By Ray Wallin
Whether you are a casual racing fan or you make your living playing the races, the Breeders’ Cup offers great excitement and value. The Breeders’ Cup Turf may have produced the greatest finishes of the Breeders’ Cup races, including the only dead heat in BC history when High Chaparral and Johar hit the finish line together in 2003. Interestingly, there have been no winners of this race that were older than five years old.
#1 The Lone BC Dead Heat
In 2003, High Chaparral was back to defend his 2002 win. He would find himself hitting the wire with both Johar and Falbrav in what would ultimately be a dead heat with the three horses across the track.
#2 La Fraise Sucree
In 1992, there would be a sweet upset as Fraise would catch the favorite Sky Classic late. Fraise would come up the rail to win by a head in a great finish.
#3 Prized Victory By a Nose
In 1989, the Neil Drysdale trainee would battle down the stretch to beat Sierra Roberta. This would be Drysdale’s and jockey Eddie Delahoussaye’s only win in this race.
#4 The North Remembers
In 1995, Northern Spur would press the front-runner Turk Passer and later hold off the late run of Freedom Cry to give both trainer Ron McAnally and jockey Chris McCarron their only Breeders’ Cup Turf wins.
#5 Kotashaan is Better Than Good
Kotashaan was the favorite in 1993 and while sitting ninth was never more than five lengths off the lead. He would run down Bien Bien late in the stretch to notch an exciting victory.
#6 A Thrilla for Manila
In 1975, the third and final boxing match between the great Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier was contested in the Philippines. Ali would win by technical knockout. This fight is always ranked in the best in sports history. In 1976, a horse named Manila would get up in the final strides to beat Theatrical in an exciting race.
#7 A Theatrical Finish
A year after a dramatic loss to Manila in the 1986 Breeders’ Cup Turf, Theatrical would earn some redemption Trempolino would take the lead in the stretch only for Theatrical to battle back and hold a short lead through much of the stretch, earning redemption for his loss a year earlier.
#8 A Magical Win
In 2013, jockey Ryan Moore would get his third of four winners in this race with Magician. The favorite, La Fugue, would be clear by a length during the stretch only to lose his lead in the final strides to the late running Magician, who paid a handsome $27 to win.
#9 Enable the Winner
In 2018, jockey Frankie Dettori notched his fifth win in the Breeders’ Cup Turf after a stretch battle with Magical. The previous year’s winner, Talismanic, would be a non-factor late in this race. Enable, now considered one of the best mares ever, has won 13 of 15 career races.
#10 The Chief Wins
In 1997, the favorite would need a late charge to secure victory for trainer Mark Frostad. This future Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Famer would get up in the final yards to secure victory.
Honestly, the Breeders’ Cup Turf has been the hardest race to rate so far. Of the 35 Breeders’ Cup Turf races, I had a hard time narrowing down 22 races to the top 10. Who would have thought that the longest Breeders’ Cup race would also be the most exciting?
Below are links to previously published Top Finishes in Breeders’ Cup races:
BC Filly & Mare Turf: https://www.usracing.com/news/top-5-breeders-cup-filly-mare-turf-finishes
BC Juvenile Fillies: https://www.usracing.com/news/top-10-breeders-cup-juvenile-fillies-finishes
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.