Click above to watch Blame winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic
(Photo : Buzzbox - Footage : Breeders Cup)
BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC G1
Churchill Downs, 6 November 2010
With Horse of the Year honors on the line in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs, even-money Zenyatta (Street Cry) attempted one more last-to-first rally, but couldn’t run down Blame (Arch), who hit the wire a head in front of the big mare.
After racing in seventh early, Blame went through a narrow seam and got first run on Zenyatta, who trailed the field from the start.
The G1 Whitney Handicap and G1 Stephen Foster Handicap hero dug in gamely to deny the favourite.
“He really had his game face on today,” said jockey Garrett Gomez, who was winning his third race of this year’s Championships. “I was just trying to hold the wonder horse off and give her her first defeat.” Gomez added, “I really do have mixed emotions about that. She’s been an ambassador for racing. We had a lot of people out here supporting her. She’s been great for Thoroughbred racing; for fans who didn’t know anything about racing. She was going for 20-for-20, and she came up a head short. I’m glad I was able to give her the defeat, but, at the same time, I wish she could have gone out 20-for- 20 at the expense of somebody else. Like I said, she’s been nothing but wonderful for horse racing. For me, this is the best win I’ve ever had.”
Claiborne Farm’s colors have been carried to victory on Breeders’ Cup day twice, with the brilliant Lure (Danzig) taking the G1 Breeders Cup Mile in 1992 and again in 1993. But the experience never gets old. Yesterday, it was the partnership of Claiborne and Adele Dilschneider who rejoiced in the victory of the gallant Blame, who hung tough as the great Zenyatta came at him to win the G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic by a head.
“It’s just an unbelievable feeling,” said Claiborne’s Seth Hancock. “We made a game plan a year ago to point for this, and usually when you make plans like that in the horse business, it never works out. You don’t even make the race. But then, the closer we got to the race, we realized we were going to make it. We knew who we were running against, but were just were filled with anticipation of what might be. And then to see it come true, it’s a feeling that I can’t describe.” But there were mixed feelings from the winning camp about ending the super mare’s undefeated streak at 19. “I take no pride in beating Zenyatta,” Hancock said. “She is what she is - she’s awesome. She’s been great for racing. Her connections are wonderful people, and I feel bad for them. But we owe it to ourselves and to the racing public to send our horse out there and try to give him the best chance we can.”
Added trainer Al Stall Jr., notching his first Breeders’ Cup victory, “I don’t think you’ll find anybody criticizing anything she’s ever done, much less today. Everybody talked about it coming down to these two for a long time, and it played out that way. We were fortunate enough to have the right horse on the right day at the right time.”
Claiborne and Dilschneider had one previous Breeders Cup starter – Blame’s sire, Arch (Kris S.), who ran ninth in the 1998 BC Classic.
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News