ARCADIA, Calif. – A beautiful, sunny autumn day graced race fans at Santa Anita Park on the first day of the 36th annual Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
Storm the Court ($93.80) won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile to take the first step towards the 2020 Kentucky Derby for trainer Peter Eurton. Heavy favorite Dennis’ Moment stumbled at the start and finished last, unable to recover from the unfortunate break at the gate.
Friday’s five Future Stars Breeders’ Cup races only saw one winning favorite on the day. Saturday's nine races will culminate in Saturday’s $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Here’s a capsule look at the five races concluded on Friday at the track set under the San Gabriel mountains:
Juvenile Turf Sprint: Four Wheel Drive ($5) kicked off the weekend winning the $1 million Juvenile Turf Sprint for 2-year-olds for trainer Wesley Ward. It was stallion American Pharoah’s first BC winner as a sire. Irad Ortiz, Jr. took the winner gate-to-wire to win his 6th career BC race. The winner paid $3.40 to place and $3 to show. Chimney Rock was three-quarters of a length behind the victor and paid $8.20 to place and $5.40 to show. Longshot Another Miracle, also a son of American Pharoah, finished third and paid $7.80 to show.
Juvenile Turf: Structor ($12.60) came from behind with Jose Ortiz in the irons to win the $1 million Juvenile Turf for trainer Chad Brown, his 13th BC career training win. The son of Palace Malice paid $7.20 to place and $5.20 for third. Billy Batts under Paco Lopez held on for second to pay $33.40 to place and $18.20 to show. Long shot Gear Jockey rallied to finish third at 60-1 and paid $20.20 to show. The $1 trifecta paid a whopping $5,983.50.
Juvenile Fillies: British Idiom ($7.40) caught a game Donna Veloce in deep stretch to win the $2 million Juvenile Fillies by a neck. The daughter of Flashback gave trainer Brad Cox his second Breeders’ Cup win. Javier Castellano rode the filly to victory that paid $3.80 to place and $2.80 to show for his 11th BC win. Runner-up Donna Veloce paid $4 to place and $3 to show. Bast, trained by Bob Baffert, rounded out the trifecta to pay $3.40 for the show.
Juvenile Fillies Turf: Graham Motion scored his fourth BC training win with Sharing ($29.60) in the $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf. Manny Franco rode the winner for his first career win in the BC and paid $10.60 to place and $8.40 to show. The winner’s mare Shared Account won the 2010 Filly and Mare Turf. European invader Daahyeh paid $5.60 for second and $3.80 for show. Sweet Melania finished third and paid $4.60.
Juvenile: Storm the Court upset the $2 million Juvenile at 45-1 for trainer Peter Eurton. It was his second BC training win and the second time he’s blown up a tote at Santa Anita Park. In 2016, Champagne Room won the Juvenile Fillies at 33-1 for the California-based trainer. Flavien Prat won his third career BC race aboard the winner. Storm the Court, a son of Court Vision, held off 25-1 Anneau d’Oro to register a neck victory and paid $24.80 to place and $12 to show. Anneau d’Or ran a huge second and paid $17.60 to place and $10.40 for show. Longshot Wrecking Crew paid $15.80 to show, completing a $1 trifecta that paid $3,930.50.
Gene Kershner, a Buffalo-based turf writer, is a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association, and tweets @EquiSpace.