The 28th renewal of the Breeders' Cup World Championships kicked off with 6 races on Friday at Churchill Downs, before a crowd of 40,667. Fans and participants enjoyed a sunny fall afternoon with temperatures in the 50's and a slight breeze. However heavy rains Thursday and overnight rendered the track muddy and turf yielding for the undercard, which were upgraded to good on both surfaces in time for the Championship events.
The feature race on Championship Friday is the $2 million Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (G1), formerly known as the Distaff, contested at 1 1/8 miles over the main track. Alabama Stakes (G1) winner Royal Delta was the 2-1 favorite in the field of 9 over 5-2 Plum Pretty, winner of the Cotillion (G2), and 9-2 It's Tricky, second in both the Cotillion and Alabama.
Plum Pretty set the early pace of 24.18, 49.00, and 1:13.72 while as many as 2 1/2 lengths in front of It's Tricky stalking in second. Plum Pretty led to the 1/8 pole through 1 mile in 1:38.12, but tired badly as Royal Delta, who raced 4th most of the way, easily took over and drew off to a 2 1/2 length win over It's Tricky in 1:50.78 over the "good" track. It was another 2 1/4 lengths back to 13-1 Pachattack third.