Breeders’ Cup buzz: rides of a lifetime – horse racing news
Godolphin homebred Essential Quality, ridden by Luis Saez, wins the TVG Juvenile Presented By Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance on Breeders’ Cup Championship Friday at Keeneland on November 6, 2020: in Lexington, Kentucky. John Voorhees / Eclipse Sportswire / Breeders Cup / CSM
Behind every winning race is a winning race, and the Breeders’ Cup produced some of the most impressive driving efforts the sport has ever seen.
When considering these winning trips, some of the credit must, of course, go to the agents of the jockeys who booked the mounts for their riders. An agent knows a good ride when he sees it.
With 37 years of Breeders ‘Cup racing, we interviewed six agent jockeys to get their picks for the biggest riding effort in Breeders’ Cup history. The answers cast a wide net from personal wins to betting scores to rooting for childhood heroes.
“For obvious reasons it would be Gun Runner in the Breeders’ Cup Classic in Del Mar. I’m still surprised that Arrogate is the favorite. Bettors thought Gun Runner would have trouble going a mile and a half, but the connections felt different. Arrogate had beaten him several times, and it was not only an incredible thrill to see Florent Geroux win the race, but redemption for the way he did it. The fractions were 22.4, 46.1, 1: 10.2 and 1:35. It went from one thread to another and I thought it was an exceptional race. Very good memories of a special race.
“Arazi and Zenyatta are the most impressive horse races I have seen. Even when Zenyatta finished second, she was impressive. Alysheba and Personal Ensign are my favorite wins. My favorite ride was Pat Day on Wild Again in the 1984 Classic. ”
“Randy Romero on Personal Ensign in the mud making the last jump to nail Gary Stevens on Winning Colors (1988 Distaff). He was my idol when I was a kid and I couldn’t have been happier and more proud of him.
“Pat Valenzuela aboard Fraise dans le Turf 1992 stands out the most. It was the first Breeders’ Cup that I was of “legal” wagering age and I put $ 100 on it. He came from last place and P-Val made all the right moves to work his way through the field on the turn. When they straightened up he dove down and snuck up along the fence and pinched Sky Classic straight on the money. There is no other path he could have taken and had the same result.
“Gulch in the 1988 sprint. Angel Cordero Jr. was masterful!
“Julie Krone’s run on Halfbridled in the 2003 Juvenile Fillies was one of the best I’ve seen. It’s not always about squeezing through traffic and getting up to the wire. Sometimes it’s about getting your horse to do its best under adverse circumstances, and that’s what happened in this race. They snapped off post 14 and Julie was able to relax her filly while going wide and still not expending too much energy until she could get a better position in the back stretch. By the time they turned home, Julie had Halfbridled in a perfect winning position with something in the tank for the race to the wire.
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