Breeders' Cup: Upsets the rule on first-day undercard

awincze@herald-leader.comNovember 2, 2012 

ARCADIA, Calif. — There are no statues depicting Richard Mandella's likeness on the Santa Anita Park grounds.

But whenever the Breeders' Cup World Championships roll into the Arcadia track, it often serves as a reminder of just whose house everyone is stepping into.

After falling a nose short of Executiveprivilege in the Del Mar Debutante two months ago, Mandella-trainee Beholder turned the tables on her previously unbeaten rival and gave her Hall of Fame conditioner his seventh career Breeders' Cup win with a gate-to-wire, one-length victory in the $2 million Juvenile Fillies.

All of Mandella's seven Breeders' Cup wins have come when the event was held at Santa Anita, including his remarkable four-win day in 2003.

Spendthrift Farm's Beholder was pre-entered with first preference in the Juvenile Sprint but the decision to stretch her out in the 11⁄16-mile Juvenile Fillies now puts her in the discussion for a year-end championship. The daughter of Henny Hughes turned back early pressure from Kauai Katie while cutting fractions of :22.62 and :46.47, and jockey Garrett Gomez found he had plenty of horse left in the lane.

Favored Executiveprivilege, unbeaten in five starts coming in, made her run but drifted out badly in the stretch, ultimately falling the length short. Grade I winner Dreaming of Julia was third as the winner covered the distance in 1:43.61.

Zagora comes throughin Filly and Mare Turf

Twelve months after having the beaten favorite in the Filly and Mare Turf, trainer Chad Brown pulled off the mild upset Friday when his Grade I- winning charge Zagora surged up three wide under Javier Castellano to best Marketing Mix by three-quarters of a length in the $2 million race.

Brown had the heavy favorite in Stacelita in the race a year ago only to see the eventual champion run 10th.

The ultra-consistent Zagora ensured there would be no disappointment this time. As Marketing Mix grabbed a short lead from pacesetter Star Billing in the lane, 9-to-1 shot Zagora emulated the form that earned her the victory in last year's Grade I Diana en route to stopping the teletimer in 1:59.70 for the 11/4-mile test.

Group I winner The Fugue, sent off as the favorite, had a horrible trip bottled up inside, never getting free while ending up third.

Hightail wins Juvenile Sprint for Lukas

Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas raised his already record total of Breeders' Cup race wins to 19 when 15-to-1 shot Hightail came up the rail to edge race favorite Merit Man by a nose in the $500,000 Juvenile Sprint Friday.

Owned by Bluegrass Hall, Hightail was winless in eight prior starts heading into the 6-furlong Juvenile Sprint at Santa Anita and was sixth in the Grade I Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland on Oct. 6. With Rajiv Maragh up, the son of Mineshaft made mild contact with Merit Man during their stretch run, prompting a stewards' inquiry but the result was allowed to stand.

Final time for the race was 1:09.75 with Sweet Shirley Mae up for third. South Floyd was a late vet scratch in the race after being deemed off in his left front. Super Ninety Nine was scratched out of the race Friday morning after getting cast in his stall, according to trainer Bob Baffert.

Calidoscopio in Marathon

One race after D. Wayne Lukas won a Breeders' Cup race at age 77, 9-year-old Calidoscopio scored another one for the old-timers when the Argentine import drew off for a 41/4-length triumph in the $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon.

Owned by Stud Dona Pancha, Calidoscopio was last in the 13-horse field early and came with a wide rally under jockey Aaron Gryder to reel in Atigun and become the oldest horse to win a Breeders' Cup race.

Grassy came running late to get second with favored Atigun third. Multiple Group I winner Fame and Glory was eased but appeared to be walking and jogging without issue after the race. Final time for the 13/4-mile test was 2:57.25.

Flotilla takes Juvenile Fillies Turf

French-bred Flotilla became the first European horse to triumph in the $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf when she drew off in late stretch to win the one-mile test by 11/4 lengths.

Making just her third career start, the daughter of Mizzen Mast had yet to hit the board in her previous two outings but was beaten just 11/2 lengths while finishing fourth in the Group I Criterium des Pouliches at Longchamp on Oct. 7.

With pacesetter Tara from the Cape weakening, Flotilla surged up to reward her backers at odds of 11-to-1, stopping the teletimer in 1:34.64 over a course rated firm. Watsdachances was second with Summer of Fun third.

Alicia Wincze Hughes: (859) 231-1676. Blog: horseracing.bloginky.com.

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