The 26th World Championships got off to a thrilling start in the $500,000 Breeders’ Cup Marathon when Man of Iron (right) hung on to defeat 9-year-old Cloudy's Knight (left) by a nose Nov. 6 at Santa Anita Park
A 3-year-old son of Giant's Causeway making his first start in the United States, Man of Iron won the Marathon, which was increased in distance to 1 3/4 miles this year, for trainer Aidan O’Brien and owners Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier, and Michael Tabor.
Jockey Robby Albarado pushed the button on Tapitsfly approaching mid-stretch and the gray/roan daughter of Tapit responded willingly to produce a half-length victory over the pacesetting Rose Catherine in Oak Tree’s $909,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita Nov. 6.
Tapitsfly, breaking from near the outside in the 12-horse field, ran one-two nearly the entire way with Rose Catherine while completing the one-mile journey in 1:34.25. Tapitsfly, trained by Dale Romans for owner/breeder Frank Jones Jr., went off as a slight overlay at 9-1.
Ridden by Julien Leparoux for the first time, the filly stalked the early pace established by Always a Princess and jockey Garrett Gomez, who had ridden She Be Wild to a second-place finish to Negligee in the Oct. 9 Darley Alcibiades (gr. I) at Keeneland — the only loss in the filly’s brief career.
Juddmonte Farms’ homebred Midday slipped through the inside at the top of the lane, opened up a clear lead in the stretch, and then held off a late charge by Pure Clan to win the $2-million Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) by a length Nov. 6 at Santa Anita Park.
Midday, who was bred in England, gave the Europeans their second win of the 26th Breeders’ Cup World Championships. She is trained by Henry Cecil, a renowned English trainer who earned his first Breeders’ Cup victory after many years.
Pam and Martin Wygod’s locally-based Life is Sweet rallied from last on the far turn, engulfed the field in the stretch, and drew away to a 2 1/2-length victory in the $2-million Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic (gr. I) Nov. 6 at Santa Anita Park.