The $2 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) with 14 older fillies and mares going 1 3/8 miles around 3 turns of the Matt Winn turf course at Churchill Downs. Nassau (G1) and Prix de l'Opera (G1) winner Wild Illusion was sent off as the 11-4 favorite. In to challenge her included 3-1 second choice Sistercharlie, winner of the Diana Stakes (G1) and Beverly D Stakes (G1), and 9-2 third choice Fourstarcrook, runner-up in the Beverly D before winning the Flower Bowl Stakes (G1).
Sistercharlie rallies on the outside down the stretch with Wild Illusion in the center and A Raving Beauty on the rail.
11-1 A Raving Beauty was sent to lead by Javier Castellano through very slow fractions of 26.20, 51.81, 1:18.56, and 1:43.98 over the good going while pressed by 11-2 Magic Wand and stalked by 37-1 Princess Yaiza. A Raving Beauty opened up by 1 1/2 lengths midstretch through 1 1/4 miles in 2:08.57, but Sistercharlie, 8th early under John Velazquez, came out 7 wide for room and rallied to outfinish Wild Illusion by a neck in 2:20.96. It was another 3/4 length back to A Raving Beauty third.
Left: Sistercharlie in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Chad Brown, celebrating his 4th Filly and Mare Turf victory said, "She’s all class this horse and she knows where the wire is. She showed her heart there in the last stages. Our game plan changed a little bit because Thais was in there to ensure a solid pace and her standing in the gate that long must have just caused her to break bad and she never did see the front."
Right: The trophy presentation for the Filly and Mare Turf. Winning owner Peter Brant, whose last Breeders' Cup winner was Gulch in the 1988 Sprint said, "I see that the game has changed somewhat and you try to make the necessary changes in your program to do that, and I think first and foremost was to associate with Chad who is a great trainer and focused on his stable and his operation and spending a lot of time with him I see it so clearly. He's a really great trainer and one of the greats ever."
Left: Sistercharlie races in 8th position first time by. Winning jockey John Velazquez said, "We broke well and got a good position. They kind of bunched up in there to get to the first turn and then everyone started to crowd up because the pace wasn’t very fast. I liked where I was. She relaxed well where I was and was moving well past the wire the first time. From there I just bided my time with her. I followed (Wild Illusion) and she won."
Right: Sistercharlie heads back to the barn in her winner's blanket. Brown added, "I still wasn't comfortable with any of my horses being right down on the fence. Other than that it's out of our hands. It's another compliment on Sistercharlie, she really prefers firmer ground than she ran on today and for her to overcome that and run on ground that is not her favorite and still have the heart and determination and the class to prevail is just another remarkable feat of hers."
Second place finisher Wild Illusion returns after the race. Trainer Charlie Appleby said, "I’m delighted with her run. She’s run a fantastic race and has lost nothing in defeat. Coming into the race we felt that (Sistercharlie) was the one we all had to beat, so full credit to Chad and his team on their win. Our horse is a consistent Grade 1 performer, but I feel 1 1/4 is really her ideal trip. All three of mine have performed this weekend, so I’m delighted with how everything has gone."
Right: Third place finisher A Raving Beauty in the post parade. Trainer Chad Brown said, "She ran terrific. I’m very proud of her. She managed to stay the whole mile and three-eighths. Good filly, that horse."
First time by in the Filly and Mare Sprint with A Raving Beauty on the lead and Sistercharlie back in 8th. Javier Castellano aboard A Raving Beauty said, "I am very proud of her. We set a slow pace as we galloped along on the lead. I was surprised no one put any pressure on me. I rode the filly the way I was hoping for today. Those were two good horses that beat me but I am very proud of my filly."
Saturday at the Breeders' Cup - Saturday had 9 Grade 1 Championship races, headlined by the Breeders' Cup Classic won by favorite Accelerate over Gunnevera and Thunder Snow. Also on the card, Enable won the Turf, Monomoy Girl won the Distaff, Expert Eye won the Mile, Roy H repeated in the Sprint, Sistercharlie won the Filly & Mare Turf, City of Light won the Dirt Mile, Stormy Liberal repeated in the Turf Sprint, and Shamrock Rose won the Filly & Mare Sprint. Get the results, charts, and photos here. More photos: Classic - Turf - Distaff - Mile - Sprint - F/M Turf - Dirt Mile - Turf Sprint - F/M Sprint
Breeders' Cup Weather - Check out the latest weather forecasts for the Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs. Looks rainy and cold right now.
Review: Crushing the Cup 2018 - by Jim Mazur and Peter Mallett. An invaluable tool for trying to unlock the mysteries of handicapping the Breeders' Cup races at Churchill Downs. Updated for 2018, this is their 27th anniversary edition and seventh for Churchill Downs.
2017 Breeders' Cup Wrap Up - Records set, statistics, first-time winning jockeys and trainers, how previous winners finished, and more for the 34th running of the Breeders' Cup at Del Mar.
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
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.