Breeders’ Cup Saturday Recaps

Santa Anita Park hosts the 2023 Breeders’ Cup (Photo by Stacy Edwards)

By Jarrod Horak

The Breeders’ Cup Saturday card is in the books and I will look back at all the action in two articles. In this post, I will review the BC Dirt Mile, Filly & Mare Turf, Filly & Mare Sprint, Mile, and Distaff. Check out my Breeders’ Cup Saturday 2023 recaps below.

Breeders’ Cup Saturday Recaps

BC Dirt Mile

A thrilling finish in this flat mile contest. Flavien Prat was intent on the early lead from the outside post aboard Preakness hero National Treasure. He discouraged the other speed horses through splits of 22.21, 46.02, and 1:09.78. He spurted away by 2 1/2 lengths after six panels and strong favorite Cody’s Wish was the only one with a chance to catch the Bob Baffert speedster, and what a great ride from his pilot Junior Alvarado. Last year’s BC Dirt Mile hero was gathering momentum from off the pace, and the son of Curlin moved up inside, angled out, and confronted the longtime leader. There was some bumping going on in deep stretch and Cody’s Wish gamely prevailed by a nose over National Treasure. There was an inquiry into the stretch run but no change was made to the original order of finish. The stewards made the right call. Skippylongstocking chased the pace and was miles clear of the rest. The final time was 1:35.97 and Bill Mott was the winning trainer. 

BC Filly & Mare Turf

Inspiral (GB) was the favorite and she was best under Frankie Dettori. There was a question about the 1 1/4 miles distance but she put those concerns to rest. In Italian (GB) set the pace as expected but figured to struggle with the 1 1/4 miles distance, and she weakened in the stretch. My top choice Warm Heart (IRE) got a dream inside stalking trip under Ryan Moore. Aidan O’Brien’s colt took the lead in deep stretch and briefly looked home free, but Inspiral produced a wicked turn of foot and surged late to score by a neck. Moira nosed Win Marilyn (JPN) for the show spot. The final time was 1:59.06 and John Gosden saddled the winner. 

BC Filly & Mare Sprint

Eda added blinkers and she was the key to how the pace played out. Society was the outside speed and there was a chance that she would be able to control this race, but Eda was sent hard from an inner post under Juan Hernandez. Those tactics played right into the hands of defending champ Goodnight Olive. The latter stalked from the inside post, took over in the lane, and won easily. Yuugiri stalked wide and completed the exacta, and Three Witches rallied past Society to land the show. The final time was 1:22.97 and Irad Ortiz Jr. rode the winner for Chad Brown. 

BC Mile 

This one came down to the wire and it was a tight finish. Win Carnelian (JPN) and Astronomer set quick splits of 22.16, 45.37, and 1:09.12. My value top choice Mawj (IRE) got a great stalking trip behind the two early leaders, and she got the lead in the stretch and looked like a winner. However, Master of the Seas (IRE) rumbled home from post 14 and kicked it in high gear late, and he got up by a desperate nose. Mawj ran too good to lose and Casa Creed held off Gina Romantica for the show spot. The final time was 1:32.45 and William Buick rode the winner for Charles Appleby. Speaking of Appleby, he has saddled the last three winners of the BC Mile. 

BC Distaff 

There were multiple early-pressing types in this race and the early lead was up for grabs. Randomized set the pace under Jose Ortiz and race favorite Idiomatic settled into a perfect tracking trip under Florent Geroux. The Curlin filly moved to the fore in the lane and held off a host of rivals to score by a half-length. Randomized held the place by the nose over a flying Le Da Vida (CHI). Clairiere tried to get involved late but was in tight and ended up a close 4th. The final time was 1:50.57 and Brad Cox was the winning trainer.