DEL MAR, CA – Godolphin’s Talismanic found the American turf to his liking, hitting the lead late and holding off two champions to win Saturday’s Grade 1, $4,000,000 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf.
Off well along the rail under jockey Mickael Barzalona, Talismanic stalked the early pace set by Oscar Performance through splits of :23.69, :48.33, 1:12.86, and 1:38.00. Angled out at the top of the stretch, Talismanic dug deep and took the lead late, then held off bids from Beach Patrol and defending champion Highland Reel to hit the line first by a 1/2-length in a final time of 2:26.19 for the 1 1/2-mile turf event.
“I can’t believe it,” Barzalona said. “I am thrilled to have won my first Breeders’ Cup race. I expected the horse to run well, but I’m not sure I thought I would win.”
Beach Patrol won the photo finish over Highland Reel by a neck. Sadler’s Joy rallied to close from the rear but fell short of the leaders by 1 1/2 lengths in fourth. Seventh Heaven took fifth by a head over Bullards Alley, with Itsinthepost, Cliffs of Moher, Oscar Performance, Decorated Knight, Fanciful Angel, Bigger Picture, and Hunt completing the order of finish. Ulysses was scratched the night before on the advice of the trainer.
With the win, Talismanic improved his career record to 16-6-5-1. The 4-year-old son of Medaglia d’Oro gave trainer Andre Fabre his fifth Breeders’ Cup victory and owner Godolphin its second of the day.
“Beautiful ride by Mickael, and the horse was beautifully trained by Andre Fabre,” said Godolphin chief executive Joe Osborne. “Just great results. Well-done.”
Talismanic returned $30.20 to win, $10.80 to place, and $6.40 to show. Beach Patrol brought back $4 to place and $3 to show, while Highland Reel paid $3.40 to show.