosive move around the turn leaving the three-eighths pole and just took the lead away from everybody,” Mott said. “I just have to give Kent the credit. He pulled the trigger and it worked out. We opened up on the field and left them in her dust.”
Unrivaled Belle returned $17 to win on a $2 bet, $5.80 to place and $4.20 to show.
Attendance increased by 10.5 percent to 41,614 over the same day last year at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. Wagering on the six Breeders’ Cup races yesterday reached more than $45 million, compared with $40 million last year.
“This is a very encouraging start for the event with excellent support in the local market as we head into Zenyatta’s quest for perfection on Saturday,” said Breeders’ Cup Chief Executive Officer Greg Avioli.
The $5 million Classic, the richest thoroughbred horse race in North America, highlights the second day of racing today as Zenyatta attempts to extend her undefeated streak to a record 20 wins. Goldikova will be looking for an unprecedented third straight victory in the mile on turf. There are eight races today.
Shared Account, a 46-1 longshot with no wins in four Grade I starts, won the $2 million Filly and Mare Turf yesterday to claim the second-biggest upset in the Breeders’ Cup’s 27-year history over European favorite Midday. The filly gave jockey Edgar Prado and owner Kevin Plank, the founder of Under Armour Inc., their first wins in the turf race.
“Once she saw the clear, she kept grinding,” Prado said. “I think she really wanted to win today.”
Shared Account, trained by Graham Motion, paid $94 to win, $21.80 to place and $15.20 to show.
After the 1 ¾-mile Marathon, the first of six championship races yesterday, three-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Calvin Borel and Javier Castellano got into a brawl.
The fight was sparked when Castellano pulled his mount, Prince Will I Am, into the path of other horses near the top of the home stretch with Borel, aboard A.U. Miner, among those affected. Stewards disqualified Prince Will I Am from his second-place finish for interference.
Eldaafer won the $500,000 race, with Gabriel’s Hill moved up to second and A.U. Miner third.
Restaurateur and network food correspondent Bobby Flay’s More Than Real, running at 13-1, won the $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf over one mile.
“This is obviously the biggest win I’ve ever had in horse racing by a magnitude of a thousand,” Flay said. “I knew that she was running really well. She got clear, and I was just hoping that somebody wouldn’t come from behind and catch us.”
More Than Real was trainer Todd Pletcher’s fourth Breeders’ Cup victory.
In the $2 million Juvenile Fillies, Awesome Feather gave trainer Stanley Gold and jockey Jeffrey Sanchez victories in their Breeders’ Cup debuts.
Dubai Majesty, ridden by Jamie Theriot and trained by William Bret Calhoun, won the $909,000 Filly and Mare Sprint over seven furlongs.