Here’s a Breeders’ Cup update from Friday’s trio of races that featured horses with Virginia ties!
After a thrilling two horse stretch duel and a five minute steward’s review, Stopchargingmaria’s half length win over Virginia-bred Stellar Wind in the $2 million Longines Distaff held up. Both horses went off at 7-1 and shook free from a crowded 14 horse field in the stretch. The eventual winner, who was inside, bumped the runner-up three times before the finish but not enough in the steward’s minds to overturn the order. Stellar Wind, who has 4 graded stakes wins this year, is a 3-year-old daughter of Curlin and was bred by Peggy Augustus’ Keswick Stables & Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings. The winner, a Todd Pletcher trainee, paid $16.20 and the $2 superfecta combo of 4-9-8-14 paid $9,249.40.
Virginia represented horses also were solid in the $1,000,000 Las Vegas Dirt Mile, finishing 3rd, 4th & 5th!
Red Vine, a 4 year old son of Candy Ride that was purchased by Virginia Equine Alliance President Debbie Easter at the 2012 Fasig-Florida two year old sale (for Californian’s Jon and Sarah Kelly), finished 3rd after being sent off at 9-1. 4th place finisher Wicked Strong, sent off at 11-1, came on strong in the stretch and beat Virginia-bred Valid, who ended up 5th by a slim quarter length margin. Owned by a Centennial Farms Partnership that includes Maggie Bryant, Wicked Strong received his early training from Paula Parsons at Centennial’s facility in Middleburg, VA. Valid, sent off at 45-1, was a $500,000 yearling from the next to last crop of Ned Evans’s homebreds.
Highland Sky finished a respectable 6th in the $2,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, ending up only 3 3/4 lengths behind the winner, Hit it a Bomb. Highland Sky was bred by Virginia Thoroughbred Association member Bonner Young, who is Manassas, VA resident. The winner paid $16.40 and the $2 superfecta combo of 14-6-8-10 paid a whopping $15,166.20!
Day Two of “Cup” action is Saturday (Oct. 31) and can be seen live on NBC Sports Network from 1-4 PM, on NBC from 4-6 PM., and on line at www.breederscup.com. You can bet on line at TVG, XpressBet & Twin Spires!