The 2020 Breeders’ Cup is now in the books, with the Bob Baffert trained Authentic likely wrapping up the Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year with his victory in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).
In a year disrupted by a worldwide pandemic with a Triple Crown series turned upside down, the Breeders’ Cup closed out the year at Keeneland with an exciting two days of action. We saw the coming out of future stars like Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Essential Quality and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner Vequist.
We saw fan favorites Monomoy Girl close out her career by winning the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) and the seven-year-old Whitmore win the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) in his fourth attempt.
Let’s look back at Saturday’s action:
Breeders’ Cup Classic: Authentic
Spendthrift Farm, MyRaceHorse.com, Madaket Stables and Starlight Racing’s Authentic ($10.40) went to the front out of the gate and never trailed as he held off his Bob Baffert-trained stablemate Improbable by 2 1/4 lengths to win the 37th running of the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) Saturday afternoon at Keeneland to cap off the 2020 Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
Authentic was clocked in 1:59.19 for the 1 ¼ miles, breaking the track record of 2:00.07 established by American Pharoah in his Classic victory.
For trainer Bob Baffert, it is his fourth Classic victory with all those wins coming with 3-year-olds: Bayern (2014), American Pharoah (2015) and Arrogate (2016). For jockey John Velazquez, it is his 18th Breeders’ Cup victory and first in the Classic.
Just as he did in his Kentucky Derby victory two months ago, Authentic and Velazquez shot to the front and led the field of 10 unopposed on the front end. On the far turn, Global Campaign made the first run at Authentic with Improbable looping up three wide.
In the stretch, Authentic expanded his lead and was well clear at the eighth pole and not threatened by Improbable who overtook Global Campaign by a length for second.
Global Campaign held third by 2 lengths over Tacitus, who was followed in order by Maximum Security, Tiz the Law, Title Ready, By My Standards, Tom’s d’Etat and Higher Power.
Now a three-time Grade 1 winner, Authentic is a 3-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Into Mischief out of the Mr. Greeley mare Flawless. The victory was worth $3,300,000 and boosted Authentic’s earnings to $6,371,200 with a record of 8-6-2-0.
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Breeders’ Cup Turf: Tarnawa
HH Aga Khan Studs’ Tarnawa (IRE) ($11.40), rallying widest of all in the stretch, drew clear late to post a 1-length victory over Magical (IRE) to win the 37th running of the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) Saturday afternoon at Keeneland.
Trained by Dermot Weld and ridden by Colin Keane, Tarnawa covered the 1 ½ miles on a firm turf course in 2:28.02. The victory is the first in the World Championships for Weld and Keane.
Channel Maker shot out to an uncontested lead while Tarnawa raced near the back of the 10-horse field. On the far turn, Keane angled Tarnawa to the outside and hit the top of the stretch eight wide as Channel Maker continued unopposed on the lead.
Tarnawa finally collared Channel Maker inside the sixteenth pole with Magical edging Channel Maker by a nose for second money.
A 4-year-old homebred daughter of Shamardal out of Cape Cross (IRE) mare Tarana (IRE), Tarnawa won her third consecutive Grade 1 race and improved her record to 14-8-2-2. Saturday’s winner’s check was $2,200,000 and boosted her earnings to $2,988,503.
Breeders’ Cup Distaff: Monomoy Girl
Michael Dubb, Monomoy Stables, The Elkstone Group and Bethlehem Stables’ Monomoy Girl ($4) moved to the front in the upper stretch and coasted to a 1 ¾- length victory in the 37th running of the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) Saturday afternoon at Keeneland.
In repeating her Longines Distaff victory from 2018 at Churchill Downs, Monomoy Girl covered the 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:47.84.
The victory gave trainer Brad Cox and jockey Florent Geroux their seventh Breeders’ Cup victories and second together in the Longines Distaff with Monomoy Girl. It is the fourth victory of the Championship weekend for Cox and second for Geroux.
