of Kelowna, B.C. and John Fielding
of Toronto, Ontario, notched important wins on the opening day of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships
at Del Mar Racetrack in California.
Forever Unbridled, a Fipke homebred daughter of Unbridled’s Song-Lemons Forever, was full of run down the lane to capture the Grade 1 $2-million Distaff.
Trained by Dallas Stewart and ridden by John Velazquez, Forever Unbridled was sent to post as the 7-2 third choice behind Elate and Stellar Wind paying $9.40 to win.
Velazquez engineered a perfect trip for Forever Unbridled finding the lead around the far turn and holding off an onrushing Abel Tasman for a ½-length score.
“The whole key was I wanted to save ground on the first turn and I was able to do that,” Velazquez said. “I got her in a comfortable position where I thought she was going well. At the three-eighths pole I followed Jose Ortiz's horse [Elate] and all of a sudden she stopped and I had to go a little sooner than I wanted to. I got to the lead a little too soon for me but, I mean, it was perfect.”
Fipke took his first Breeders’ Cup win in 2011 with the Roger Attfield trained Perfect Shirl who won the Filly and Mare Turf.
Fielding picked up his first Breeders' Cup win when Rushing Fall, a horse he co-bred, scored in the Grade 1 $1-million Juvenile Fillies Turf,
Piloted by Javier Castellano for owner e Five racing and trained by Chad Brown, Rushing Fall (pictured)
, swept to the lead in upper stretch and held off Best Performance by three-quarters of a length. Rushing Fall, the 4-1 second choice, paid $8. The winning time was 1:36.09.
“We had a little bit of a rough trip going into the first turn, but I was lucky to be able to save some ground in the first turn and then get to the outside. I had a perfect trip after that," said Castellano.
Bred in Kentucky, the daughter of More Than Ready-Autumnal, is undefeated in three career starts.
"She's a very professional filly. I love the way she does things," added Castellano. "She’s a very special filly. She’s 3-for-3 and has won on soft turf and firm turf.”
Fielding, a former minor league hockey player who has a variety of businesses in Toronto, is on the board of directors at Woodbine. He co-bred Rushing Fall with Fred Hertrich III.
The opening quartet of races from the Breeders' Cup also included wins from Battle of Midway in the Grade 1 $1-million Dirt Mile and Mendelssohn in the Grade 1 $1-million Juvenile Turf.
There will be eight Breeders' Cup races on Saturday highlighted by the $6-million Classic which features defending champion Arrogate and the 9-5 morning line favourite Gun Runner.
A pair of Canadian-bred, Woodbine-based contenders will feature on the undercard including Ami's Mesa and Wonder Gadot.
Ami’s Mesa, trained by Josie Carroll for owner-breeder Ivan Dalos, is listed at 20-1 on the morning line in the $1-million Grade 1 Filly and Mare Sprint. The multiple graded stakes winning daughter of Sky Mesa, to be piloted by Luis Contreras, is undefeated through four starts in 2017.
Wonder Gadot, an impressive winner of the Grade 3 Mazarine Stakes last time out for Woodbine’s leading trainer Mark Casse, is listed at 8-1 on the morning line in the $2-million Juvenile Fillies. Gary Barber owns the Medaglia d’Oro bay, who was bred in Ontario by Anderson Farms Inc., and will be piloted by Patrick Husbands.
The Breeders' Cup will be carried in Canada on TSN2 from 1:30PM to 8:00 PM with the Breeders’ Cup Classic on NBC on Saturday from 8:00-9:00PM.
Live racing on Saturday from Woodbine starts at 1PM with an 11-race card highlighted by the $100,000 Labeeb Stakes and the Grade 3 $125,000 Maple Leaf Stakes. Watch and wager on all the action via HPIbet.com.
Woodbine Communications Office
Eclipse Sportswire photo