Frankel, who had taken to watching his horses run on a television in racing secretary Mike Lakow's office, saw his day get off to a bad start when heavy favorite Flute was caught inside on the deep part of the track in the opening race, the Distaff (gr. I), and finished seventh under Jerry Bailey. "Edgar knows to stay off the rail," he said of You's rider, Edgar Prado.
David Flores had no such concerns aboard Tempera, who broke smoothly from her outside post and settled a little more than a length behind front runners Shesa-stonecoldfox and Take Charge Lady. Bella Bellucci, a close third, was stuck along the rail and anxious to run. "I wanted to get to the outside but I could never get her out," jockey Gary Stevens said. "I had to squirt through on the rail a lot sooner than I would have liked to."
Bella Bellucci took a narrow lead after six furlongs, but Imperial Gesture and Frankie Dettori were breathing down her neck to the outside, with Tempera only a length back in third.
You, pocketed between horses most of the way, was in striking position in fifth, while Habibti, who had taken back to last from her inside post, was trying to launch a rally to the far outside of the track.
Bella Bellucci began to weaken from her efforts on the deep part of the racetrack just as Tempera kicked into high gear on the outside, and the blue shadow rolls of the two Godolphin runners were side by side. Flores applied two right-handed strokes of the whip, and Tempera responded. She took command from her stablemate and drew away in the final sixteenth under a hand ride to win by 1 1/2 lengths, giving Flores and Harty their first Breeders' Cup victories and Tempera a probable Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old filly. Imperial Gesture was 3 1/2 lengths clear of Bella Bellucci, with You fourth.
"I'll never win one of these races now," a subdued Frankel said as the horses crossed the finish line. An hour later, however, 3-year-old Squirtle Squirt would prove him wrong, winning the Sprint (gr. I) and breaking Frankel's long Breeders' Cup losing streak.
The morning after the race, You was found to have a temperature of 102.3, which may explain her dull performance.
Tempera's winning time for the 1 1/16 miles on a fast track was 1:41.49, faster than 2-year-old colts ran later in the day in the Juvenile (gr. I) and a Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies record. Countess Diana set the previous record of 1:42.11 at Hollywood Park in 1997.
Harty gave Flores much of the credit for Tempera's victory. "The biggest single thing I did with Tempera was to have David work her," he said. "He has a very good rapport with this filly."
Flores took a red-eye flight from California to work Tempera at Belmont Oct. 22, and she went a sharp five furlongs in 1:00 3/5. But all wasn't well. Tempera had been battling an abscess in her left front foot since Oct. 14, when Harty noticed she was favoring the leg after a workout. He didn't want to believe what he saw.
"It was a classic case of denial," he said. "But the next day it was obvious something was wrong."
Tempera almost didn't make the trip, but her condition improved after the affected area was packed in turpentine, and Harty decided to have a bar shoe put on the foot when she arrived in New York. Tempera came out of her Oct. 22 work in good shape, but two days later she took a turn for the worse. Harty decided to have farrier Todd Boston try different footwear, a three-quarter shoe, with the portion of the inside quarter filed off to relieve the pressure around the tender area. "I said to the crew that we're going to live and die with this decision," he said. "There are a few times in your life when you make the right move, and this was one of them."
Harty also made the right move in December of 1999 when he accepted the offer to train for Godolphin after serving as a key assistant to Baffert for seven years. Before that, the 38-year-old native of Dublin, Ireland, assisted trainer John Russell in California. He came to this country 20 years ago, putting in time at Crescent and Taylor Made Farms in Kentucky.
Horses run through the Harty family's blood. His father, Eddie, won the 1969 English Grand National and rode in the three-day event in the 1960 Olympics in Rome. He was on hand at Belmont to see his son's Breeders' Cup victory.
Eoin Harty's grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great- grandfather were trainers, too. Harty's wife, Kathy, is a former exercise rider. The couple's nine-year-old son, Eddie, may be more interested in video games than horses at this stage in life, but he had enough horse sense to tell a reporter that Tempera and Imperial Gesture's one-two finish gave him the biggest thrill of his racing life.
It's safe to say young Eddie Harty already has something in common with his father.