Notable winners from last weeks Breeders’ Cup
Winners at the Breeders’ Cup are more than the horses that finish first, although they are usually the main focus. Below are a few of last weekend’s notable winners.
Bricks and Mortar – Heading into the Breeders’ Cup, there were six horses arguably in the running for 2019 Horse of the Year. With so many contenders, a loss last Saturday would probably would have ruined any horse’s chances. When four of the six did in fact lose – Midnight Bisou, Sistercharlie, McKinzie and Code of Honor – it left Turf winner Bricks and Mortar and Sprint winner Mitole as the most likely horse of the year candidates.
Bricks and Mortar is virtually certain to win out over Mitole, for several reasons: he is undefeated in six starts, while Mitole has won 6-of-7; he was extremely impressive winning the Turf in what may have been his best race of the year; and the HOY award has never gone to a horse who raced primarily at sprint distances, as Mitole has.
Vino Rosso – Vino Rosso’s
decisive Classic victory showed once again what a good 3-year-old can sometimes accomplish when given time off and then brought back to race at four. Had it not been for his controversial DQ in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, the son of Curlin – who also won the Gold Cup at Santa Anita back in May – would have had three Grace 1 wins at a mile and a quarter. Still, in a weak oldermale division, Vino Rosso qualifies as a serious candidate for an Eclipse Award.
Blue Prize – This ultraconsistent Argentinianbred mare had won big races prior to last weekend, including back-toback editions of the Spinster Stakes in 2018 and 2019, but had often come up a bit short when facing her division’s best. Her length-and-a-half triumph over HOY contender Midnight Bisou in the Distaff ended the latter’s sevenrace winning streak and allowed Blue Prize to retire at the high point of her career
The Distaff was also the first Breeders’ Cup victory for Blue Prize’s connections, trainer Ignacio Correas, owner Merriebelle Stable and jockey Joe Bravo. The popular 48-year-old Bravo ended years of frustration at the Breeders’ Cup with his well-timed ride aboard Blue Prize, and his colorful emotional comments after the race showed why he is one of the best interviews in the game.
Chad Brown – Brown’s three Breeders’ Cup wins (out of 14 races) were tops among trainers. Brad Cox, with two, was the only other conditioner to saddle more than one winner. Brown scored with Structor (5-1) in the Juvenile Turf, Uni (7-2) in the Mile and Bricks and Mortar (11) in the Turf. He also had a pair of thirds with oddson Sistercharlie (4-5) in the Filly & Mare Turf and Without Parole (8-1) in the Mile.
Irad Ortiz Jr. – Ortiz was one of three jockeys to win multiple races at this year’s Breeders’ Cup. Javier Castellano and Joel Rosario won two each, while Ortiz made it into the winner’s circle with four of his 12 mounts. They included favorites Four Wheel Drive (3-2) in the Juvenile Turf Sprint and Bricks and Mortar in the Turf, as well as Spun to Run (8-1) in the Dirt Mile and Vino Rosso (9-2) in the Classic.
American Pharoah – No stallion sired the winner of more than one Breeders’ Cup race. American Pharoah, however, was the only stallion to sire three in-the-money finishers – and, as a first-crop stallion, he only had starters in the five 2-year-old events. Pharoah’s winner was Four Wheel Drive (3-2) in the Juvenile Turf Sprint; his third-place finishers were Another Miracle (19-1) in the Juvenile Turf Sprint and Sweet Melania (9-2) in the Juvenile Fillies Turf.