The first of four championship turf races on Saturday was the $2 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) with 14 older fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles out of the infield chute of the firm Jimmy Durante turf course at Del Mar. Last year's runner-up Lady Eli was sent off as the 3-2 favorite off wins in the Diana (G1) and Ballston Spa (G2). In to challenge her included 11-2 second choice Rhododendron, winner of the Prix de l'Opera (G1) at Chantilly, and 11-1 third choice Wuheida, fourth in her last 2 starts, the Matron (G1) at Leopardstown and the Prix de l'Opera (G1).
Wuheida leads down the stretch
38-1 Zipessa led the field out of the chute and around the clubhouse turn through fractions of 23.86, 47.50, and 1:11.42 while stalked by 19-1 Avenge and Wuheida. Entering the stretch jockey William Buick sent Wuheida to lead through 1 mile in 1:35.87. Wuheida easily held off late-running Rhododendron by a length in 1:47.91. It was another 3/4 length back to 11-1 Cambodia third, while Lady Eli was 7th.
Wuheida wins the Filly and Mare Turf
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
5 Wuheida Buick 24.40 12.40 8.60
14 Rhododendron Moore 9.40 6.80
6 Cambodia Van Dyke 6.80
Winning Time: 1:47.91
$1 Exacta 5-14 86.70
$1 Trifecta 5-14-6 1,058.40
$1 Superfecta 5-14-6-7 8,635.90
Left: Wuheida heads to the winner's circle. Winning jockey William Buick said, "She's a push-button ride. I could send her forward from the gate and get her into a nice rhythm, and the trip was never a concern. I was very happy throughout and I had plenty of horse and I could go where I wanted. It was a case of don't get too excited and don't go too soon."
Right: The trophy presentation for the Filly and Mare Turf. Winning trainer Charlie Appleby said, "I was delighted from the get-go. The fractions all looked right and William got everything spot on. I'd love to train her as a four-year-old. For me, she can only get better as she gets older and strengthens into her frame."
Left: Wuheida in the post parade. Joe Osborne of Godolphin Racing said, "She seems to be blooming since she got here. The sunshine and the weather suits her. She's a lovely filly, she's obviously been training well and looking well. So thankfully she ran accordingly."
Right: Wuheida heads back to the barn in her winner's blanket.
Second place finisher Rhododendron returns after the race. Jockey Ryan Moore said, "They didn't go quick enough. She rolled a bit in the straight, but she is very brave." Trainer Aidan O'Brien added, "It's always tougher from a wide draw, but she ran well and I'm delighted with her."
Right: Third place finisher Cambodia heads out to the track before the race. Trainer Jockey Drayden Van Dyke said, "I had a perfect trip. No excuses. She ran great."
Left: Seventh place finisher and beaten favorite Lady Eli in the post parade. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. said, "Going into the first turn out of the chute she got a little bump and got rank. She was a little keen and I had to fight a little bit with her. After that I had a good trip. She didn't give me that same kick in the end." Trainer Chad Brown added, "Irad said he got bumped pretty hard on the first turn and he dropped in. Then he got a little cover and then it seemed like she got him from behind again but she did have some clear run. She had a rough trip and did have clear spots to run and she just didn't have it today. I don't know if all the bumping discouraged her or she just didn't have from some reason today. She's never done that before obviously. It's quite a surprise to me, it's unfortunate but that's horse racing."
Right: The fillies and mares make the turn out of the chute onto the main track shortly after the start.
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.