June 15, 2021

Breeders’ Cup Recaps

Last updated: 10/31/04 12:31 AM


Ghostzapper makes history in Classic

Ghostzapper and a jubilant Javier Castellano cross under the line into history
(Michael J. Marten/Horsephotos.com)

In 1998, Awesome Again capped off a six-race win streak with a victory in the
Cup Classic (G1)
at Churchill Downs. Retired after that victory, the bay was
sent to stud and achieved success in the breeding shed with his very first crop.

On Saturday, that success became historical as the 10-year-old stallion
became the first Classic winner to sire a Classic winner when GHOSTZAPPER
stormed past the wire much the best in the $4 million event.

Ghostzapper gave Awesome Again his second Breeders’ Cup winner on the day –
earlier Wilko upset the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) by three parts of a length.

Coming off four straight wins ranging from 6 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/8 miles, the
Bobby Frankel-trained Ghostzapper showed the way from the beginning as he
stretched out to 10 furlongs for the first time in his career. With regular
rider Javier Castellano aloft and sporting the familiar Stronach Stables silks,
the four-year-old colt set splits of :23 2/5, :47, 1:11 1/5 and 1:35 1/5 before
pulling away in the stretch to finish three lengths ahead of his nearest rival.
In the process, the bay set a new track and Classic record for 1 1/4 miles,
stopping the clock in 1:59.

“The way this day had been going, I thought I was going to be in for a
disaster,” said Frankel, who had five earlier horses on the day finish off
the board. “This sure makes things better. This is as big a win as I’ve had
in my career. In fact, it could be the biggest win I’ve had in my career.”

Ghostzapper led the way at Lone Star in the Classic
(Jim Tyrrell/Horsephotos.com)

Ghostzapper was the public’s choice at 5-2 and vindicated that backing with
payouts of $7, $4 and $3.60. Roses in May (Devil His Due) gave back $8.20 and
$5.20 as the 8-1 fifth pick and held defending Classic champion Pleasantly
Perfect (Pleasant Colony), who returned $3, to third by four lengths. Perfect
Drift (Dynaformer) followed by another three parts of a length and completed the
1-6-12-4 superfecta that paid $1,297.80. The other exotics were worth $46.60
(exacta) and $164 (trifecta).

Completing the order under the wire were Azeri (Jade Hunter), Personal Rush
(Wild Rush), Birdstone (Grindstone), Dynever (Dynaformer), Fantasticat (Storm
Cat), Funny Cide (Distorted Humor), Bowman’s Band (Dixieland Band), Newfoundland
(Storm Cat) and Freefourinternet (Tabasco Cat)

Ghostzapper earned his fifth straight win with this one and now owns a record
of 10-8-0-1. He has captured the Vosburgh S. (G1), Woodward S. (G1), Tom Fool H.
(G2) and Philip H. Iselin Breeders’ Cup H. (G3), with his third-place finish
coming when he made his stakes debut in the King’s Bishop S. (G1) last year. He
was already close to the $1 million mark in earnings prior to the Classic and
now shows a bankroll of $2,996,120.

Bred in Kentucky by Adena Springs, Ghostzapper is out of stakes winner Baby
Zip (Relaunch), making him a half-brother to Grade 1 winner City Zip (Carson
City) as well as an unnamed yearling filly by Golden Missile and an unnamed
weanling colt by Mr. Greeley. Ghostzapper also has a full brother in the
juvenile Aristocrat, who finished fourth in his career debut.

Ashado takes Distaff

Ashado is the likely choice for champion three-year-old filly following her Distaff win
(Lauren Pomeroy/Horsephotos.com)

Starlight Stables LLC, Paul Saylor and Johns Martin’s ASHADO (Saint Ballado) sat just off a
wicked pace set by Tamweel (Gulch) before moving three wide
turning for home to kick away for the victory in Saturday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff
, which started the World Thoroughbred Championships at Lone Star Park.

Tamweel and Nebraska Tornado (Storm Cat) battled through
opening fractions of :22 4/5 and :46 3/5, with the former getting the call.
Nebraska Tornado began to slip back as the Todd
Pletcher-trained Ashado moved up under John Velazquez to challenge Tamweel, who
set three-quarters in 1:10
2/5. At the top of the stretch, after a mile in a swift
1:35 2/5, Ashado started pulling away as Stellar Jayne (Wild Rush) and a
stubborn Tamweel battled for
third. In the end, the dark bay miss posted a 1 1/4-length victory while Storm Flag Flying (Storm Cat) came out of nowhere to
nip Stellar Jayne for the place.

