ARCADIA, Calif. — Whether he is on their back or at the end of the lead shank, Freddie Head simply cannot be beat when he arrives at the Breeders' Cup with a gorgeous filly in his care.
Head, who rode the racemare Miesque to back-to-back wins in the Breeders' Cup Mile in 1987 and 1988, put himself in the history books again Saturday when he saddled the brilliant filly Goldikova to a 11/4-length victory over defending race winner Kip Deville in the $2 million Mile.
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With the win, Head became the first former Breeders' Cup-winning jockey to later train a Breeders' Cup winner.
"It's something you can't imagine, I can't realize a thing like that," Head said of the achievement.
Friday may have been designated "Ladies' Day" by Breeders' Cup officials but Goldikova — a multiple Group I winner in France — was the superior member of either sex during her outing.
The 3-year-old daughter of Anabaa broke sharply from post four and settled along the rail behind pacesetter Thorn Song through fractions of :23.00 and :46.52.
Daytona rose up to challenge Thorn Song around the turn with Precious Kitten also moving well on the outside and, for a brief moment, it appeared Goldikova was blocked in behind horses and would not get the room she needed.
Once the bay filly finally found a gap between Daytona and Precious Kitten, she exploded down the lane to hit the wire in 1:33.40.
"She's a wonderful filly, she's in the same class as Miesque," Head exclaimed. "She's very fast, loves speed, that's why she does well here. She's so handy and she's clever."
Kip Deville closed for second with Whatsthescript getting up for third.
Owners Gerard and Alain Wertheimer said Goldikova would remain in training for next year.
"If all goes well we'll come back here," Head said of the 2009 Breeders' Cup.
Midnight Lute repeats in Sprint
Midnight Lute rallied from last to first, winning the $2 million Breeders' Cup Sprint by 1¾ lengths for the second consecutive year.
Garrett Gomez rode his third winner Saturday, becoming the first jockey in the event's 25-year history to win that many races in a day. He also won the Filly & Mare Sprint on Friday. Midnight Lute became the first multiple-winner of the Sprint.
The win was the day's second for trainer Bob Baffert, whose Midshipman captured the Juvenile.
Named for recently retired Arizona basketball coach Lute Olson, Midnight Lute ran six furlongs in 1:07.08.
In Summation was second and Street Boss was 1¾ lengths farther back in third as the 2-1 favorite.
Irish-bred Conduit wins the Turf
Conduit won the $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf, defeating Eagle Mountain by 1½ lengths at Santa Anita.
The Ireland-bred colt gave European-based horses their fourth of five wins on the second day of the season-ending championships.
Ridden by Ryan Moore, Conduit covered 1½ miles in 2:23.42 at 5-1 odds.
Eagle Mountain stayed for second, while Dancing Forever was third. Soldier of Fortune, the 8-5 favorite, finished fourth.
It was trainer Sir Michael Stoute's fourth Breeders' Cup career victory, including his third in the Turf.
Albertus Maximus on top in Dirt Mile
After knocking heads against some top company in California the last two years, Albertus Maximus came through with a breakout performance Saturday when he rocketed up the center of the track to win the $1 million Dirt Mile by 11/4 lengths.
Under careful handling from jockey Garrett Gomez, Albertus Maximus tracked along in 10th, then ninth, through fractions of :22.24 and :45.02 as Two Step Salsa opened up a 11/2-length advantage down the backside.
Gomez got the son of Albert the Great rolling around the turn and he continued to draw clear, winning in 1:33.41.
Rebellion put in a rally from last in the 12-horse field to get second with Two Step Salsa holding for third. Favorite Well Armed never got running and finished ninth.
Desert Code surprises in Turf Sprint
Ignored by the betting public after his seventh-place run in the Grade III Morvich Handicap on Sept. 24, Desert Code pulled off a shocker when he ran down Diabolical in the final strides to take the $1 million Turf Sprint by half a length.
After sitting 11th in the 14-horse field a half-mile into the contest, Desert Code angled out from behind horses and kicked on from the outside to hit the wire in 1:11.60 over a distance of about 61/2 furlongs.
The win gave jockey Richard Migliore his first career Breeders' Cup triumph.
Muhannak holds on in Marathon
Muhannak, a multiple stakes winner in England and Ireland, made a bold move around the turn and held off a determined rally from Church Service on the outside to capture the inaugural running of the Breeders' Cup Marathon by a head.
A synthetic and stamina specialist, Muhannak had won three of his last four outings for trainer Ralph Beckett, who began training in 2000.
Muhannak covered the 11/2-mile test in 2:28.24. Big Booster was third, three-quarters of a length behind Church Service.
Donativum holds off Westphalia
Donativum held off a fast-closing Westphalia to win the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf by a half-length.
Ridden by Frankie Dettori, Donativum covered one mile on the turf in 1:34.68. Dettori delighted the fans with his trademark flying dismount in the winner's circle. He would score later in the Classic aboard Raven's Pass.