Breeders' Cup Day 1 Report

8 min read

Breeders' Cup coverage supplied by Thoroughbred Daily News America

Game Winner of the G1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile

Unbeaten Game Winner (Candy Ride {Arg}), hero of the GI Del Mar Futurity Sept. 3 and GI American Pharoah S., overcame a rough trip to deliver a well-deserved, 2 1/4-length decision as the even money favourite in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

The bay, owned by Gary and Mary West and trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert, cemented his status as the year's top 2-year-old and early GI Kentucky Derby favourite in the Future Stars Friday feature before a crowd of 42,249 on a chilly Friday afternoon at Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky.

Game Winner, a $100,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase by agent Ben Glass on behalf of the Wests, provided Baffert with his fourth Juvenile win.

"Talk about a rough trip!" Baffert said after saddling his 15th Breeders' Cup winner.

"I was glad [jockey Joel Rosario] was patient with him. I felt a lot of pressure coming here because I have really thought a lot about this colt. I know he is a really good horse. He showed it today; he was much the best."

"I am so happy for Gary and Mary West. I felt more pressure because I told Gary 'I don't think they can beat us.' They have put a lot into the game. This horse likes Churchill Downs; that's a good sign. These races are hard to win. I have a great crew and a great team and we got it done."

Pedigree Notes:

Top sire Candy Ride (Arg) is also responsible for sensational 2017 Classic winner Gun Runner. Game Winner's second dam, champion and dual Grade I-winning millionaire Fleet Indian (Indian Charlie), was privately purchased by Jane Lyon's Summer Wind Farm after she passed in for $3.9 million at the 2007 Keeneland November Sale, carrying her first foal by Storm Cat.

The resulting foal, a colt named Storm'n Indian, topped the 2009 Keeneland September sale when selling to Godolphin for $2.05 million. Fleet Indian's second foal was Game Winner's unraced dam Indyan Giving, whose first produce, a now 4-year-old gelding named Flagstaff (Speightstown), summoned $475,000 at the 2015 KEESEP sale.

The winner is her third and final foal as the mare has since passed away.

Jaywalking to a Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies win

Jaywalk (Cross Traffic) went right to the front and never looked back en route to a dominant 5 1/2-length tally in the GI Tito's Handmade Vodka Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Favorite Bellafina (Quality Road) appeared all in heading for home as Restless Rider (Distorted Humor) revved up wider with Serengeti Empress (Alternation) beginning to fade and longshot Vibrance (Violence) enjoying a nice drafting trip. Jaywalk dug in with her head cocked a bit to the stands, and she found another gear in midstretch to shoot away after Joel Rosario threw a cross.

Restless Rider edged Vibrance for second. Bellafina was fourth.

"It was a perfect trip," said Rosario, who would later boot Game Winner (Candy Ride {Arg}) to victory in the GI Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

"She broke and she wanted the lead. She just improved her position. She really relaxed. She broke really sharp and wanted one thing, she wanted to go, so I dropped my hands and let her be happy and let her do it the rest of the way."

Pedigree Notes:

Jaywalk was the first stakes winner and first Grade I winner when she won the Frizette for first-crop sire Cross Traffic (Unbridled's Song). A $190,000 Keeneland September buy, she is the priciest filly and second-most expensive yearling overall by her sire to sell last season. Jaywalk is a half-sister to three-time stakes winner and graded stakes-placed Danzatrice (Dunkirk).

Line of Duty serves up the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf

Godolphin's Line of Duty (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) survived an inquiry and an objection to become his super sire's record extending 75th Group 1 winner with a late-charging victory in Friday's GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.

"Knowing the horse, one thing we knew, he was going to stay strong to the line, and that's what he did. It's great for the team, and great for Godolphin," said trainer Charlie Appleby, who was winning his third Breeders' Cup race and his second Juvenile Turf from just five championship starters.

"William gave him a great ride. He managed to get him wide and come with a clear run."

"Of his trip," jockey William Buick said, "Our horses, by rule, they jump slower than the American horses, but this horse, he really jumped well and gathered his stride very quickly.

"He was very strong at the line. I was impressed with his performance. It was a very mature performance from a young horse."

Line of Duty, who opened his career with a pair of runner-up efforts in July, graduated going one mile at Goodwood Sept. 4. He entered the Breeders' Cup off a win in the Oct. 1 G3 Prix de Conde at Chantilly.

