DEL MAR, CA – Chester and Mary Broman’s homebred Bar of Gold pulled off the biggest upset yet in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup, scoring a victory at 60-1 in Saturday’s Grade 1, $1,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.
Breaking well from post 5 under Irad Ortiz, Jr., Bar of Gold settled near the rear of the field while saving ground down low. Meanwhile, even-money favorite Unique Bella shot to the front and set initial fractions of :21.84 and :44.35. Closing into the frontrunners through the far turn, Bar of Gold dug in near the 1/4 pole and overtook the stretch leader Ami’s Mesa in the final steps to win by a nose in a final time of 1:22.63 for the 7-furlong main track sprint.
“I got a perfect trip,” said Ortiz, Jr. “She broke good, put me in good position, and I just saved her. She made a good run on the inside, and when I took her to the outside, she responded pretty good.”
With a furlong remaining, Carina Mia seemed to have a great chance to make a move but couldn’t get there, finishing a length back in third. Another 2 1/2 lengths back, Skye Diamonds edged out Princess Karen by a head for fourth. Paulassilverlining struggled to find room to move until the stretch run and ran out of racing room, finishing an improving sixth. Unique Bella faded in the far turn and continued to slip to seventh by the time she crossed the wire. Finley’sluckycharm, By the Moon, Highway Star, Proper Discretion, Curlin’s Approval, and Constellation completed the order of finish.
The victory was the first in a graded stakes event for the 5-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro. The $550,000 share of the purse increased her career earnings to $1,551,000 with a record of 25-7-6-4.
“We knew it was in there somewhere,” said winning trainer John Kimmel. “She pulled it out at the right moment. She’s brushed on greatness a few times, and she’s gotten better as the years have gone on. I wouldn’t have come out here if Irad couldn’t ride the horse, so shen he told me he was open, I said, ‘Let’s go. Let’s give it a shot.’ She showed up today and Irad gave her a great, great trip.”
Bar of Gold returned $135.40 to win, $44.20 to place, and $21.60 to show. Ami’s Mesa brought back $16.20 to place and $11 to show, while Carina Mia paid $11 to show.