Make it 9-for-9 for the unstoppable Zenyatta.
The 4-year-old filly stayed perfect in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic at Santa Anita on Friday, roaring from last to first around the turn to win and make a case for Horse of the Year honors.
Zenyatta, ridden by Mike Smith, trailed by as much as 10 lengths on the back stretch. When Smith asked, she responded with her trademark push to beat Cocoa Beach by 1 lengths. The heavy favorite paid $3.00, $2.60 and $2.10 while covering the 1 1-8 miles in 1:46.85.
Cocoa Beach made a late bid and paid $4.60 and $3.80. Cocoa Beach’s stablemate Music Note was third and paid $3.80.
FILLY & MARE TURF
Forever Together moved wide in the stretch and pulled away late to win the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita.
The 4-year-old gray filly prevailed by three-quarters of a length in a wide-open stretch scramble in which the entire 10-horse field seemingly had a shot in the final yards on Friday. Forever Together covered the 1 miles in 2:01.58 and paid $11.80, $6.40 and $4.80.
Sealy Hill, ridden by Patrick Husbands, edged Wait A While for second and paid $36.20 and $15.80. Wait A While had a chance in the middle of the stretch before fading to third and paid $3.60.
Jockey Julien Leparoux picked up his second career Breeders’ Cup victory by smartly keeping Forever Together outside the jumbled pack.
Stardom Bound put together an electrifying move at the turn to win the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita.
The 2-year-old gray filly bided her time at the back of the field then stormed to the front at the top of the stretch to beat Dream Empress by 1 lengths. Friday’s victory was her third consecutive Grade 1 win for trainer Christopher Paasch. Stardom Bound, ridden by Mike Smith, covered the 1 1-16 miles in 1:40.99 and paid $5.20, $3.20 and $2.20. She is the 15th favorite to win in the 25 years of the event, and seventh in a row.
Dream Empress made a late bid for second and paid $8.80 and $5.20. Sky Diva held off Dave’s Revenge by a nose for third, paying $3.60.
JUVENILE FILLIES TURF
Maram held off a challenge from Heart Shaped at the wire to win the inaugural $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita.
Maram, with Jose Lezcano aboard, stretched her unbeaten streak to three, edging a late charging Heart Shaped by a nose Friday. Trainer Chad Brown, a former assistant for Hall of Famer Bobby Frankel, earned the win in his Breeders’ Cup debut.
The 2-year-old covered the mile in 1:35.15 and paid $24.20, $13.20 and $6.40.
Heart Shaped, piloted by John Murtagh, paid $11.60 and $6.60.
Laragh, the 5-2 favorite, took command early and led by four lengths at the turn for home before fading to third under Edgar Prado and paid $3.40.
FILLY & MARE SPRINT
Ventura roared past favored Indian Blessing in the middle of the stretch to win the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, the opening race of Ladies’ Day at Santa Anita.
The 4-year-old filly shrugged off a slow start and took command late under jockey Garrett Gomez, moving past Indian Blessing with a powerful move in the final eighth-of-a mile to win by four lengths. Ventura covered the seven furlongs in 1:19.90 and paid $7.60, $3.40 and $3.
Indian Blessing, hoping to become a repeat Breeders’ Cup winner for trainer Bob Baffert, held on for second and paid $3.40 and $2.40. Zaftig was third and paid $4.
The win was the sixth Breeders’ Cup win for Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, moving him into a tie for third with Richard Mandela and Neil Drysdale.