Pedigree Notes:

After finishing second in the 2010 G1 English 1000 Guineas and third in the G1 Coronation S., dam Jacqueline Quest sold as a 4-year-old for 600,000gns to bloodstock agent Charlie Gordon Watson on behalf of the Co. Meath-based Triermore Stud at the 2011 Tattersalls December sale.

Her first foal was stakes-placed Hibiscus (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), a 625,000gns Tattersalls October sale purchase by M.V. Magnier in 2014, who sold in foal to Zoffany (Ire) to John and Jake Warren for 400,000gns at last year's Tattersalls December sale.

Jacqueline Quest produced a colt by Galileo (Ire) this year. Bloodstock agent Jamie McCalmont recently purchased Line of Duty's half-sister by Dubawi (Ire) for 200,000gns at the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale.

Newspaper records an exceptional win in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf

The unbeaten TDN Rising Star Newspaperofrecord (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}) entered Breeders' Cup weekend as one of the headliners off a pair of dominating performances, including Belmont's GII Miss Grillo S. Sept. 30, and ran to the hype with a scintillating, 6 3/4-length front-running tally as the 3-5 favourite in Friday's Juvenile Fillies Turf.

East (GB) (Frankel {GB}) just tagged Stellar Agent (More Than Ready) late by a neck for second.

Trainer Chad Brown continues to dominate the Juvenile Fillies Turf, now winning it for the fifth time in 11 runnings. Brown's past winners are Maram (2008), Lady Eli (2014) - who sells at Keeneland November next week, New Money Honey (2016) and Rushing Fall (2017).

"I'm so proud of the filly," Brown said. "We've educated her, trained her, developed her to get to this point, but she's doing all the work. She's a remarkable talent, and at this point, we just stay out of her way.

"I think that today she showed really the world that would be tuning into a race like this today with an international event like it is, how good she really is. And for her to win as easy as she did is remarkable."

Newspaperofrecord was purchased for 200,000gns as a Tattersalls October yearling.

Pedigree Notes:

Newspaperofrecord shares a second dam with this year's G1 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby winner Latrobe (Ire) (Camelot {GB}), as well as GSW Diamond Fields (Fastnet Rock {Aus}). Her dam, who captured the G3 Japan Racing Association Sceptre S. in 2012 and was runner-up in the G1 Jaguar Cars Cheveley Park S. the previous year, is responsible for a yearling filly by Gleneagles (Ire).

Bulletin out for inaugural Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint

WinStar, China Horse Club and SF Racing's Bulletin, a flashy chestnut son of the late City Zip, entered this inaugural running of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint off a seven length romp in Gulfstream's Hollywood Beach S. over decidedly different turf conditions then he experienced that day in Florida.

Well supported at 4-1, the $250,000 Keeneland September yearling balked a bit loading into the gate, but flew out of it to seize early command with the filly Chelsea Cloisters (First Samurai) applying pressure through splits of :23.19 and :46.89. Bulletin came wide into the lane as Chelsea Cloisters clung to him, but by midstretch, Bulletin had worn that foe down and spurted away by 2 3/4 lengths.

European invaders So Perfect (Scat Daddy) and Queen of Bermuda (Ire) (Exceed and Excel {Aus}) made up what ground they could to finish third and fourth, respectively.

Trainer Todd Pletcher, whose five Breeders' Cup starters this weekend are surprisingly all on the turf, said "Fantastic way to start. He broke really well and was sharp. He took it to them the whole way. It was a big race. We wanted to leave there running. He finished up nicely. Nothing like winning one."

Bulletin's connections were, of course, part of the ownership group that campaigned this year's Triple Crown winner Justify (Scat Daddy).

"It has been a storybook year to have partners like Mr. Teo and the China Horse Club, it makes it really fun to win these kind of races," said Elliott Walden, WinStar Farm President and CEO, at the post-race press conference while seated alongside the China Horse Club's chief executive.

"It never gets old."

Pedigree Notes:

Bulletin's dam Sue's Good News (Woodman) was just a $45,000 Keeneland September '01 yearling buy by Carol Hicks. After earning in excess of $218,000 and winning in graded company going long on the dirt, she continued to reward her owner when producing eventual Grade I winner and millionaire Tiz Miz Sue (Tiznow).

Tiz Miz Sue's now 2-year-old colt Tatweej (Tapit) was a $2.5-million September yearling last year, and her Uncle Mo filly brought $500,000 there this year. Bulletin has a yearling half-brother by Uncle Mo and Sue's Good News most recently visited Violence.