The 2008 Breeders’ Cup Classic
Winner: Raven’s Pass
The 2008 Breeders’ Cup World Championships took place at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. It was the 25th edition of the premier North American horse racing event and featured a number of exciting races and finishes. One of the highlights of the card was the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).
As is customary tradition each year, the $5 million Classic is the main event of Breeders’ Cup weekend, and this year’s edition was no different. The 1 1/4-mile event featured 12 of the top older horses in the industry competing on a synthetic surface track—the first time the Classic ever ran on such a surface. Following his win in last year’s Classic, Curlin was sent off as the pre-race favorite with odds of 9-10. He came into the race having won back-to-back grade one stakes races (Woodward Stakes, Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes), and four out of five grade one stakes events on the year.
Curlin had tough competition in the form of Pacific Classic (G1) winner Go Between and Duke Marmalade, but it was 14-1 Raven’s Pass who would take down the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Classic, earning his first career Breeders’ Cup championship. Raven’s Pass went from 10th to first and would beat runner-up Henrythenavigator by 1 3/4 lengths in a new track record of 1:59.27. Tiago finished third, and Curlin came in fourth.
“Once I got behind Curlin, I said that’s half the job done. He’s going to take me there, and sure he did. Then it was a worry moment for a split second when I asked him, would he pick up or would he falter on the distance, but he did pick up. And the last furlong was a pretty long one, but I could feel that he was still galloping strong and millions of emotions went through my head. When I crossed the line, I didn’t really know if it was true or a dream, just that fake reality. But I realized straightaway it was true, and I’m delighted,” said Raven’s Pass jockey Frankie Dettori.
Raven’s Pass paid $29.00 for the win, $15.80 to place, and $8.00 to show. Henrythenavigator returned $22.00 to place and $11.20 to show. Tiago paid $7.40 to show. Tiago paid $7.40 to show for his third-place finish.