“I had a perfect trip,” Velazquez said. “I tucked into position on the first
turn and I just
had to bide my time following the leaders.”

Sent off as the 2-1 favorite, Ashado returned $6, $3.60, and $2.80 while keying a $34.80
exacta for stopping the clock in 1:48 1/5 for the 1 1/8-mile test on the fast
track. The hard-closing 9-2 shot Storm
Flag Flying paid $7 and $4 while Stellar Jayne was a neck back in
third at 10-1. She was worth $4.80 on the bottom of the $178
trifecta. Tamweel completed the
$1,191.80 superfecta (1-7-11-3). Rounding out the order of finish were
Island Fashion (Petionville), Indy Groove (A. P. Indy), Elloluv
(Gilded Time), Nebraska Tornado, Society Selection (Coronado’s Quest), Hollywood
Story (Wild Rush), and Bare Necessities (Silver Deputy).

Queen of this year’s Kentucky Oaks (G1), Ashado gave Pletcher his first Breeders’ Cup
win and earned her fourth Grade 1 victory here, having already scored in the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1)
and Spinaway S. (G1). She finished second in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile
Fillies (G1) and owns an overall record of 14-9-3-2, that includes placings in
the Ashland S. (G1), Mother Goose S. (G1) and Alabama S. (G1).

Bred in Kentucky by Aaron U. Jones & Marie D. Jones, Ashado is out of the
stakes-winning Mari’s Book mare Goulash, who also has an unnamed yearling full
brother the Distaff winner and an unnamed weanling colt by Storm Creek. Ashado
increasing her career earnings to $2,870,440, more than earning back her
$170,000 Keeneland September Yearling Sale purchase price.

Better Talk Now leaves bettors speechless

Better Talk Now survived an inquiry to take the Turf
(Lauren Pomeroy/Horsephotos.com)

Bushwood Racing Partners’ BETTER TALK NOW (Talkin Man) left
the gate at nearly 28-1, the longest odds of the field, to take
home a win in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Turf

The field of eight was led by Star Over the Bay (Cozzene) for
the first mile in splits of :24 4/5, :49 and 1:13 4/5 as jockey
Tyler Baze kept the gray gelding a good distance ahead of the
rest of the pack. Entering the second turn, Powerscourt (GB)
(Sadler’s Wells) motored to the front while racing three-wide and opened up a clear advantage on the far turn, marking
off the next two fractions in 1:40 and 2:04. Kitten’s Joy (El Prado [Ire]),
favored at 3-5, made a move to the inside but was walled up by traffic, prohibiting his progression
to the lead.

All the while, Better Talk Now, guided by Ramon Dominguez, drifted
across the lane in midstretch as he moved to the front. The five-year-old
crossed under the line in 2:29 3/5 for 1 1/2 miles on the yielding turf, but had
to wait for his trip to the winner’s circle as the stewards immediately posted
the inquiry sign into the stretch run. A few anxious moments later, the race was
declared official with no change.

“This is so wonderful,” trainer Graham Motion said.
“Any win is an emotional thing but this seems to be even
more so. This has turned out to be an amazing day, to have three
horses run this well and all of them longshots. It makes it even more special
when you have a longshot and you get a win. I didn’t tell Ramon anything special. He knows this horse very well. And
besides, he is starting to be a star; in fact he is a star in his
own right now.”

Better Talk Now finished 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Kitten’s
Joy, becoming the third-highest upset in Breeders’ Cup Turf
history. He paid $57.80, $12.40 and $5.20 and started a
$134.80 exacta and $492 trifecta. Kitten’s Joy returned $2.80 and $2.20 while Powerscourt
earned the bronze spot, giving back $3. Magistretti (Diesis [GB])
landed on the bottom of the 5-4-1-6 superfecta, which was worth $1,483.40.

Rounding out the order of finish were Mustanfar (Unbridled),
Request for Parole (Judge T C), Strut the Stage (Theatrical [Ire])
and Star Over the Bay.

The win comes on the heels of a fourth-place finish in the Man
o’ War S. (G1). Better Talk Now owns one other Grade 1 title, the
Sword Dancer Invitational H. (G1), which he earned in August
of this year, and another Grade 2 win, the Knickerbocker H. (G2)
last November. The new millionaire now has $1,744,437 in the
books with a record of 24-8-5-2.

Better Talk Now was bred in Kentucky by Wimborne Farm Inc.,
and is out of the winning mare Bendita (Baldski). He is a half-brother to stakes
winner B. A. Way (Lasting Approval) and a weanling colt named Better Be Ready ( More
Than Ready).

