The Breeders’ Cup continued Saturday to face fallout from Friday’s final race though the last day of the championships ran smoothly leading up to Knicks Go’s victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Knicks Go won going away, in 01:59.57, with 2 ¾-length victory over Medina Spirit, this year’s disputed Kentucky Derby champion. The favored Essential Quality followed in third.
Jockey Joel Rosario, aboard the thoroughbred, won his second race of the weekend in Del Mar and 15th overall in the Breeders’ Cup.
Knicks Go also became the sixth horse to win two different Breeders’ Cup races, adding the Classic to his win in last year’s Dirt Mile.
“He broke, was able to establish position early,” said trainer Brad Cox. “Once he was able to do that, he’s a hard horse to catch.”
Knicks Go record improved to 24-10-3-1, while the winner’s share of $3.1 million increased his earnings to almost $8.7 million.
Meanwhile, explanations continued regarding Friday’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, won by Modern Games.
In a joint statement released by the Breeders’ Cup, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and the California Horse Racing Board, officials laid out a timeline for the events that led to Modern Games being scratched, then re-instated, a move that left bettors in the lurch.
Following a mishap at the gate, a track veterinarian, Dr. Chuck Jenkins, recommended that Modern Games be scratched, and stewards complied, at 5:35 p.m. After further assessment, he was re-instated in the race, but improperly into betting pools.
According to state regulations, Modern Games could run for purse money only at that point. Wagers on him were subject to refund or consolation payment. But Del Mar continued to take bets on the horse.
“Due to a miscommunication between the stewards and the Del Mar mutuels department, Modern Games was reinserted into the pari-mutuel wagering pools at (5:37 p.m.),” according to the release.
There was a lag of almost seven minutes before the error was corrected. The race began at 5:47 p.m.
As a result of the review, the parties said “injury management communications protocols” will be modified so that another track veterinarian, Dr. Dana Stead, makes final determinations about recommended scratches at the starting gate, and holds “sole authority” to communicate them to stewards.
Bettors and those who sympathized with them vented their spleen on on social media, with racehorse owner Darin Zoccali noting that Friday’s headline should be “Modern Games scores a $1 Million triumph for his owners and the bettors are left holding the bag.”
Another observer, Paula Marie wrote, “People got mugged by both the CHRB & Breeders Cup. Do you all just hate fans & the bettors?”
Saturday’s race results include:
Breeders’ Cup Turf
Yibir rallied for a half-length victory over Broome to win the 38th running of the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf for 3-year-olds and up.
Trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by William Buick, Yibir covered the 1 ½ miles on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course in 2:25.90, establishing a course record.
It is the third victory of the weekend for Appleby and Buick who combined to win on Friday with Modern Games and earlier Saturday with Space Blues.
Broome swept past Teona at mid-stretch, only to be run down in the final 50 yards by Yibir. Teona finished third.
The victory, worth $2 million, increased Yibir’s earnings to almost $2.9 million, with a record of 12-6-1-2.
Breeders’ Cup Sprint
Aloha West, sixth entering the stretch, rallied on the far outside to edge Dr. Schivel by a nose to win the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint for 3-year-olds and up.
Trained by Wayne Catalano and ridden by Jose Ortiz, Aloha West covered six furlongs on a fast main track in 1:08.49. It is the fourth Breeders’ Cup victory for Catalano and fifth for Ortiz. Ortiz won his second race of the weekend.
Heavily favored Jackie’s Warrior dueled for the lead early with Special Reserve and Matera Sky, as Dr. Schivel was in fourth and Aloha West, last.
Then, Dr. Schivel swept past Jackie’s Warrior and Special Reserve to open a daylight margin, before Aloha West slipped by.
The victory, worth $1 million, increased Aloha West’s earnings to $1.3 million, with a record of 9-5-2-0.
Breeders’ Cup Distaff
U. Carrot Farm’s Marche Lorraine, in what was called “a giant upset,” edged Dunbar Road by a nose to win the 38th running of the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff for fillies and mares.
Trained by Yoshito Yahagi and ridden by Oisin Murphy, Marche Lorraine covered the 1 1/8 miles on the main track in 1:47.67. It was the second victory of the afternoon for Yahagi, who saddled Loves Only You to win the Filly and Mare Turf.
Murphy logged his first Breeders’ Cup victory.
Private Mission led a wild scramble for the early lead, among a group that included the favored Letruska.
As the field approached the far turn, Marche Lorraine left them behind, surging to the front in the middle of the track with Dunbar Road and Malathaat on her inside.
The victory was worth $1 million and improved her earnings to $2.8 million, with a record of 21-9-2-2.
Malathaat finished third, with Letruska far behind in 10th in the 11-horse field.
Saturday’s other Breeders’ Cup results:
Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint – Ce Ce, Edgeway, Gamine.
Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint – Golden Pal, Lieutenant Dan, Charmaine’s Mia
Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile – Life is Good, Ginobili, Restrainedvengence
Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf – Loves Only You, My Sister Nat, War Like Goddess
Breeders’ Cup Mile – Space Blues, Smooth Like Strait, Ivar