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Wayne Lordan celebrates aboard Iridessa after the Filly and Mare Turf.
The $2 million Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) featured 10 older fillies and mares going 1 1/4 miles out of the downhill turf chute at Santa Anita Park. Defending champion and Flower Bowl (G1) winner Sistercharlie was sent off as the 4-5 favorite in the field of 10 over 9-2 Vasilika, 3rd in the First Lady (G1) after winning the John C. Mabee (G2),and 10-1 Fanny Logan, winner of the Darley Pride Stakes (G3).
Iridessa rallies on the outside down the stretch with Vasilika on the inside (yellow and green) and Sistercharlie back in third (orange and white cap).
15-1 Mirth sped away from the field under jockey Mike Smith cutting fractions of 23.45, 46.45, and 1:09.68 while as many as 9 lengths ahead of Vasilika, in turn 3 lengths ahead of 13-1 Iridessa sitting third. Turning for home Mirth continued to lead through 1 mile in 1:34.15 before tiring. Iridessa, confidently ridden by Wayne Lordan, rallied by and outfinished Vasilika to win by a neck in 1:57.77, just 0.61 seconds off the course record. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to favorite Sistercharlie third.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 1 Iridessa Lordan 28.40 11.20 5.00 7 Vasilika Prat 5.40 3.20 2 Sistercharlie Velazquez 2.20 Winning Time: 1:57.77 $1 Exacta 1-7 65.50 $1 Trifecta 1-7-2 148.30 $1 Superfecta 1-7-2-12 1,174.50Results chart
Left: Iridessa in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Joseph O'Brien, being the youngest trainer to win a Breeders' Cup race at 26 said, "That was fantastic. Wayne gave her a great ride and got into a really nice position early on. I've got a great team back home that work for me. This is unbelievable. She's always done very well. She doesn't win every start, but it's hard to expect a horse to win every start. Eight and ten furlongs we stopped and changed a bit. She runs consistently well in all the big races."
Right: The trophy presentation for the Filly and Mare Turf. Bill Dwan, racing manager for winning owner Mrs. C.C. Regalado-Gonzalez said, "She's interesting in that she's bred by Joseph's mom, Anne Marie, and we purchased her after she won her maiden on behalf of the owners. And we've been lucky from buying there before because we also bought Qualify from the same breeder. So it's been very lucky for us. She won very impressively. You never know how good they are, but she's a very good-looking filly. And she impressed her maiden. And thankfully it's all worked out."
Left: Iridessa races in 3rd position 4 1/2 lengths back first time by. Winning jockey Wayne Lordan said, "Unbelievable feeling. She was so tough to dig deep and hold on. It was some performance. The best thing about riding for Joseph, he gives you instructions, but he never ties you down, and just he told me: Get my filly comfortable. So sitting third or fourth was my ideal position. And once she was comfortable, I was happy. We've been through strong gallop the whole way, but I knew if I got her comfortable for the first half, she would finish out well. And that's the way it worked out."
Right: Iridessa heads back to the barn in her winner's blanket.
Second place finisher Vasilika exits the tunnel from the paddock. Trainer Dan Ward said, "What a fantastic race. He rode her perfect. He had her relaxed the whole way. They weren't gaining ground on the turf so he felt like he had to be out closer (than where she usually is farther off the pace) and just put her where she was comfortable and she did not give up. She's done everything we've asked from her since the day we got her (as a claim). She's a super horse." Jockey Flavien Prat added, "No excuses. It's always disappointing to get beat by a neck, but she ran her race."
Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Sistercharlie (2) returns with Vasilika (7) after the race. Trainer Chad Brown said, "Johnny (Velazquez) said it might have been a little too firm for her. They weren't really coming back today. But, not a bad trip. I loved her spot on the first turn. She ran a great race. I think the two horses who finished ahead of her ran outstanding. I don't have any major excuses other than it seems like it's a pretty firm turf and if you're not in the mix turning for home it's going to be hard to win on it. This was her first time running here and this might not be her course. Not taking anything away from the top two runners. They were really finishing through the wire."
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