Singletary holds on in Mile

Singletary powered home a winner in the Mile
(Joseph DiOrio/Horsephotos.com)

SINGLETARY (Sultry Song) was named after Hall of Fame NFL linebacker Mike
Singletary, who was a second-round draft pick for the Chicago Bears in 1981.
It’s only fitting that he live up to his namesake with a powerful half-length
score in Saturday’s $1,680,000 Breeders’
Cup Mile (G1)
under David Flores.

Racing in the colors of Little Red Feather Racing, Singletary settled in
fifth as Soaring Free (Smart Strike) sprinted to the lead out of the gate to set
reasonable fractions of :24, :48 3/5 and 1:12 3/5. Flores sent Singletary up to
split horses while angling out in the stretch, gaining the lead past seven
furlongs in 1:24 3/5, and held off Antonius Pius (Danzig) to complete a mile on
the yielding turf in 1:36 4/5.

“Oh man, it doesn’t get any better than this,” winning trainer Don
Chatlos said. “Here I am, just a poor kid from the south side of Chicago
where there aren’t any horses, and here I am, on top of the world.”

Singletary beat out some of the best in his division to earn only his third
win this year, with the other two scores coming in the San Francisco Breeders’
Cup Mile H. (G2) and Thunder Road H. He’s also placed in three stakes this
season, including the Shoemaker Breeders’ Cup Mile S. (G1) and Frank E. Kilroe
Mile H. (G2).

The bay four-year-old moved his lifetime record to 16-6-5-2 and became
racing’s newest millionaire with $1,439,732 in earnings.

Sent off at 16-1, the eighth pick in the 14-horse field, Singletary rewarded
his faithful backers with payouts of $35, $15.60 and $9.80. Antonius Pius gave
back $37.60 and $13.60 as the 31-1 second longest shot on the board and ended
the $1,495.60 exacta. Defending Mile victress Six Perfections (Fr) (Celtic
Swing) rallied late to grab third by a neck over Soaring Free, paying out $5 and
completing the $12,435.20 trifecta. The 10-7-11-4 superfecta gave back a
whopping $107,388.

Silver Tree (Hennessy) filled out the fifth spot and next came Musical Chimes
(In Excess [Ire]), Blackdoun (Fr) (Verglas [Ire]), Diamond Green (Fr) (Green
Desert), Mr O’Brien (Ire) (Mukaddamah), Whipper (Miesque’s Son), Nothing to Lose
(Sky Classic), 7-2 favorite Artie Schiller (El Prado [Ire]), Special Ring
(Nureyev) and Domestic Dispute (Unbridled’s Song).

Disler Farms Ltd. bred Singletary in Kentucky and the bay colt was a bargain
as a $3,200 Keeneland October yearling. He is out of the unraced Joiski’s Star
(Star de Naskra) and has an unnamed weanling half-brother by Broken Vow.

Wilko surprises in Juvenile

Wilko surprised all but his connections with the Juvenile win
(Michael J. Marten/Horsephotos.com)

J. Paul Reddam & Mrs. Susan Roy’s WILKO (Awesome Again)
was sent off the second longest shot on the board at 28-1 in
Saturday’s $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile
, but proved
best in the 1 1/16-mile test by three parts of a length. With
jockey Frankie Dettori in the irons, the Jeremy Noseda trainee
came with a late rally to pass Afleet Alex (Northern Afleet) in
upper stretch before crossing under the line in a final time of 1:42.

Racing wide throughout, Wilko was settled in third as Twice
Unbridled (Unbridled’s Song) set reasonable splits of :23 2/5 and
:47 2/5. The pacesetter began to fade and it was up to Sun King (Charismatic)
and Consolidator (Storm Cat) to fight for the next point of call,
which went to the former in 1:11 1/5.

However, neither one could hold off Afleet Alex, who took the
lead passing the quarter-pole en route to sewing up juvenile
championship honors. It was not to be, though, as Wilko and
Dettori suddenly appeared and surged past to get the victory at
the wire.

“I can’t believe it,” Dettori said after dismounting
with his patented flying leap. “I mean the horse worked well
on the dirt but we were just hoping to hit the board. I don’t
know what to say.”

Wilko rewarded his supporters with nice payouts of $58.60, $18.20
and $6.80 while keying the $254 exacta, $1,424.60 trifecta and $7,150.20
superfecta (8-3-1-4). Afleet Alex was the 3-1 third choice and
gave back $5 and $3.60 while Sun King, a neck back in third,
returned $5.60 at 6-1.

