The 2005 Breeders’ Cup Classic
Winner: Saint Liam
The 2005 Breeders’ Cup World Championships took place at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York on October 29. It was the 22nd 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 Powered by Dodge (G1).
A field of 13 horses took to the main track competing against each other to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic and possibly earn the title of Horse of the Year. The top contenders were 2-1 pre-race favorite Saint Liam, 5-2 second choice Borrego, and 8-1 third choice Starcraft.
However, it was 30-1 longshot Sun King who set the early pace with fractions of :23.98, :47.68, and 1:12.23 after the first three quarters of the race. Saint Liam jockey Jerry Bailey, who was stalking from behind, battled Flower Alley in the mid stretch and would eventually breeze by him in the final 100 yards and win by a length. Saint Liam’s official winning time was 2:01.49 on a fast track. Perfect Drift finished in third.
Saint Liam paid $6.80, $5.10, and $4.20 across the board for the win. Runner-up Flower Alley returned $8.70 to place and $7.10 to show, while Perfect Drift paid $7.80 for his third-place showing. A $2 Trifecta of 13-9-5 paid $501.
Jerry Bailey, who won his fifth Breeders’ Cup Classic title and 15th Breeders’ Cup race overall, said of Saint Liam’s performance: “I was trying to keep him off the leaders for as long as I could to leave him with a target. When I turned up the backside I was really pleased with how well he was travelling and where I was at. I knew I had Flower Alley. You just don’t want anyone to come flying up. But it was going to take a magnificent effort to beat him today.”