Notes & Quotes From Breeders’ Cup 2018: Friday Stakes

(Photos by Holly M. Smith)

From the Breeders’ Cup Media Team:

$2 Million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile:

Bob Baffert, trainer of the winner, Game Winner:

“He’s special,” Baffert said about Game Winner. “The way he won and the way he did it was impressive. I was worried at the half-mile pole, but (jockey Joel Rosario) wasn’t. He knew he had a lot of horse. This is a huge win for me.”

The Wests won the 2013 BC Juvenile with New Year’s Day, who was also trained by Baffert.

Winning jockey Joel Rosario (Game Winner) – “He broke fine but it looked like they took my spot and I had to go wide. He seemed like he didn’t mind that. He was comfortable. That’s why we got him moving at that point, instead of getting inside and taking back. Turning for home the more I rode him the more he gave it to me.”

 Second-place trainer Ben Colebrook (Knicks Go) – “That was a thrill. Turning for home I thought we might get there, but Baffert’s horse (Game Winner) was the one to beat all along.

“You know, he keeps out running his odds (70-1 when winning the Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland and 40-1 today). Maybe people will start giving him some respect now, because he’s a nice horse.

“It’s too early to start thinking about that (the Derby). We’re just thinking about today. We’ll let him tell us what he wants to do next. The Derby’s a long way off.”

 Second-place jockey Albin Jimenez (Knicks Go) – “We broke really well and had a great position. We were traveling really comfortable on the lead but just couldn’t hold off the winner. I’m so proud of my horse. He tried very hard until the very end.”

 Third-place trainer Kenny McPeek (Signalman) – “I’m very pleased with his race and we felt like form the post (14) that we needed to take back and settle and try to cut the corner and Brian (Hernandez Jr., jockey) did that. We’re real pleased. He galloped out in front. Maybe there’s a race in the spring going a mile and a quarter we were thinking about.”

 Third-place jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. (Signalman) – “(Trainer) Ken’s (McPeek) going to get one these someday. Hopefully these 2-year-olds we had today will come back and be in the winner’s circle as 3-year-olds. I loved the way he did it. He overcame the 14 post and was closing on good horses.”

 Fourth-place trainer Bret Calhoun (Mr. Money) – “He ran a hell of a race and Gabriel (Saez, jockey) gave him a great trip. He might have been a hair keen on the backside, but Gabe got him to settle in. You could tell going into the far turn that he had quite a bit of horse. I got a little excited about that point in time because he was in a very good position. He ran well, he just got outrun from there. A horse like him will get you excited.”

 Fourth-place jockey Gabriel Saez (Mr. Money) – “I had a great trip. Turnfing for home I thought I was going to get there. He did everything good. He was very professional.”

Jockey Jose Ortiz (Complexity,10th) – “He broke well, sprinted for the first turn and relaxed once he made the lead. I didn’t have anyone breathing down my neck. On the final turn, I completely ran out of horse. We were afraid he didn’t want to go this far and it just didn’t work out.”

$2 Million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies:

Jaywalk, trained by John Servis, led heading into the first turn and cruised along the backstretch with a clear lead before Restless Rider moved up to challenge her on the final turn. But when asked by jockey Joel Rosario in the stretch, Jaywalk found a second gear and drew clear to win by a convincing 5 ½ lengths.

“She wanted to go and did it so easily,” Rosario said.

Winning trainer John Servis (Jaywalk) – “I was looking for a big effort from her, but I didn’t expect for her to go to the lead again. I really thought there was enough speed in here that she’d probably be sitting off it a bit. But, Joel (Rosario) said when she left the gate, he knew right then she had running on her mind. And, he just took it from there. Once she got the front, she started flicking her ears and looked nice and relaxed.”

Regarding the possibility of a return to Churchill for the Oaks: “That’s a long way off, but that would nice, yes.”

Winning jockey Joel Rosario (Jaywalk) – “It was a perfect trip. She broke and she wanted the lead. She just improved her position. She really relaxed. She broke really sharp and wanted one thing – she wanted to go, so I dropped my hands and let her be happy and let her do it the rest of the way.”

 Second-place trainer Kenny McPeek (Restless Rider) – “Brian (Hernandez) rode her well. She had a good trip and looks like she came back healthy. I’m proud of the way she ran. She’s a good filly. She’ll get her chance (to win) in the Kentucky Oaks next year. We are going to have fun with her in the spring.

“We are probably going to bring her back at the end of meet (in the Golden Rod). We have nothing to lose now and we can knock out another stakes win.”

 Second-place jockey Brian Hernandez (Restless Rider) – “The whole time we sat a great trip. I had the favorite (Bellafina) in my sights at all times. When I saw she was empty I looked up and Jaywalk appeared to be gone. She ran a great race but the winner had a big advantage on the lead and we just couldn’t get to her.”

 Third-place jockey John Velazquez (Vibrance) – “She broke a little slow and never could get into a real good position. But, she still ran a good race.”

 Fourth-place trainer Simon Callaghan (beaten favorite, Bellafina) – “She broke a little flat footed and the rider had to use her a little bit early. After that she had a pretty good trip but it just did not seem to happen today. It is hard to know (about the surface.) It is the first time she has run over this sort of track. I am just waiting to hear what (jockey Flavien Prat) has to say.”

