In 2016 we saw so many great performances that it was hard to pick just five races! The Breeders’ Cup lived up to its billing this year in a big way, and American horses went overseas to win big time races. Going into 2016 the racing industry was concerned with how we could follow such a great 2015, but thanks to Arrogate, California Chrome, Tepin, Songbird, Beholder, and more we had an amazing year! Lets relive our top 5 personal favorite races of 2016. If you have your own feel free to share them with us!
1. Breeders’ Cup Classic: Arrogate Runs Down California Chrome
The crowd at Santa Anita was ready to explode. Their hero, California Chrome, looked home free in the stretch of the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic, but the Travers winner Arrogate was sneaking his way towards the lead under the direction of Mike Smith. Coming into the stretch California Chrome still held a comfortable lead, but it was disappearing with each stride as the two of them approached the wire. In the end it was Arrogate who got the best of California Chrome by a half length completing one of the greatest performances ever by a three year old.
2. Breeders’ Cup Distaff: Beholder and Songbird Battle in the Stretch
For months the hype was building for this epic Breeders’ Cup Distaff, and the race lived up to all the hype! Two great champions battling it out throughout the entire stretch…it doesn’t get much better than that. The win for Beholder was the perfect way to end her career, and event though Songbird had her undefeated record ruined she lost nothing in defeat.
3. Queen Anne Stakes: Tepin Wins at Royal Ascot
American racing fans were in tears (at least I was) as the Queen of the Turf held on tenaciously to win the Queen Anne Stakes at the very prestigious and tough Royal Ascot meeting. Tepin had many things going against her in this race, but it didn’t matter! She’s was all class, and showed the heart of champion as she held off all challengers. This was one of the proudest moments in American racing history.
4. Travers Stakes: Arrogate Arrives on the Big Scene
When Arrogate arrived at Saratoga for the Travers Stakes he was an unproven and unknown commodity. When he left Saratoga…he was the number one three year old in the country! That’s what happens when you break a Travers and track record at the oldest and most prestigious race track in North America. Of course he later confirmed his greatness when running down California Chrome in the Breeders’ Cup Classic which is our number one race.
5. Dubai World Cup: California Chrome Dominated in Dubai
This was the beginning of California Chrome’s dominance in 2016! Even though he ran in a small prep race at Santa Anita before shipping to Dubai this was the race that really kicked off his year. Facing some of the best horses in the world, California Chrome zoomed to the lead in the stretched and never looked back as he dusted the field be several lengths. The race was sweet revenge for his connections as he had finished second in the Dubai World Cup the year prior.