Beholder wins Distaff race at Breeders' Cup; Princess of Sylmar finishes last
ARCADIA, Calif. - A wily older jockey and a whip-smart filly named Beholder teamed up to win the $2 million Distaff by 41/4 lengths Friday at Santa Anita, spoiling Royal Delta's bid for a third straight victory at the Breeders' Cup.
Sent off as the third betting choice, Beholder relaxed while running third down the backstretch before moving up to wrest the lead from pacesetter Authenticity and going on to the easy victory under Gary Stevens.
"There was never a bit of panic from her, so there was never a bit of panic from me," Stevens said.
Royal Delta and jockey Mike Smith finished fourth as the 7-5 favorite.
Princess of Sylmar, owned by Ed Stanko of King of Prussia Stable, was last in the field of six.
Winner of six of her last seven starts before Friday, the loss could eliminate her from Horse of the Year talk.
Beholder, last year's champion 2-year-old filly, paid $7.60, $4.20 and $3.20. Close Hatches returned $6.60 and $4.80, while Authenticity was another 13/4 lengths back in third and paid $4.20 to show. Street Girl was fifth.
Goldencents raced to the lead out of the gate and held to win the $1 million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile by three lengths.
Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Goldencents ran the distance in 1:35.12 and paid $9.60, $5 and $4.
Among Goldencents' ownership group is Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino, who wasn't present.
Golden Ticket returned $6.40 and $4.60.
Brazil-bred Brujo De Olleros was another two lengths back in third and paid $4.60 to show.
Verrazano, the 5-2 favorite, finished fourth.
Outstrip roared down the center of the turf course, overtaking the leaders just before the finish line to win the $1 million Juvenile Turf by a length and giving jockey Mike Smith his second win of the day.
Owned by Godolphin Racing, Outstrip covered a mile in 1:33.20 and paid $14, $6.80 and $3.60 at 6-1 odds.
Giovanni Boldini returned $6.40 and $3.40. Bobby's Kitten, the 7-5 favorite, was another half-length back in third and paid $2.40 to show.
Smith extended his record for Breeders' Cup victories among jockeys to 19.
London Bridge rallied on the outside in the stretch to win the $500,000 Marathon by a length, extending Mike Smith's record for most Breeders' Cup victories among jockeys to 18.
The 3-year-old colt ran 13/4 miles in 2:58.32.
London Bridge paid $20, $10.20 and $6.40 in becoming the first New York-bred to win a Breeders' Cup race.
Blueskiesnrainbows returned $9 and $6.20, and Worldly was another neck back in third and paid $4.80 to show.
The Breeders' Cup had an Arabian nightcap for the first time.
Friday's card ended with the rare sight of a white horse pulling away from the field as So Big Is Better won the $150,000 United Arab Emirates Cup.
It marked the first time a Breeders' Cup card included a race for the Arabian breed, forerunners to the thoroughbreds that dominate U.S. and European horse racing.