The 29th Breeders' Cup World Championships kicked off on Friday at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. It was relatively cool with temperatures in the low 70's with minimal wind and sunny skies, however light smog shrouded the San Gabriel Mountains. Only 34,619 fans came out for the first day of the two-day festivities, and there appeared to be plenty of empty seats especially at the Clocker's Corner end of the stands. The main track, which was converted back to conventional dirt since the last Breeders' Cup here, was fast while the turf was firm.
The highlight of Friday's card is the $2 million Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic (G1) for older fillies and mares going 1 1/8 miles on the main track. Defending champion and Beldame (G1) winner Royal Delta was the 8-5 favorite over 2-1 Awesome Feather, winner of the Nasty Storm at Belmont, and 6-1 My Miss Aurelia, undefeated winner of the Cotillion (G1).
Jockey Mike Smith sent Royal Delta to the lead through fractions of 22.69, 45.81, and 1:09.80 while stalked by 9-1 Love and Pride. Entering the stretch, Love and Pride tired while My Miss Aurelia, 4th early, moved up to challenge the favorite. However Royal Delta easily dismissed her to win by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:48.80. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to 12-1 Include Me Out third.
On to Saturday's Race Results - 12 more races including the Classic, Turf, and Mile!
Breeders' Cup Wrap-up - stats, records, achievements, wagering, and more