Saturday’s outcome at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships was a redemption of sorts for jockey Mike Smith, who wept at the finish line in 2010 after Blame edged out Horse-of-the-Year Zenyatta by a head in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
The loss devastated Smith, who looked to no one but himself to – forgive the pun – blame for the loss, which crushed Zenyatta’s campaign for her 20th consecutive win suffering her first and only career loss.
Saturday, however, there was no sorrow or agony of defeat for the 2005 Kentucky Derby winner. Instead there was a beaming smile across Smith’s face as he and Drosselmeyer crossed the finish line first in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.
In déjà vu like fashion, Smith and Drosselmeyer came sprinting up on the outside track, similar to where Smith had led Zenyatta during the final stretch of the 2010 Classic. This time, though, Smith would ride to victory, overtaking Game on Dude, ridden by none other than Smith’s ex-fiancee, Chantal Sutherland, a fact that continues to be replayed, though the two have refused to be baited.
Smith and trainer Bill Mott were certainly celebrating after the win, as were the fans who had faith in the horse who won the 2010 Belmont Stakes. “I had the first leg, the second leg and the third leg,” said an ecstatic Kyle Strander, who won $45,000 with a Pick-4 bet on Drosselmeyer, who went off at 14 to 1 odds.
The World Championships of horse racing weren’t just all about the steeds and winning wagers on the track. A few other attendees walked away with big cash – not for their bets, but for their fabulous attire.
On the first day of Breeders’ Cup, The Voice-Tribune hosted Fascinator & Fedora Friday where $5,000 was awarded to Michael Woodlee, who dazzled our judges with his fetching fedora, and Megan Harned, who donned a Glitz by Gin fascinator made with feathers and a leopard-spotted flower in the center.
“The Fascinator & Fedora Friday event was a huge success,” said Lauren DePaso, The Voice-Tribune’s project leader. “We were so thrilled with the amount of people that participated in this year’s event. The partnership The Voice-Tribune has with Breeders’ Cup and Churchill Downs proved to once again be a great way to kick off the Breeders’ Cup weekend.”
In addition to the alluring headwear witnessed at the track, the 105,820 individuals wagered an astounding $155,525,947 in the common pool and showed – as President of Churchill Downs racetrack Kevin Flanery said – that once again, “this town shows up for big events and for horse racing like nobody else in the country.”
Among those in attendance at Breeders’ Cup’s second-largest crowd in history were horse trainers, former jockeys, celebrities, politicians and, of course, the biggest horse racing enthusiasts from around the world.
“It’s just beautiful,” actress Bo Derek said of the experience at Churchill Downs on Saturday. “The weather is beautiful, the horses are superb. I’m just rooting for Goldikova and Game on Dude!”
Both of Derek’s favorites came up short of victory, and Goldikova’s loss in the tenth race was one of the biggest surprises at Saturday’s World Championships.
In a photo finish in the $2 million race, 64-1 long-shot Court Vision beat out the competition, leaving Turallure in second and Goldikova in third.
Court Vision, ridden by jockey Robby Albarado, became the second-largest long-shot to win a Breeders’ Cup race behind Arcangues who won the Classic in 1993 with 133-1 odds.
“We’re delighted to have the Breeders’ Cup here,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “It’s a class organization, the best horse people in the world come in around here and it pumps over $50 million into the local economy as well. What’s unique about Louisville is people get excited when we have a big horse race here. We do it better than any place in the world, and we’ll do it as often as we can with the Breeders’ Cup.”
Contact writer Ashley Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org, 502.498.2051.
Category: Cover Stories
About the Author (Author Profile)
Ashley spends half her time writing stories at The Voice-Tribune office and half her time out on the town conducting interviews, while occasionally dressing in wild outfits to fully immerse herself in the experience (aka Princess Leia at Comic Con). Ashley is a huge UofL fan and loves the Yankees and the Boston Celtics (she is fully aware of the irony). She hopes to one day outshine Erin Andrews on ESPN and enjoys running, Bardstown Road/Fourth Street, Breaking Bad and reality TV (she’s not ashamed to admit that).