Lady Kate and Harvest Moon went to the front shortly after the start with Monomoy Girl racing in the clear in fifth in the run down the backside. Geroux began to move up on the far turn and with clear running at the head of the stretch swept past Harvest Moon and had enough in the tank to hold off Valiance who took the place spot by a half-length over Dunbar Road.
A 5-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Tapizar out of the Henny Hughes mare Drumette, Monomoy Girl improved her record to 15-13-2-0 that includes six Grade 1 victories. The winner’s share of $1,100,000 boosted her earnings to $4,486,818.
Breeders’ Cup Mile: Order of Australia
Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Mrs. Anne Marie O’Brien’s Order of Australia (IRE) ($148.40), who drew into the race off the also-eligible list with the scratch of One Master (GB), surged to the front at the sixteenth pole and held off Circus Maximus (IRE) by a neck to win the 37th running of the $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile presented by PDJF (G1) Saturday afternoon at Keeneland.
Trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden by Pierre-Charles Boudot, Order of Australia covered the mile on a firm turf course in 1:33.73. For O’Brien, who trains the first three finishers, it is his 13th Breeders’ Cup victory but first in the Mile. For Boudot, it was his second World Championships winner of the afternoon having scored with Audarya (FR) in the Maker’s Mark Filly & Mare Turf.
Breaking from the outside post in the field of 14, Order of Australia raced in the clear through the first turn and down the backstretch in fourth place behind the pace set by Halladay and Factor This. In the stretch, Halladay disposed of Factor This but could not hold off the run by Order of Australia.
Circus Maximus finished three-quarters of a length in front of Lope Y Fernandez (IRE) who was a length in front of Ivar (BRZ).
The victory was worth $1,100,000 and increased Order of Australia’s earnings to $1,139,846 with a record of 8-3-0-1. It is his first stakes victory.
Breeders’ Cup Sprint: Whitmore
Robert LaPenta, trainer Ron Moquett and Head of Plains Partners’
Whitmore surged to the front at midstretch and cruised to a 3 ¼-length victory in the 37th running of the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) Saturday afternoon at Keeneland.
Ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., Whitmore covered the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:08.61. It is the first Breeders’ Cup victory for Moquett and 11th for Ortiz, first in the Sprint.
For Whitmore, it was his fourth start in the Sprint, Previously, he had finished eighth at Del Mar in 2017, second at Churchill Downs in 2018 and third last year at Santa Anita.
Longshots Jasper Prince and Empire of Gold dueled for the early lead as Whitmore raced near the back of the second flight of horses. At the head of the stretch, Whitmore found running room between horses, shifted to the outside and spurted clear of Empire of Gold at midstretch and not was not threatened in the run to the wire.
C Z Rocket got up for second, saving the place spot by a neck over Firenze Fire.
The 7-year-old Whitmore is a Kentucky-bred son of Pleasantly Perfect out of the Scat Daddy mare Melody’s Spirit. The victory was worth $1,100,000 and boosted his earnings to $4,307,850 with a record of 38-15-11-3. It is his second Grade 1 victory to go with a score in the 2018 Forego at Saratoga.
Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf: Audarya
Mrs. A.M. Swinburn’s Audarya (FR) ($37.60) gradually wore down favored Rushing Fall, surging to the front in the final yards to post a neck victory in the 22th running of the $2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) Saturday afternoon at Keeneland.
Trained by James Fanshawe and ridden by Pierre-Charles Boudot, Audarya covered the 1 3/16 miles on a firm turf course in a course-record 1:52.72. It was the first Breeders’ Cup win for Fanshawe and Boudot.
Cayenne Pepper set the pace with Mean Mary and Rushing Fall in closest pursuit. Approaching the halfmile pole, Boudot moved through on the inside to take fourth and tracked the leading trio to the top of the stretch where Cayenne Pepper gave way.