Consolidator finished another 1 1/4 lengths back in fourth and
next under the line were Roman Ruler (Fusaichi Pegasus), Proud
Accolade (Yes It’s True), Twice Unbridled and Scandinavia (Fusaichi

Wilko was making his first U.S. start in the Juvenile and
scored his first stakes win in the process. Prior to Saturday,
the chestnut colt had posted five black-type placings in England,
including the Vintage S. (Eng-G2), Royal Lodge S. (Eng-G2) and
Superlative S. (Eng-G3). He now owns an 11-3-2-4 record to go
along with $880,494 in earnings.

Bred in Kentucky by Ro Parra, Wilko brought $75,000 as a
Keeneland September yearling. He is out of the winning Native
Roots (Ire) (Indian Ridge), who also has an unnamed weanling
filly by Talk is Money.

Ouija Board fulfills fortunes

Ouija Board rebounded from a third in the Arc to take the Filly & Mare Turf
(Joseph DiOrio/Horsephotos.com)

Lord Derby’s OUIJA BOARD (GB) (Cape Cross [Ire]) vindicated
everyone’s expectations Saturday as she finished 1 1/2 lengths ahead of her
nearest rival in the $1,410,000 Breeders’ Cup Filly
& Mare
Turf (G1)
under Kieren Fallon.

Moscow Burning (Moscow Ballet) took to the lead from the start
and tried to wire the 1 3/8-mile event, setting fractions of :26
2/5, :52 2/5, 1:18 2/5, 1:42 1/5 and 2:06 1/5. All the while, Ouija Board and
Fallon were patiently waiting their chance back in fourth. The pair
launched a rally three-wide leaving the turn and quickly closed
the gap in the upper stretch. The Edward Dunlop-trained Ouija Board pulled clear
to stop the clock in 2:18 1/5 on the yielding turf.

“I was very concerned the first half because the pace was
so slow,” Dunlop said. “She was coming from 1 1/2
miles back to 1 3/8 miles and I was afraid that slow pace might
get her beat. Kieren rode a great race and had her in
the right spot and the result was just what we wanted. She stays
in training a s a four-year-old.”

Sent off the 4-5 favorite, Ouija Board returned $3.80, $3 and
$2.80 to his ticket holders while 16-1 Film Maker (Dynaformer)
followed behind to pay $9 and $6.60, ending a $43.40 exacta.
Wonder Again (Silver Hawk) came a neck back in third to give
$6.60 at 10-1 and round out a $364 trifecta. Moscow
Burning managed to hold on to fourth and finished the $3,257.40 superfecta

Yesterday (Ire) (Sadler’s Wells), Shaconage (El Prado [Ire]),
Light Jig (GB) (Danehill), Riskaverse (Dynaformer), Super Brand (SAf) (Royal Chalice), Katdogawn (GB)
(Bahhare), Megahertz (GB)
(Pivotal) and Aubonne (Ger) (Monsun) followed.

This was Ouija Board’s North American debut and comes on the
heels of a third-place finish in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
(Fr-G1). Other notable wins for the three-year-old bay include the
Vodafone Oaks (Eng-G1) and Irish Oaks (Ire-G1). The victory improves her overall record to 8-5-0-3 and
her earnings to $1,671,768.

Ouija Board was bred by Stanley Estate and Stud Co. in England
and is out of Selection Board (Welsh Pageant).

Speightstown clearly the best in Sprint

Speightstown culminated his excellent 2004 season in the Sprint
(Joseph DiOrio/Horsephotos.com)

Trainer Todd Pletcher traveled to Lone Star Park on Saturday without having
ever captured a Breeders’ Cup race. By the time the day ended, the conditioner
had added his name to those who’ve trained Breeders’ Cup winners, doing so with
his first two starters on the card. The second of those two, SPEIGHTSTOWN (Gone West),
utilized a stalking position to score by 1 1/4 lengths in the $1,060,000
Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1)

Teaming up with regular rider John
Velazquez, who was aboard Pletcher’s first winner, Breeders’ Cup
Distaff (G1) victress Ashado (Saint Ballado), Speightstown was
never more than one length off the lead. In a field packed with
closers, the chestnut finished the best, stopping the clock in
1:08 for six fast track furlongs.

Content to track pacesetters Abbondanza (Alphabet Soup) and
Gold Storm (Seeking the Gold) through opening fractions of :21
1/5 for the quarter-mile and :43 2/5 for the half, the Pletcher
trainee slipped though at the top of the stretch, getting
five furlongs in :55 2/5. He then lead a four-horse charge to the
wire, holding Kela (Numerous), My Cousin Matt (Matty G) and
Bwana Charlie (Indian Charlie) at bay. Only 3 1/4 lengths
separated the top four finishers.

