The Latest: Syndergaard swings and misses in BC Juvenile

November 5, 2016 GMT
Julien Velasquez, center, rides Classic Empire to victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile horse race at Santa Anita, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, in Arcadia, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Julien Velasquez, center, rides Classic Empire to victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile horse race at Santa Anita, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, in Arcadia, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the Breeders’ Cup (all times local):

3:25 p.m.

Syndergaard swung and missed in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

The 2-year-old colt finished fifth in the $2 million race Saturday. Named for New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard, the colt broke second out of the starting gate and quickly went to the lead. He had eventual winner Classic Empire on his outside and they dueled from the far turn to the quarter pole before Syndergaard gave way.

Ridden by John Velazquez and trained by Todd Pletcher, Syndergaard has two wins in four career starts. The colt could be a contender on the Triple Crown trail next year.


3 p.m.

Classic Empire has won the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile by a neck, making him the winter favorite for next year’s Kentucky Derby.


Ridden by Julien Leparoux, Classic Empire ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.60 and paid $11, $5 and $3.80 as the 9-2 second choice.

Trained by Kentucky-based Mark Casse, Classic Empire’s sire is Pioneerof the Nile, who finished second in the 2009 Kentucky Derby. Pioneerof the Nile sired recent Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.

Classic Empire’s grand sire is Empire Maker, who won the 2003 Belmont Stakes.

The bay colt has won four of five career starts, losing only when he tossed his rider in the Hopeful at Saratoga in September.

Not This Time, the 5-2 favorite, returned $4.60 and $3.40, while Practical Joke was another 7 1/2 lengths back in third and paid $4.60 to show.

Lookin At Lee finished fourth in the 11-horse field.


2:40 p.m.

A favorite has finally won at the Breeders’ Cup.

Obviously edged Om by a nose in the $1 million Turf Sprint to win his first Cup race in five tries at age eight.

The gelding who was the oldest horse in the field of 14 took charge out of the starting gate for the run on the downhill course. Obviously didn’t face serious pressure until the final strides when Om closed furiously.

Ridden by Flavien Prat, Obviously returned $9.60, $5.20 and $3.60 as the 7-2 favorite. Trainer Phil D’Amato won his first Cup race.

Om returned $6 and $4.40, while Pure Sensation was another length back in third and paid $6.60 to show.


2:30 p.m.

Trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Martin Garcia reunited just in time to win the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

The two had a successful run together before parting ways without a public explanation.

They teamed to win the Sprint with Drefong on Saturday.

Baffert attributes their separation to tension that exists when a trainer and jockey go through a winless period. The trainer says there wasn’t any argument between them, but they just needed to take an extended break.

Garcia says he feels lucky to be back with Baffert.

“Everything’s good,” Baffert says. “He got a big, fat check.”


1:35 p.m.


Drefong won the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint by 1 1/4 lengths for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who earned his record fifth victory in the race.

Ridden by Martin Garcia, Drefong ran six furlongs in 1:08.79 and paid $9.80, $4.80 and $3.80 as the 7-2 third choice in the wagering.

Baffert also won the Sprint in 1992, 2007, 2008 and 2013.

Masochistic, the 8-5 favorite ridden by Mike Smith, returned $4 and $2.80, while Mind Your Biscuits was another nose back in third and paid $4.60 to show.

Smith has been the regular rider for Drefong, but he chose to get on Masochistic, who finished 14th and last in the 2015 Sprint at Keeneland.


1:15 p.m.

The flying dismount was back as Frankie Dettori guided Queen’s Trust to a nose victory over 8-5 favorite Lady Eli in the $2 million Filly & Mare Turf at the Breeders’ Cup.

The Italian jockey entertained the crowd with his patented leap from the saddle after Queen’s Trust scored the 8-1 upset, only the second win in eight career starts for the 3-year-old.

It was the first European winner at this year’s Breeders’ Cup. Queen’s Trust is trained in England by Sir Michael Stoute.

It was a hard-luck loss for Lady Eli, the 2014 Juvenile Filly Turf winner who missed more than a year while recovering from a potentially fatal hoof infection.

Queen’s Trust ran 1 ¼ miles in 1:57.75 and paid $18, $8.40 and $5.80.

Lady Eli returned $3.20 and $2.80, while Avenge was another length back in third and paid $7.40 to show.


12:30 p.m.

There’s been an upset in the opening race of the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita.

Sent off at 30-1 odds, Champagne Room won the $2 million Juvenile Fillies by three-quarters of a length on Saturday, one of nine Cup races on the card.

Mario Gutierrez gave Champagne Room a perfect ride, sitting second behind pacesetter Noted and Quoted before taking charge in deep stretch. She ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.12.

Trained by Peter Eurton, Champagne Room paid $69.20, $26.60 and $13.

Valadorna returned $9.80 and $6.60, while 4-1 favorite American Gal was another 3 ¼ lengths back in third and paid $4.80 to show.

Champagne Room got her second win in five starts.


11:50 a.m.

There are more scratches in the Breeders’ Cup.

France-bred Suedois is out of the $1 million Turf Sprint, which moves Green Mask into the 14-horse field.

Metaboss has been scratched from the $4 million Turf.

Earlier in the week, Joking and Lord Nelson were withdrawn from the $1.5 million Sprint.


10:50 a.m.

Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens is out $500 after being fined for skipping his mount in the last race at Santa Anita on Friday.

Stevens rode Beholder to a nose victory in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff and attended the post-race news conference around the same time he was supposed to ride Mr. Roary in the Grade 2 Twilight Derby that closed the 10-race card.

As a result, Stevens was fined by the California Horse Racing Board on Saturday.

He can afford it. By winning the Distaff, Stevens earned $110,000, his 10 percent of the $1.1 million winner’s share.


10:30 a.m.

Shaman Ghost has been scratched from the $6 million Classic at the Breeders’ Cup.

The assistant to trainer Jimmy Jerkens says the horse spiked a temperature overnight and didn’t eat all his feed, knocking him out of the showcase race of the two-day world championships at Santa Anita.

That means Frank Stronach, who owns Santa Anita Park, won’t have a horse in North America’s richest race. He owns Shaman Ghost, who was coming off a narrow win in the Woodward at Belmont Park.

The scratch also costs Irad Ortiz Jr. a ride in the big race. However, Jerkens will still saddle Effinex in the Classic. The 5-year-old horse was runner-up last year.