Day two of the 26th Breeders' Cup World Championships took place Saturday at Santa Anita Park before a crowd of 58,845 enjoying partly sunny skies and temperatures in the low 70's. Total attendance for the two days increased from 86,588 to 96,496. Again the main Pro-Ride synthetic track was fast and the turf course was very firm.
The $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) at 1 1/4 miles for older horses is the richest race in North America and traditionally decides Horse of the Year. Zenyatta, last year's Ladies' Classic winner and undefeated in 13 career starts, was the 5-2 favorite In her first race against males. In to challenge her included 7-2 Rip Van Winkle, winner of the Queen Elizabeth II last out, and 7-1 Summer Bird, winner of the Jockey Club Gold Cup and Belmont Stakes.
Regal Ransom set an early pace of 24.16, 47.88, 1:11.88, and 1:36.16 while as many as 1 1/2 lengths in front of Rip Van Winkle and Colonel John. At the top of the stretch, Gio Ponti, who was 9th early, split horses on the inside to take a short lead with a furlong remaining. However, Zenyatta, who was last early, came out wide for the drive and wore down Gio Ponti late to get the hard-fought victory in 2:00.62 over the fast Pro-Ride synthetic track. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to Twice Over third.
On to Part 2 with the Mile, Dirt Mile, Juvenile Turf, and Turf Sprint
Friday races: Ladies' Classic, F/M Sprint, F/M Turf, Juvenile Fillies, Juvenile Fillies Turf, and Marathon