Bar of Gold Scores $135.40 Shocker in Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint
Bar of Gold © Eclipse Sportswire
DEL MAR, Calif. (Nov. 4, 2017) – Chester and Mary Broman’s homebred Bar of Gold ($135.40) rallied from far back to catch Ami’s Mesa at the wire to win the 11th running of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) by a nose Saturday afternoon at Del Mar racetrack.
Trained by John Kimmel and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr. Bar of Gold covered the seven furlongs on a fast main track in 1:22.63. Bar of Gold is a 5-year-old New York-bred daughter of Medaglia d’Oro.
The winning payoff was the largest in the history of the Filly & Mare Sprint. The victory was the first for Kimmel in the Breeders’ Cup and the third for Ortiz, his first in this race.
Racing next to last in the field of 14 down the backstretch, Ortiz had Bar of Gold next to the rail and began picking off horses before moving to the outside on the far turn where he found clear sailing to catch Ami’s Mesa at the wire.
Ami’s Mesa, who was making her 10th career start but first on dirt, finished a length ahead of Carina Mia while favored Unique Bella faded to seventh after setting the pace.
Winning trainer John Kimmel (Bar of Gold) – “We knew it was in there somewhere. She pulled it out at the right moment. She's brushed on greatness a few times, and she's gotten better as the years have gone on. Her last race (Juddmonte Spinster at Keeneland) was weird. At the track it had been raining all day and she really didn't break sharp and was wide. It was really just a throw-out. We were all confused about whether we were going to come out here, but then we got her back to New York (from Kentucky) and she had a couple of breezes that were really impressive. Irad (Ortiz, Jr.) said she felt great. I wouldn't have come out here if Irad couldn't ride the horse, so when he told me he was open, I said ‘Let's go. Let's give it a shot.’ She is getting to the end of her career and here we are. I've always liked horses cutting back in distance, especially in a sprint, and a seven-eighths sprint. I've won the Test a couple of times with that tactic. She showed up today, and Irad gave her a great, great trip.”
Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (Bar of Gold) – “I got a perfect trip. She broke good, put me in good position and I just saved her. She made a good run on the inside and when I took her to the outside, she responded pretty good.”
Second-place trainer Josie Carroll (Ami’s Mesa) – “I thought for a while that we were going to get it, but I could see that other horse coming. I just hoped she had enough left in the tank. She’s a gutsy filly. She fought that filly and just got out-nodded. This is a gutsy filly that gave it all and you can’t ask for more than that.”
Second-place jockey Luis Contreras (Ami’s Mesa) – “It was a really tough beat but she tried so hard. I just gave her a good trip. She was traveling perfect. She switched leads and I made my move. I tried to save as much as I could and she just got beat by a nose. That’s racing, right?”
Third-place jockey Javiar Castellano (Carina Mia) – “She did everything right. She split horses. She ran hard. I just wish I had a better post. In the one hole you have to use a little bit to get a good spot, but she ran great.”
Jockey Mike Smith (beaten favorite Unique Bella, 7th) – “She went so quick early. I guess it was too much to ask (today). She never really folded though. If I could have done something different, maybe I would have taken back a little farther, but the game plan was to go. At the top of the stretch, I was done.”
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer (beaten favorite Unique Bella, 7th) – “No excuse.”