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BREEDERS' CUP NOTES

One's a Winner in Ultra Pick Six

October 26, 2003|Bob Mieszerski and Grahame L. Jones | Times Staff Writers

There was one winning ticket in the Breeders' Cup Ultra Pick Six worth $2,687,611. The Pick Six began with Six Perfections in the Mile and concluded when Pleasantly Perfect won the Classic at 14-1. The ticket was purchased at an off-track betting facility in South Dakota.

Those who picked five out of six were also well rewarded. Consolations were each worth $18,663.80 and the total pick-six pool was $4,489,454.

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In the end, it was just about a wash for Luca Cumani.

Cumani trains Falbrav, the Irish-bred horse that finished third in the $2-million Breeders' Cup Turf. That earned his owners $233,200 -- or slightly less than what it cost them to get him into Saturday's race.

"A lot of venues now that have international racing [Dubai, Hong Kong, Japan] have all expenses paid, whereas the Breeders' Cup is not and it's very expensive to come out and challenge," Cumani said last week.

"In his [Falbrav's] case, it was $180,000 just to enter the race because he was not Breeders' Cup-nominated as a foal, like the majority of European horses are not. So you start by being $180,000 down.

"And then by the time you've paid for his shipping, for the trainer, the jockey, the lads, the car hire, the hotel and everything else, I think in his case it would be over $250,000."

Falbrav came close to making it all worthwhile.

"He was the winner all the way except the last 50 yards," Cumani said.

That 50 yards was the difference between breaking even and making a $500,000-plus profit. The winner's share of the purse was $763,200.

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Trainer Richard Mandella, commenting on his pre-race conversation with jockey Julie Krone over tactics for Halfbridled, which started from post position 14 in the Juvenile Fillies but went on to win the race:

"We realized that there was a lot of speed inside of us. None outside."

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For the first time since he came to the U.S., Storming Home didn't cross the wire first.

The 5-year-old Machiavellian horse, who had won three times for trainer Neil Drysdale and owner Maktoum al Maktoum and had lost the Arlington Million on a disqualification after ducking out near the wire, picked the wrong time to have a bad day.

The 2-1 favorite in the Turf, he finished fifth, more than eight lengths behind the dead-heat winners High Chaparral and Johar.

"We had a smooth trip other than getting bumped around early on," said jockey Gary Stevens, who didn't come close with any of his four Breeders' Cup mounts. "He just flattened out on me. I don't know why."

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The Mile continues not to be kind to Bobby Frankel.

The country's leading trainer has had 11 starters without a victory in the Mile since the race was first run in 1984. The average finish position has been a little worse than sixth, and Peace Rules, the 3-1 favorite Saturday, only hurt the figure.

Making his first start on turf since late last year, the 3-year-old set the pace early from the inside but wilted after setting the fastest half-mile fraction (45.20) in the history of the race. He finished last in the 13-horse field.

"Having the rail hurt us," said Edgar Prado, who is still searching for his first Breeders' Cup win. "He never got a breather."

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B. Wayne Hughes, the owner of Juvenile winner Action This Day, was asked what the colt's future holds.

"You would have to ask [trainer] Richard Mandella," he replied. "My choice would be to try to break the jinx in the [Kentucky] Derby." In 19 years, no Juvenile winner has gone on to win on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs.

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Attendance was 51,648, fewer than the two previous times the Breeders' Cup was held at Santa Anita.

The 1986 Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita drew 69,155, and attendance in 1993 was 55,130.

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Associated Press contributed to this report.

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