Royal Delta, with Mike Smith aboard, holds off the field to win the Breeders'… (Mark Cornelison / McClatchy-Tribune )
Mike Smith became the winningest jockey in the 29-year history of the Breeders' Cup when he guided Royal Delta to victory over My Miss Aurelia and Include Me Out in the $2 million Ladies' Classic on Friday at Santa Anita.
It was Smith's 16th Breeders' Cup victory, passing Jerry Bailey.
Royal Delta, trained by Bill Mott, won the Ladies' Classic last year at Churchill Downs and pulled off a wire-to-wire victory this time. The 4-year-old daughter of Empire Maker won the 1 1/8-mile race by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:48.80 and returned $5.40, $3.60 and $2.60.
My Miss Aurelia lost for the first time in seven races.
It was the sixth and final Breeders' Cup race for Friday. Attendance was 34,619. There was one winning pick six ticket that returned $773,865. There will be nine Breeders' Cup races on Saturday, including the $5 million Classic.
The front-running Beholder, ridden by Garrett Gomez, held off favorite Executiveprivilege by one length to win the Breeders' Cup $2 million Juvenile Fillies. Dreaming of Julie finished third.
Trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella, Beholder was almost entered in the Juvenile Sprint because of her speed, but Mandella made the call to race her in the richer 1 1/16-mile race, and she displayed enough stamina to win.
"It was an easy decision to go for the big money," Mandella said.
Executiveprivilege lugged out during the stretch drive.
Beholder's owner, B. Wayne Hughes of Spendthrift Farm, won the Breeders' Cup Mile last year with Court Vision.
Filly and Mare Tuf
Jockey Javier Castellano got the best trip and guided French-bred Zagora to victory in the $2 million Filly and Mare Turf at 1 1/4 miles. Marketing Mix finished second and The Fugue was third.
The Fugue looked full of run but never found an opening down the stretch to unleash her full closing kick.
Zagora, trained by Chad Brown, went off at 9-1 and returned $20.40, $7.80 and $5.00.
Juvenile Fillies Turf
Flotilla, a 2-year-old French-bred daughter of Mizzen Mast that went off at 11-1 odds, won the $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf by 1 1/4 lengths over Watsdachances. Summer of Fun finished third.
Jockey Christophe Lemaire rallied Flotilla in the stretch with a strong closing kick. It was the third consecutive victory by a longshot Friday, following wins at 15-1 and 17-1.
Calidoscopio, an Argentine-bred 9-year-old ridden by Aaron Gryder, became the oldest horse in the history of the Breeders' Cup to win a race, taking the $500,000 Marathon at 1 3/4 miles.
Going off at odds of 17-1, he won in 2 minutes and 57.25 seconds.
Grassy finished second and Atigun was third. The previous oldest horse to win was 7.
The connections for Calidoscopio, which won by 4 1/4 lengths, waved an Argentine flag in the winner's circle. He returned $36.40, $16.00 and $3.60. It was his 10th win in 40 career starts.
In the first of 15 Breeders' Cup races at Santa Anita this weekend, the longest shot in a field of five, Hightail, rallied along the rail to edge Merit Man by a nose in the $500,000 Juvenile Sprint, giving 77-year-old trainer D. Wayne Lukas his 19th Breeders' Cup victory. Sweet Shirley Mae finished third.
Under jockey Rajiv Maragh, Hightail survived a steward's inquiry after there was contact in the stretch between the two front-running horses. Hightail was the only maiden in the six-furlong race and Lukas became the oldest trainer to win a Breeders' Cup race.
Hightail, who went off at 15-1, returned $32.80, $7.20 and $3.40.
It was not a smooth beginning to the day at Santa Anita. In the morning, one of the pre-race favorites, Super Ninety Nine, was scratched after getting scraped up in his barn. And after the horses came onto the track, South Floyd was scratched by the track vet, leaving a tiny field of just five horses.