The 2011 Breeders' Cup Classic

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The 2011 Breeders’ Cup Classic

 

Winner: Drosselmeyer

The 2011 Breeders’ Cup Classic is one of those instances where the totally unexpected happens. None of the favourites would win while a cavalcade of longshots crashed the top-three in a wild race that had insane twists and turns before – and after – the race. The race was worth $5,000,000 and hosted by Churchill Downs in Kentucky.

 Uncle Mo was a definitive favourite after going 5-1-1 in seven starts that included wins in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and 2011 Kelso Handicap. The three-year-old colt was unable to compete in the Triple Crown due to a gastrointestinal infection but was set to finish his season strong as a 5/2 preference on the board.

 Four-year-old filly Havre de Grace was the second choice at 3/1 with a brilliant season that included wins in the 2011 Apple Blossom, Woodward and the Beldame to go 5-1-0 in six starts leading in to the Breeders’ Cup Classic. There was major hype surrounding the filly but genuine concern that she could not hold out for the 1 ¼ mile distance. She was attempting to become just the second filly to win the race since Zenyatta in 2009.

 So You Think was listed at 5/1 as a European runner making his debut on dirt, while Flat Out began as a 6/1 choice thanks to a win the Jockey Club Gold Cup.

 Game On Dude may have finished fourth in the Belmont Stakes but piled up wins in the Santa Anita Handicap and the Goodwood Stakes over the summer to earn 10/1 odds as a promising gelding.

 In other words, it was a highly competitive field. Nobody could’ve predicted how it unfolded.

 Breaking well from the post, Game On Dude and Uncle Mo would take the lead at a strong pace. Uncle Mo looked to be in fine position at the top of the turn but had spent most of his reserves early on and faded all the way back to 10th place as his rivals overtook him.

 Game on Dude successfully fended off So You Think and To Honor and Serve in the backstretch and appeared to have sealed the win, but was caught by a roaring challenger who came sprinting along the outside.

 Drosselmeyer, a 15/1 longshot, had sat well behind the leaders for almost the entire race but suddenly exploded down the backstretch to close a 10-length gap to win by a length and a half. Game On Dude would finish second while Ruler On Ice, another longshot at 30/1, would close in to take third. Havre de Grace, Flat Out and So You Think would round out the top-six.

 With his massive odds, Drosselmeyer delivered $31.60, $13.20 and $8.30 across the board. Game On Dude was worth $13.60 and $9.20 to place while Flat Out paid back $9.80 to show.

 Most notably, jockey Mike Smith was aboard Drosselmeyer for the upset win, beating out Chantal Sutherland who was riding Game On Dude. The two riders had been engaged at one point, prompting Sutherland to say, “I’m very proud of my horse, very proud of myself. I had an amazing time. And I’m happy for Mike. But Really? Really? Of all people.”

 The victory was Mike Smith’s first in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

 

2011 Breeders’ Cup Classic Results – Churchill Downs

FINISH

HORSE

ODDS

1st

Drosselmeyer

15-1

2nd

Game On Dude

10-1

3rd

Ruler On Ice

30-1

4th

Havre de Grace

3-1

5th

Flat Out

6-1

6th

So You Think

5-1

7th

To Honor and Serve

12-1

8th

Ice Box

30-1

9th

Rattlesnake Bridge

30-1

10th

Uncle Mo

5-2

11th

Stay Thirsty

12-1

12th

Headache

30-1

 

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