With the second-largest crowd in Breeders' Cup history in attendance, California-bred Tiznow held off a strong closing kick from Giant's Causeway to win the Breeders' Cup Classic on Saturday.
Fusaichi Pegasus, the Kentucky Derby winner sent off as the 6-5 favorite, finished sixth in the 13-horse field.
Ridden by Chris McCarron for trainer Jay Robbins, Tiznow broke from the 13 post position and was either first or second throughout most the race, as he and Albert the Great alternately shared the lead while being stalked by Giant's Causeway. Although the Churchill Downs main track had been playing to speed all day, Tiznow and Albert the Great were allowed to set relatively moderate early fractions of :23.52 and :47.55 through the first half-mile. Tiznow assumed the lead for good after a mile had been completed in 1:36.08 and he continued to lead Albert the Great through the stretch. Giant's Causeway, the Irish-raced colt never worse than third, closed from the outside as Albert the Great began to fade, but Tiznow held on gamely for a neck victory. The final time for 1 1/4 miles was 2:00.75 as Captain Steve passed tiring horses to be third.
Completing the order of finish was Albert the Great (fourth), Lemon Drop Kid, Fusaichi Pegasus, Cat Thief, Vision and Verse, Gander, Pine Dance, Dust On the Bottle, Guided Tour, and Golden Missile.
Tiznow paid $20.40, $8.20, and $6.20. Giant's Causeway returned $7.80 and $5.20, with Captain Steve paying $7.40.
The victory by Tiznow in the $4,770,000 Classic provided a $2,438,800 payoff to the owners of the winner, who had put up a $360,000 supplemental fee to get the horse in the race. Tiznow is owned by his breeder, Cecilia Straub Rubens, and Michael Cooper.
A lightly raced 3-year-old, Tiznow had won the Super Derby XXI (gr. I) and the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) previous to the Classic. The colt has won five of nine career starts and earned $3,404,350.
The Classic was the final leg of the Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick 6, which returned $45,772 for all six winners. There were 68 winning tickets, five of which were sold at Churchill Downs. The consolation 5-of-6 paid $465.00. Attendance of 76,043 was second-highest in the Breeders' Cup history, exceeded only by the 80,452 for the 1998 Cup at Churchill.