Boudot took Audarya off the rail at the head of the lane, swung three wide and gradually wore down Rushing Fall who had put Mean Mary away at the sixteenth pole. Harvey’s Lil Goil rallied to be third, a head in back of Rushing Fall.
Audarya is a 4-year-old daughter of Wootton Bassett (GB) out of the Green Tune mare Green Bananas (FR). The victory was worth $1,100,000 and improved Audarya’s earnings to $1,289,046 with a record of 13-5-4-1 that now includes two Grade 1 victories.
Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile: Knicks Go
Korea Racing Authority’s Knicks Go raced to the lead shortly after the start and romped to a 3 ½-length victory over Jesus’ Team in the 14th running of the $1 million Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) Saturday afternoon at Keeneland.
Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Joel Rosario, Knicks Go covered the mile on the fast track in 1:33.85 to break the track record of 1:34.54 established by Liam’s Map in winning this race in 2015. Knicks Go had established the track record for the 1 1/16 miles in a victory Oct. 4.
The victory was the third of the 2020 Championships for Cox and the second for Rosario. Overall, Cox has six Breeders’ Cup victories and his first in the Dirt Mile. Rosario has 12 Breeders’ Cup victories and two in the Dirt Mile having scored in 2010 at Churchill Downs on Dakota Phone.
Knicks Go raced unchallenged on the lead and at the top of the short stretch widened his advantage and had more than enough to fend off all challengers. Jesus’ Team rallied for second, grabbing the second spot by a nose over Sharp Samurai.
The victory is the second Grade 1 triumph at Keeneland for Knicks Go who won the Breeders’ Futurity in 2018. A 4-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Paynter out of the Outflanker mare Kosmo’s Buddy, Knicks Go added $550,000 to his bankroll that totals $1,378,995 with a record of 17-5-3-1.
Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint: Gamine
Michael Lund Petersen’s Gamine ($4.20) surged past pacesetting Serengeti Empress at the three-sixteenths pole and drew off by 6 ¼ lengths to win the 14th running of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) Saturday afternoon at Keeneland in the first of nine
World Championships races.
Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by John Velazquez, Gamine covered the 7 furlongs on a fast main track in a track-record 1:20.20. That clocking shattered the mark of 1:21.32 established in 2014 by Taris.
The victory is the 16th Breeders’ Cup triumph for Baffert and 17th for Velazquez, but the first in the Filly & Mare Sprint for either.
Serengeti Empress was quickest out of the gate setting fractions of :21.77 and :44.27 as Gamine tracked her in second and to her outside. On the far turn, Gamine began to move closer and by the top of the stretch the two were on even terms but not for long.
Serengeti Empress saved the place spot by a nose over Bell’s the One who had a half-length advantage over fourth-place Sconsin.
The victory was worth $550,000 and improved Gamine’s earnings to $1,033,000 with a record of 6-4-0-1.
It is the third Grade 1 victory for the 3-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Into Mischief out of the Kafwain mare Peggy Jane.
Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint: Glass Slippers
Bearstone Stud Limited’s Glass Slippers (GB) ($22.40) weaved her
way through horses in midstretch and then held off a late bid from Wet Your Whistle by a half-length to win the 13th running of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) Saturday afternoon at Keeneland.
Trained by Kevin Ryan and ridden by Tom Eaves, Glass Slippers covered the 5 1/2 furlongs on a turf course rated as good in 1:01.53. It is the first Breeders’ Cup victory for Ryan and Eaves.
Into Mystic and Texas Wedge set the pace while Eaves saved ground along the rail until the stretch. At midstretch, he moved Glass Slippers off the rail, split horses in surging to the front and held on for the victory.
Wet Your Whistle finished a half-length in front of Leinster for second.
The victory was worth $550,000 and made Glass Slippers a millionaire with earnings of $1,153,796 with a record of 17-7-3-1. It is the third Grade or Group 1 victory for the 4-year-old daughter of Dream Ahead out of the Mind Games (GB) mare Night Gypsy (GB).