“I had to take an advantage when the hole was
there,” Velazquez said. “When I had the hole, I had to
squeeze him in there. From then on, it was all him. I think he’s
the best sprinter in America.”

The close second-choice at 7-2 in the field of 14,
Speightstown rewarded his backers with $9.40, $5.20, and $4. Kela
came next, giving back $5 and $4 at 4-1 while completing the
$41.60 exacta. My Cousin Matt, the 60-1 longshot, held third,
returning $15 for the show and finishing a generous $2,684.20
trifecta. Bwana Charlie polished off the 2-5-12-1 superfecta worth

Completing the order of finish were Cajun Beat (Grand Slam),
Clock Stopper (Gilded Time), Champali (Glitterman), Pt’s Grey
Eagle (Pleasant Tap), Gold Storm, Midas Eyes (Touch Gold),
Abbondanza, Our New Recruit (Alphabet Soup) and Cuvee (Carson

Bred in the Bluegrass state by Aaron and Marie Jones,
Speightstown was purchased for $2 million by owners Eugene and
Laura Melnyk at the Keeneland July Yearling Sale. He has now joined the
millionaire club with this victory, tallying earnings of
$1,258,256 to go along with an overall record of 16-10-2-2. His wins include the
Churchill Downs H. (G2), True North Breeders’ Cup H. (G2) and Alfred G.
Vanderbilt H. (G2), and he also placed in the Vosburgh S.(G1).

The chestnut six-year-old is the first registered foal out of Canadian
champion Silken Cat (Storm Cat) and has an unnamed yearling half-brother by Saint Ballado.

Sweet Catomine flies to win in Juvenile Fillies

Sweet Catomine proved best in the Juvenile fillies
(Lauren Pomeroy/Horsephotos.com)

Mr. & Mrs. Martin J. Wygod’s homebred SWEET CATOMINE (Storm Cat) entered
the $917,000 Breeders’
Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1)
having dropped only one start, that coming in her
career debut. Racing outside of California for the first time, the Julio Canani
charge came to Lone Star Park on Saturday looking for her third straight win and
prevailed by an easy margin under Corey Nakatani.

Higher World (Peaks and Valleys) took the lead out of the gate to set the
first two opening splits of :22 4/5 and :46 2/5, but was closely tracked by Sis
City (Slew City Slew). The latter took over to set a split of 1:10 3/5 for
three-quarters but found herself confronted on the outside by Sweet Catomine.

The eventual winner had been settled in midpack four wide, but started her
move leaving the far turn. She found herself blocked and Nakatani had to pull
back sharply, but that didn’t deter the game juvenile. Sweet Catomine found a
hole and burst through to easily pass the leaders and record a 3 3/4 length
victory. She completed the 1 1/16-mile fast track event in 1:41 3/5.

“I got into a little trouble,” Nakatani said. “I was just
inside Jerry (Bailey). She’s such a good filly, she was able to overcome it.
Even though she is big, she’s by Storm Cat so she has a quick turn of

Sweet Catomine paid out $6.60, $4 and $3 as the 2-1 favorite while starting
the $29 exacta, $174.20 trifecta and $1,561.20 superfecta (10-1-4-7). Balletto
(UAE) (Timber Country) saved ground just in behind the pacesetters and gave back
$4.80 and $3.40 for holding Runway Model (Petionville), who was worth $5, to
third by 1 1/4 lengths.

Sis City came in fourth by three parts of a length and was followed by Dance
Away Capote (Capote), Sharp Lisa (Dixieland Band), Culinary (El Amante), Play
With Fire (Boundary), Sense of Style (Thunder Gulch), Culture Clash
(Petionville), Mona Lisa (GB) (Giant’s Causeway) and Higher World. In the Gold
(Golden Missile) was an early scratch.

Sweet Catomine finished second in her career bow after racing wide
throughout. She returned to break her maiden in the Del Mar Debutante (G1)
before successfully stretching out to 8 1/2 furlongs in the Oak Leaf S. (G2),
which she won by four lengths. The winner’s check here pushed her earnings to

Bred in Kentucky, Sweet Catomine is the first registered foal out of stakes
winner and Grade 1-placed Sweet Life (Kris S.), who also has an unnamed yearling
filly by Giant’s Causeway and an unnamed weanling colt by Gone West.