2012 Breeders’ Cup History Watch
By Dana Byerly
Hurricane Sandy kept us from getting one our favorite annual posts up earlier but we’ve already seen two historical moments so far!
Mike Smith became the most winning jockey scoring his 16th win aboard Royal Delta in the Ladies Classic, and he’s got five chances to increase that number today. 9-year-old Calidoscopio became the oldest Breeders’ Cup winner. Prior to Calidoscopio several 7-year-olds were the oldest to win: Cardmania (1993 Sprint), Miesque’s Approval (2006 Mile), Elmhurst (1997 Sprint).
Update: Smith now at 17 wins with Mizdirection in Turf Sprint.
In the “not sure it’s a record but definitely notable” department, the Ladies Classic had three prior Breeders’ Cup winners in Awesome Feather (2010 Juvenile Fillies), My Miss Aurelia (2011 Juvenile Fillies) and eventual winner Royal Delta (2011 Ladies Classic).
Mile contender Animal Kingdom also brings up some interesting historical notes (and possibly records). Should he win he would be the first Kentucky Derby winner to go on to BC victory AFTER Derby since 1990 Unbridled won the Classic in 1990. Other Kentucky Derby winners who have won a post-Derby Breeders’ Cup race include Sunday Silence (1989), Alysheba (1988) and Ferdinand (1987). He would be the first to complete the Kentucky Derby / Mile combo.
Animal Kingdom’s layoff is quite possibly historic too (I will try to verify). Matt Gardner put a list together going back to 2006 was and the longest layoff I could find was Precisionist who won 1985 Sprint off 4 ½ month layoff (2nd in Hollywood Gold Cup 6/23/1985 → 11/2/1985). Animal Kingdom’s last races on February 18th, that’s a 8-1/2 month lay off!
Turf Sprint contender California Flag is also coming off a notable layoff with his last race on April 21, 6-1/2 months off. He’ll also be running his in his fifth consecutive Breeders’ Cup. Perfect Drift started in five consecutive Classics, never finishing better than third (twice!). California Flag won the 2009 edition of the Turf Sprint.
Update: We missed Mizdirection’s layoff! She was last out on May 27, a 6 month lay off. This might be the win off the longest layoff baring a win by Animal Kingdom, we will confirm!
I haven’t had a chance to dig in to each of the races of Trailblazer will attempt to become the first Japanese-bred Breeders’ Cup winner in the Turf and Great Hot will make another attempt to become the first Brazilian-bred BC winner in the Filly & Mare Sprint.
More to come as we uncover them! Here’s hoping we witness plenty of history.
Wrap Up New
We still have to confirm (confirmed!) Mizdirection’s layoff as the longest successful layoff at 5 months (Animal Kingdom was close with his second in the Mile!) and Mike Smith topped off at 17 wins.
One we initially missed was trainer D. Wayne Lukas adding a win to his existing record for a total of 19 BC wins. He scored an upset with Hightail in the Juvenile Sprint of Friday. Prior to that his last winner was Folklore in the 2005 Juvenile Fillies.