Dos Lunas broke sharply from the rail and set the early pace over the firm turf, setting the early fractions of :23.57 and :47.58. The field was tightly bunched down the backstretch as the Winter Memories was bottled up inside along the hedge under Jose Lezcano. More Than Real, with Garrett Gomez aboard, sat fifth while outside of horses about three lengths off the early lead.
Moving early, More than Real came off the turn and quickly grabbed the lead after six furlongs in 1:12.38. She quickly opened up a sizable 3 1/2-length advantage mid-stretch and cruised to the wire two lengths to the good. Lezcano lodged an objection against the winner for alleged interference in the upper stretch, but it was disallowed.
“She traveled well early," Gomez said. "I saw (jockey Jose) Lezcano (on Winter Memories) trying to make a run on the outside. I kind of tried to make it difficult for him without impeding him and I thought we did so successfully. She is a really nice filly and I am looking forward to her 3-year-old campaign.”
More Than Real, bred in Kentucky by Santucket Stables, is trained by Todd Pletcher. It marks Pletcher’s fourth Breeders’ Cup winner. It was the third win on the day’s card for Gomez.
Sent off at 13-1, the winner paid $29.20, $9.20, and $5.80. Winter Memories returned $3.60 and $2.60. Kathmanblu paid $3.60. The 11-7 exacta returned $76.40.
The Juvenile Turf Fillies winner has been entered in two sales. She was an “out” in the 2009 September yearling sale at Keeneland and earlier this year was RNA’d for $140,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Florida 2-year-old sale as part of the Vinery Stables consignment.
Flay purchased the horse from Mike Ryan after the filly broke her maiden first time out Aug. 14 at Saratoga. For Flay and Pletcher, More Than Real ran second in the Natalma Stakes (Can-IIIT) Sept. 18 at Woodbine.
"We gave her some time off after the Natalma and I think that made all the difference," Pletcher said. "We had a great trip. Garrett gave her a great ride and we got a jump on the favorite, and I think that is all we needed.”
More Than Real is out of the Dehere mare Miss Seffens, a five-time stakes winner in the Midwest, winning stakes at Keeneland, Turfway, Ellis Park, Oaklawn, and Prairie Meadows.
More Than Real's second win in three starts was worth $540,000 and boosted her overall earnings to $609,384.