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Raven's Pass wins Breeders' Cup Classic in upset

Raven's Pass wins Breeders' Cup Classic in upset

Raven's Pass spoiled Curlin's bid for a second consecutive Breeders' Cup Classic by winning the $5 million (euro4 million) race by 1 3/4 lengths on Santa Anita's new synthetic surface on Saturday.
The defending champion, who had never raced on such a surface, wound up fourth.
Britain-based Raven's Pass capped a day of long-shot upsets at the championships, with European-based horses winning five of nine races. Seven of the winners were long shots.
Garrett Gomez had a big afternoon, too, becoming the first jockey to win three races in one day in the event. He also won the Filly & Mare Turf on Friday.
On the track, the richest two days in American thoroughbred racing went off without incident, surely relieving Breeders' Cup officials who were mindful of Eight Belles' fatal breakdown after this year's Kentucky Derby and George Washington being euthanized on the track after last year's Classic.
Trainers Bob Baffert and John Gosden were double-winners on Saturday, while jockey Frankie Dettori rode two winners on Saturday and jockey Mike Smith won two on Friday.
Among owners, Darley Stable claimed three victories, while Princess Haya of Jordan shared in two, including the Classic.
Raven's Pass won in his first race on a synthetic surface, something the Breeders' Cup tried for the first time in its 25-year history. The event returns to Santa Anita next year.
It was a new experience for 4-5 favorite Curlin, too. More than $1 million (euro790,000) was wagered on the reigning U.S. Horse of the Year to win, an amount so huge the tote board couldn't display it.
Raven's Pass ran 1 1/4 miles (2,000 meters) in a track record 1:59.27 under Dettori, who twice delighted the crowd with his trademark flying dismount in the winner's circle.
Sent off at 13-1 odds, Raven's Pass paid $29, $15.80 and $8.
Henrythenavigator, also based in Europe, returned $22 and $11.20, while Tiago was another three-quarters of a length back in third and paid $7 to show.
Under Robby Albarado, Curlin left the starting gate near the back of the pack, while Casino Drive from Japan took the lead.
Entering the final turn, Albarado asked Curlin to pick up the pace and he responded with an explosive move. The crowd of 51,331 roared as Curlin flashed into contention, taking a narrow lead at the top of the straight.
As soon as Curlin moved, though, Raven's Pass was hot on his tail and went by North America's all-time leading money earner.
The only remaining challenge came from Henrythenavigator, who found room on the inside to finish second. Tiago also went by Curlin to finish third.
Go Between was fifth, Colonel John sixth , Smooth Air seventh and Champs Elysees eighth, followed by Duke of Marmalade, Fairbanks, Student Council and Casino Drive.
Baffert saddled Midshipman to a 1 1/4-length win in the $2 million (euro1.6 million) Juvenile, then watched Midnight Lute defend his title in the $2 million (euro1.6 million) Sprint by 1 3/4 lengths.
Named for recently retired University of Arizona basketball coach Lute Olson, the 5-year-old ran six furlongs in 1:07.08 and paid $7.40 to win.
"I've always been bragging on him, but today he showed what a great horse he is," Baffert said. "I've never seen a horse like this. He's the best horse I've ever trained."
Gomez rode both horses, along with Albertus Maximus in the $1 million (euro790,000) Dirt Mile.
Midshipman became the winter book favorite for the Kentucky Derby, a race Baffert has won three times but not since 2002 with War Emblem.
Bred by NFL Houston Texans owner Bob McNair and owned by Darley Stable, Midshipman has won 3 of 4 career starts. He paid $9.20 after running 1 1-16 miles (1,700 meters) in 1:40.94, a stakes record on the synthetic surface on which Baffert's stable has struggled.
Ireland-bred Conduit won the $3 million (euro2.4 million) Turf by 1 1/2 lengths in an upset for trainer Sir Michael Stoute's fourth Breeders' Cup career victory, including his third in the Turf. Favored Ireland-bred filly Goldikova won the $2 million (euro1.6 million) Mile by 1 1/4 lengths, making Frenchman Freddy Head became the first man to train and ride a Breeders' Cup winner. He rode Miesque to victories in the Mile in 1987 and '88.
Desert Code, a 36-1 shot, won the $1 million (euro790,000) Turf Sprint; Ireland-bred gelding Muhannak captured the $500,000 (euro400,000) Marathon at 12-1 odds; and Britain-bred gelding Donativum won the $1 million (euro790,000) Juvenile Turf under Dettori.


Updated : 2021-04-23 14:51 GMT+08:00