Flotilla avoided trouble with an explosive late run down the center of the course in the $909,000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IT) Nov. 2 at Santa Anita Park, giving jockey Christophe Lemaire his first win in the World Championships (VIDEO).
The Mizzen Mast filly came off a fourth-place finish in group I company at Longchamp to get the win, her second in five career starts for Sheikh Mohammed Bin Khalia Al Thani and trainer Mikel Delzangles.
Flotilla rated kindly in the field of 14, well reserved in the two path and traveling along with easy strides midpack while Tara From the Cape set early fractions of :23.14 and :47.39 followed by Moonwalk, Flashy Ways, and the rest of the field. Meanwhile, Flotilla began her steady advance through three-quarters in 1:11.16, angling out wide around the turn to find running room.
Tara from the Cape struck the stretch with a one-length lead over the field and looked as if she might carry it wire-to-wire, but Flotilla found another gear and closed with a tremendous rush with Watsdachances affixed to her hip on the inside after seven-eighths in 1:23.17.
In the clear on the outside, the eventual winner was unaffected by traffic trouble that ensued with several riders checking their mounts along the inside. In the final furlong, Flotilla carried on straight and true and drew away to score by 1 1/4 lengths over Watsdachances in 1:34.64 for the mile on the turf. It was a half-length back to Summer of Fun.
"For me, it is a big achievement," Lemaire said. "The Breeders' Cup is so very important in the horse racing season. I'm very glad to win a race like that. It was something that was missing in my career.
"(Flotilla) broke well. I was a bit worried by the pace, which was not very swift, but when I asked, she reacted very well and won brilliantly."
Said Delzangles: "This is great. Absolutely great. It was a good preliminary for Australia."
Javier Castellano, who rode Watsdachances, said the filly ran well. "She was tracking behind the leaders, and when I asked her to go, she put in her run," he said. "There are no excuses. She was second-best today. Sometimes that's just the way it is."
"I thought she ran great," said Chad Brown, who trains Watsdachances. "I thought Javier gave her a good ride, and he got the running room he needed turning for home. She was second-best. I was real proud of the way she ran."
Sent off at odds of 11-1, Flotilla returned $24.80, $10.80, and $7.80. Watsdachances paid $6.40 and $5.40, while Summer of Fun brought $19.40.
The Gold Cheongsam, Waterway Run, Moonwalk, 3-5 favorite Sky Lantern, Nancy O, Infanta Branca, Flashy Ways, Kitten's Point, Spring Venture, and Oscar Party completed the order of finish. Sustained scratched due to a foot bruise early the morning of the race, and also-eligible Moulin de Mougin did not draw in.
Bred in France by Eric Puerari, Oceanic Bloodstock and Ariane Gravereaux, Flotilla is out of the Sinndar mare Louvain and was purchased for $172,740 from the Arqana Deauville August yearling sale last year.