Breeders’ Cup Roundup: Oct. 2, 2023
Each week, J. Keeler Johnson reviews the latest news and results on the road to the 2023 Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita.
Ace Impact leads five qualifiers in France
Half of this week’s Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races took place at ParisLongchamp in France, where a quintet of Group 1 races awarded “Win and You’re In” tickets.
The feature event was the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1). Unbeaten three-year-old Ace Impact brought his record to a perfect 6-for-6 with a stretch-running score over multiple Group 1 winner Westover. The victory qualified Ace Impact to the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), though he seems unlikely to run again this year.
The Prix de l’Opera (G1), a Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) qualifier, saw multiple Group 1 winner Blue Rose Cen prevail by a neck.
Highfield Princess, a starter in the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1), earned a fees-paid berth back to the Breeders’ Cup by winning the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp (G1) over a large field.
The Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) picked up a surprise qualifier when Rosallion upset heavily favored Beauvatier to take the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (G1).
The Prix Marcel Boussac (G1) proved more predictable as clear choice Opera Singer stormed to victory by five lengths for the high-profile team of trainer Aidan O’Brien and jockey Ryan Moore.
Carla’s Way, Ghostwriter nab Newmarket preps
Juveniles took center stage in a pair of Breeders’ Cup qualifiers at Newmarket in England last week.
In the Rockfel (G2), Carla’s Way delivered a career-best performance to win the seven-furlong sprint by 2 1/4 lengths, earning a ticket to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).
In the Royal Lodge (G2), a one-mile steppingstone to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1), Ghostwriter brought his record to a perfect 3-for-3 with a 1 1/4-length tally.
Cody’s Wish headlines stateside qualifiers
Back home in the U.S., Cody’s Wish prepped for a defense of his Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) title with a comfortable victory in the seven-furlong Vosburgh (G2) at Aqueduct, which marked a nice rebound from his defeat in the longer 1 1/8-mile Whitney (G1).
One of Cody’s Wish’s toughest rivals in the Dirt Mile could be Zozos, who qualified via a gate-to-wire win in the one-mile Ack Ack (G3) at Churchill Downs. A 2022 Kentucky Derby (G1) alumnus, Zozos has won four of his six starts this year.
Meanwhile, last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile third-place finisher Slow Down Andy has Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) aspirations after earning his way in via a pacesetting score in the 1 1/8-mile Awesome Again (G1) at Santa Anita.