 Fourth-place jockey Flavien Prat (beaten favorite, Bellafina) – “I had a good trip, but she never did feel quite right. She wasn’t running smooth. I don’t know if she didn’t like the track or if it was an off day.”

$1 Million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf:

Sent off at 7-2 odds, Line of Duty provided Godolphin with its eighth victory at the World Championships.

There was an inquiry before the race was declared official, but no change in the order of finish.

Line of Duty prevailed in a tight three-horse photo finish over Uncle Benny and the pace-setting Somelikeithotbrown.

Line of Duty, ridden by William Buick and trained by Charles Appleby, has won three of five starts with two seconds.

Final time for the one mile on “good” turf was 1:40.06

Europe’s premier trainer, Aidan O’Brien, had dominated the previous 11 runnings of the BC Juvenile Turf with four victories, but was unplaced with 3-1 favorite Anthony Van Dyck.  O’Brien won last year’s BC Juvenile Turf with Mendelssohn, who was second earlier this year in the Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga and is entered in Saturday’s $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.

His other BC Juvenile Turf winners were Hit It a Bomb in 2015, George Vancouver in 2012 and Wrote in 2011.

In 12 runnings of the BC Juvenile Turf, European-based horses have been victorious eight times.

The Irish-bred Line of Duty gave Appleby his second BC Juvenile Turf winner.

$1 Million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf:

A 3-5 favorite, Newspaperofrecord ($3.20) notched a 6 ¾-length victory under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. over European shipper East, who closed fast in the stretch to take second by a neck over 71-1 shot Stellar Agent, who settled for third.

The victory was the third straight in the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf for trainer Chad Brown, who recorded his 11th Breeders’ Cup win and is now all alone in fourth on the all-time wins list. Brown has won five of the 11 runnings of the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf.

“She showed her class today,” Brown said. “She’s up there with one of the best. She’s a remarkable talent.”

It was also the first Breeders’ Cup win for owner Seth Klarman of Klaravich Stables.

“It was my first Breeders’ Cup win, so it’s special,” Klarman said. “She’s the most spectacular horse (I’ve ever owned).”

Newspaperofrecord had previously won the Miss Grillo Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park and a maiden race at Saratoga by a combined 13 ¼ lengths.

Europeans came into the race with only two wins in 10 tries at the World Championships. Flotilla was victorious in 2012 and Chriselliam prevailed in 2013.

$1 Million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint:

Bulletin kicked off the 35th edition of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships by popping out of the gate quickly and immediately grabbing a clear a lead then never looked back in winning the first running of the $1 million BC Juvenile Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs on Friday.

Under grey but dry skies, Bulletin fended off a challenge by Chelsea Corners on the turn and pulled away in the stretch to prevail by 2 ¾ lengths.

So Perfect was third, followed by Queen of Bermuda. The 5-9-10 trifecta paid $2,905.40 for $2 while the 5-9-10-11 superfecta returned $2,548.99 for a 10-cent wager.

Sent off at 4-1 odds, Bulletin paid $10.60 to win. His only other start was a seven-length victory in a Sept. 29 maiden race at Gulfstream Park.

Bulletin is trained by seven-time Eclipse Award winner Todd Pletcher, who won his 10th Breeders’ Cup stakes and is now tied for fourth on the all-time wins list with Chad Brown and Bill Mott.

The victory at Churchill Downs brought back sweet memories for owners WinStar Farm and China Horse Club, which also owned Triple Crown winner Justify. SF Racing, which sold its racing rights to Justify to Starlight Racing, also owns a share of Bulletin.

Final time for the 5 ½ furlongs was 1:05.54

Race Quotes:


Winning trainer Todd Pletcher (Bulletin) – “Fantastic way to start. He broke really well and was sharp.He took it to them the whole way. It was a big race. We wanted to leave there running. He finished up nicely. Nothing like winning one.”


Winning jockey Javier Castellano (Bulletin) – “He broke like a shot and put me in a real great position. We were in good shape the whole way. I’m very impressed. He was very professional. This is a great way to start off the Breeders’ Cup.”


Second-place trainer Wesley Ward (Chelsea Cloisters) –“What are you going to do? We got beat by the king. Stillwater Cove got stuck in boggy conditions and Moonlight Romance got stuck in a tight going on the turn. But we ran second for my great friend Gatewood Bell so that is fantastic. We knew going in that the turf would be really, really soft and it was but there is nothing you can do about that.”


Second-place jockey Tyler Gaffalione (Chelsea Cloisters) – “The trip worked out perfectly. She broke sharply and put herself where she needed to be. I thought we had the horse in front of us, but when Javier Castellano) got into him (Bulletin), he had something left. My filly ran huge.”

Third-place jockey Wayne Lordan (So Perfect) ––“They went really quick out there, He came home really well and he has run a great race.”


Fourth-place trainer William Haggas (Queen of Bermuda, fourth) – “She ran a great race. She got checked on the bend but she ran on really well. I’m really delighted with her. She’s now going to continue her career with Graham Motion.


Jockey Oisin Murphy (Soldier’s Call, beaten favorite) – I’m disappointed because going into the race I thought he’d be very tough to beat. I felt that the ground was riding soft.”

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds

More From The Pressbox Staff