American Pharoah at Keeneland

When three-time Breeders’ Cup winner Beholder was scratched out of the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Classic, that left Triple Crown winner American Pharoah as a heavy favorite to win the race. The Bob Baffert-trained son of Pioneerof the Nile faced Grade 1 winners Honor Code, Keen Ice, Tonalist, and Frosted, as well as Irish star Gleneagles, and trounced them all by 6 1/2 lengths. The horse who ran second, 33-1 shot Effinex, became a Grade 1 winner in his very next start.

Victor Espinoza rode the famous winner, who had previously won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, Haskell Invitational, and Arkansas Derby. American Pharoah retired with nine wins in 11 starts and earnings of $8.6 million.

His feat of winning the Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup Classic, now called winning horse racing’s Grand Slam, has not been duplicated since.

Other winners on the day included the filly Found defeating the great Golden Horn in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1). The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) went to unbeaten Nyquist, who would go on to win the Kentucky Derby. Also in the race was future Preakness Stakes winner Exaggerator.

Keeneland Racetrack

The Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) went to the filly Tepin, who beat a world-class field by more than two lengths. Mark Casse trained the winner, who scored under top Keeneland jockey Julien Leparoux.

The Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) went to popular Runhappy, trained by Maria Borell. The Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf went to Stephanie’s Kitten, who beat heavily favored Legatissimo (Ire).

Mongolian Saturday won the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) by a neck, while Wavell Avenue won the Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) at 10-1 odds over New York star La Verdad.

The Friday races were also thrilling. Songbird won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) en route to winning 12 races in a row. Irish runner Hit It a Bomb paid $16.40 when winning the Juvenile Turf (G1) for Aidan O’Brien and jockey Ryan Moore. The Dirt Mile went to Liam’s Map by 2 1/2 lengths in a stellar performance, beating Grade 1 winners Lea and Wicked Strong. Canadian-based Catch a Glimpse was a very popular winner in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), and the Distaff went to Stopchargingmaria in a rough race filled with bumping.


2020 Breeders Cup

The 2020 Breeders’ Cup will take place at Keeneland on November 6 and 7. There will be $35 million in purses topped by the $7 million Longines Classic and the $6 million Longines Turf. Seven more races, the Distaff, Mile, Sprint, Juvenile, Juvenile Fillies, Filly, and Mare Turf, and Dirt Mile, are worth $2 million each.

Keeneland would like to host the Breeders’ Cup every few years as part of a rotation with Santa Anita, Churchill Downs, and Del Mar. It is likely that the Breeders’ Cup will be back at Keeneland again in the future.

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