The $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) featured a full field of 14 older fillies and mares sprinting 7 furlongs on the main track. Unique Bella was sent off as the 11-10 favorite, undefeated in 4 starts this year including the L.A. Woman (G3) last out at Santa Anita. In to challenge her included 6-1 second choice Skye Diamonds, winner of the Rancho Bernardo (G3) and 8-1 third choice Finley'sluckycharm, winner of the Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes (G2) at Keeneland.
Bar of Gold rallied on the outside of Ami's Mesa down the stretch.
Mike Smith sent Skye Diamonds to the front exiting the chute through fractions of 21.84 and 44.35 while pressed by 87-1 Princess Karen and stalked by 19-1 Finest City. Entering the lane Unique Bella tired as 18-1 Ami's Mesa, 7th early under Luis Contreras, moved up to gain a short lead through 3/4 in 1:09.56. 66-1 Bar of Gold, 12th early under Irad Ortiz Jr., came out wide for room and caught Ami's Mesa at the line for the win by a nose in 1:22.63. It was a length back to 20-1 Carina Mia third, while Unique Bella was 7th.
Bar of Gold wins the Filly and Mare Sprint.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show330
5 Bar of Gold Ortiz Jr. 135.40 44.20 21.60
14 Ami's Mesa Contreras 16.20 11.00
1 Carina Mia Castellano 11.00
Winning Time: 1:22.63
$1 Exacta 5-14 1,030.20
$1 Trifecta 5-14-1 13,853.50
$1 Superfecta 5-14-1-12 176,369.50
Left: Bar of Gold in the winner's circle. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. said, "I got a perfect trip. She broke good, put me in good position and I just saved her. She made a good run on the inside and when I took her to the outside, she responded pretty good."
Right: The trophy presentation for the Filly and Mare Sprint. Trainer John Kimmel said, "We knew it was in there somewhere. She pulled it out at the right moment. She's brushed on greatness a few times, and she's gotten better as the years have gone on. Her last race (Juddmonte Spinster at Keeneland) was weird. At the track it had been raining all day and she really didn't break sharp and was wide. It was really just a throw-out. We were all confused about whether we were going to come out here, but then we got her back to New York (from Kentucky) and she had a couple of breezes that were really impressive."
Bar of Gold warms up before the race. Kimmel added, "Irad said she felt great. I wouldn't have come out here if Irad couldn't ride the horse, so when he told me he was open, I said ‘Let's go. Let's give it a shot.' She is getting to the end of her career and here we are. I've always liked horses cutting back in distance, especially in a sprint, and a seven-eighths sprint. I've won the Test a couple of times with that tactic. She showed up today, and Irad gave her a great, great trip."
Right: Bar of Gold heads back to the barn with her new winner's blanket. Winning owner-breeder Chester Broman said, "You can breed any kind of horse in New York, you don't have to be in Kentucky to breed a winner. They're cold-weather horses. The horse was capable of his kind of quality racing so we might as well give it a try."
Left: Second place finisher Ami's Mesa returns after the race. Trainer Josie Carroll said, "I thought for a while that we were going to get it, but I could see that other horse coming. I just hoped she had enough left in the tank. She's a gutsy filly. She fought that filly and just got out-nodded. This is a gutsy filly that gave it all and you can't ask for more than that." Jockey Luis Contreras added, "It was a really tough beat but she tried so hard. I just gave her a good trip. She was traveling perfect. She switched leads and I made my move. I tried to save as much as I could and she just got beat by a nose. That's racing, right?"
Right: Third place finisher Carina Mia in the post parade. Jockey Javier Castellano said, "She did everything right. She split horses. She ran hard. I just wish I had a better post. In the one hole you have to use a little bit to get a good spot, but she ran great."
Seventh place finisher and beaten favorite Unique Bella returns after the race. Jockey Mike Smith said, "She went so quick early. I guess it was too much to ask (today). She never really folded though. If I could have done something different, maybe I would have taken back a little farther, but the game plan was to go. At the top of the stretch, I was done."
2017 Breeders' Cup Friday - There were four Breeders' Cup races on Friday at Del Mar headlined by the Distaff (G1) where Forever Unbridled held off Abel Tasman to win by a half length. Also on the card, Rushing Fall won the Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), Battle of Midway won the Dirt Mile (G1), and Mendelssohn won the Juvenile Turf (G1). Get the results, charts, and photos for all 8 stakes on the card. More photos: Juvenile Turf -
Juvenile Fillies Turf - Dirt Mile - Distaff
2017 Breeders' Cup Entries - Entries closed Monday and post positions were drawn for the 13 Breeders' Cup Championship races on November 3 and 4 at Del Mar. The Classic will have a field of 11 with Gun Runner in post 5 the 9-5 favorite over Arrogate in post 1 at 2-1.
Review: Crushing the Cup 2017 - by Jim Mazur and Peter Mallett. An invaluable tool for trying to unlock the mysteries of handicapping the Breeders' Cup races at Del Mar. Updated for 2017, this is their 26th anniversary edition and first for Del Mar.
The Breeders' Cup Championship Day - The official page for the Breeders' Cup championship races. Just about anything you need to know about it: results, video clips, and race calls for past years, and eventually nominations, entries, and results.
Free Prep Replays - for major prep races in the Breeders' Cup Challenge. The ones with camera logos have video available.
Breeders' Cup Supplemental Entries - The old official policy on supplemental entries plus all the supplemental entries and how they fared, mostly it was a losing proposition. There are no more supplements now, only late nominations making it impossible to track since the change.