By Ray Wallin
In Part 1, we saw the first half of the biggest Breeders’ Cup upsets. There were some recognizable names and a few one-hit wonders, but the prices they paid were at least memorable.
Are you ready for the top half of the list? There are some exceptional horses with some great stories as we count down our way to the top.
His contested wire-to-wire victory in the Juvenile earned him an Eclipse Award. While his 3- and 4-year-old campaigns would be a disappointment, his connections decided to give him a few months off, and he is training to return in 2022 as a 5-year-old.
In what is one of the best stretch runs in Breeders’ Cup history, Shared Account got a neck out in front over odds-on favorite Midday to capture her lone Grade 1 victory. She would return in 2011 to defend her crown but would finish seventh.
This is the longest standing upset on the list. After beating lesser competition in France, this lightly-raced colt shipped to Hollywood Park where he upset the 1983 Horse of the Year All Along. All Along had captured the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and three North American Grade 1 races. He would return to defend his crown in 1985 but would finish fourth and be disqualified from purse money for a medication violation.
This multi-graded stakes winning mare trained by D. Wayne Lukas was ever the contender over her career notching nine wins in 35 tries while finishing second nine times and catching third seven times. After a fourth in the 1999 Juvenile Fillies at 16-1 with Gary Stevens in the irons, she finally hit her groove during the second half of her sophomore campaign. She took the Grade 2 Monmouth Breeders’ Cup Oaks and the Grade 3 Turfway Breeders’ Cup Stakes before running down the pace-setter Surfside to score her first Grade 1 victory in the 2000 Distaff. She would string together a competitive 2001 before returning to defend in 2001 and was beaten a head by Unbridled Elaine. She was retired the following year after winning the Grade 2 Louisville Breeders’ Cup Handicap and the Grade 2 Fleur de Lis, then finishing third in the Molly Pitcher Handicap. What is more impressive is that she was in foal when she won the Fleur de Lis.
After breaking her maiden and a solid place in the Grade 3 Schuylerville, this juvenile filly ran unimpressively in her next three starts. She was then shipped west to Santa Anita where she took the field wire-to-wire under Victor Espinoza to score another big win for trainer D. Wayne Lukas. She rattled off three more stakes victories before being sidelined by injury that took her out of contention for the Kentucky Oaks. She returned and after two unimpressive efforts was retired.
Not only did she provide a thrilling finish to the 2017 Filly & Mare Sprint she scored as the third longest shot in the race at 66-1. This daughter of Medaglia d’Oro saved her best for her racing finale after never winning more than a couple minor stakes. As a broodmare, her first foal Coinage, out of Tapit, was a stakes winner this summer at Saratoga in the Grade 3 With Anticipation Stakes and her second foal, out of Justify, sold for $825,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale this past summer.
This bay colt headed up an Ireland-bred trifecta that paid $8,786 for a $1 wager while winning as the longest shot on the board at 73-1. He was originally an also eligible but drew into the race after One Master was scratched.
It will be hard to beat the price of this chestnut horse that closed strong enough to catch the front-running favorite Bertrando in the stretch at Santa Anita in 1993. He had been a multiple graded stakes winner in France before trying dirt for the first time in the 1993 Classic. He remained in the U.S. and returned to take the Grade 2 John Henry at Hollywood Park before two lackluster efforts that sent him into retirement.
Ray Wallin is a licensed civil engineer and part-time handicapper who has had a presence on the Web since 2000 for various sports and horse racing websites and through his personal blog. Introduced to the sport over the course of a misspent teenage summer at Monmouth Park by his Uncle Dutch, a professional gambler, he quickly fell in love with racing and has been handicapping for over 25 years.
Ray’s background in engineering, along with his meticulous nature and fascination with numbers, parlay into his ability to analyze data; keep records; notice emerging trends; and find new handicapping angles and figures. While specializing in thoroughbred racing, Ray also handicaps harness racing, Quarter Horse racing, baseball, football, hockey, and has been rumored to have calculated the speed and pace ratings on two squirrels running through his backyard.
Ray likes focusing on pace and angle plays while finding the middle ground between the art and science of handicapping. When he is not crunching numbers, Ray enjoys spending time with his family, cheering on his alma mater (Rutgers University), fishing, and playing golf.
Ray’s blog, which focuses on his quest to make it to the NHC Finals while trying to improve his handicapping abilities can be found at www.jerseycapper.blogspot.com Ray can also be found on Twitter (@rayw76) and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.