LADIES FIRST FOR THE OPENING DAY OF THE BREEDERS’ CUP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS SIMULCAST EVENT
Zenyatta Keeps Her Winning Streak Alive Claiming $2 Million Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic on Friday, October 24, 2008
HOUSTON (October 24, 2008)—The ladies took center stage on Friday, October 24, for opening day of the 25th Running of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The weekend of top Thoroughbred racing is simulcast Friday and Saturday at Sam Houston Race Park (www.shrp.com).
The 25th Running of the Breeders’ Cup at The Park is presented by the Houston Chronicle and Woodford Reserve.
The 10-race card exclusively for fillies and mares was headlined by the $2 Million Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic where the magnificent Zenyatta (2-5) coasted to victory before a star-studded crowd at Santa Anita Park in California.
The 4-year-old filly, unbeaten through nine impressive starts, started out trailing the field before surging to the front, only a furlong out, and crossing the wire with a winning time of 1:46.85. The 1 1/8 mile race completed a perfect racing season for Zenyatta and secured her the Eclipse Award, naming her the best of her division.
Zenyatta ($3.00), ridden by jockey Mike Smith, faded to last in the eight-horse field early in the race, but then produced her typical, bold and commanding rush on the far turn.
“I’ve never felt something like this,” said Smith, who took home two Breeders’ Cup wins on Friday. “Those are the best fillies in the world right there. She’s amazing.”
Zenyatta is trained by John Shirreffs and owned by Jerry and Ann Moss, all of whom took home their first Breeders’ Cup victory.
“She’s so special and we’re so blessed to have her in our barn,” said Moss. “This is our first Breeders’ Cup win, and this will be our first champion.”
Final placement in the Ladies’ Classic featured Cocoa Beach finishing second, Music Note in third, followed by Carriage Trail, Hystericalady, Ginger Punch, Santa Teresita and Bear Now.
In the first Breeders’ Cup race on opening day, Ventura ($7.60) shook off favored horse, Indian Blessing, down the stretch and drew off to win the $1 Million Sentient Flight Group Filly & Mare Sprint. Ridden by Garrett Gomez for trainer Bobby Frankel, Ventura was sent off as the 5-2 second choice favorite and finished the seven furlong race in a time of 1:19.90. This win marks the seventh win in 15 starts for the 4-year-old filly from Juddmonte Farms.
Racing fans were all smiles when Maram ($24.20)held off betting favorite Laragh in the inaugural $1 Million Grey Goose Juvenile Fillies Turf. Trainer Chad Brown earned his first Breeders’ Cup victory when Maram crossed the finish line of the one mile race in 1:35.15. Jockey Jose Lezcano steered her to victory in her third career win.
In the third Breeders’ Cup race on “Filly Friday,” Stardom Bound rallied from the rear of the pack to win the $2 Million Bessemer Trust Juvenile Fillies. The daughter of Tapit is owned by Charles Cono and trained by Christopher Paasch, both of whom are planning to retire from the business by next spring. Plans of selling the 2-year-old filly are scheduled for November 2, in the Fasig-Tipton select sale at Keeneland. Stardom Bound breezed over the Pro-Ride track in 1:40.99 and returned $5.20 as the favorite in the 13-horse field. Mike Smith controlled the reins in his second victory of the day.
Forever Together ($11.80)gave a late surge and rallied wide in the stretch to win the $2 Million Emirates Airline Filly & Mare Turf in a time of 2:01.58. Forever Together was kept near the back half of the field because jockey Julien Leparoux knows the Jonathon Sheppard-trained filly has a blazing late kick and she proved it again today. Owned by Augustin Stable, Forever Together now has won 7 of 13 races and gave Sheppard his first Breeders’ Cup win.
In celebration of Fillies Friday, The Park offered free admission to ladies, happy hour specials and advance wagering for Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup racing events.
The weekend of live racing simulcast action continues on Saturday, October 25, as the gentlemen take to the track at Santa Anita Park. Witness some of racing top moments on more than 1,400 televisions at The Park. Nine Breeders’ Cup races are set to run on Saturday, including the richest race, the $5 Million Breeders’ Cup Classic, featuring 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin. Gates open at 9:00 a.m. and Post time for the first Breeders’ Cup race is 12:10 p.m.
The Park’s announcer, Michael Chamberlain, and the Houston Chronicle’s Martha Claussen will host a handicapping seminar on the Club Level at 12:20 p.m.
Sam Houston Race Park is Houston’s premier racing and entertainment facility, located 15 minutes from downtown Houston, and offers a variety of attractions including 19 luxury suites overlooking the race track, The Pavilion Centre, and award-winning dining options at the Winner’s Circle Restaurant and Jockey Club. The Park’s newest addition, The Showgrounds, is an all-ages venue that hosts annual Country, Classic Rock and Contemporary concert events throughout the year. For more information on upcoming shows, events and tickets, please visit www.theshowgrounds.com.
Our conveniently located, multi-functional facility can comfortably accommodate 10 to 10,000 for business, pleasure or a combination of the two!