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Corniche win Breeders Cup Juvenile, Echo Zulu steals show in Fillies

Sportsnaut
Nov 5, 2021; Del Mar, CA, USA;  Corniche finishes in first place in the Breeders    Cup Juvenile race during the Breeders    Cup World Championships at Del Mar Race track. Mandatory Credit: Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 5, 2021; Del Mar, CA, USA; Corniche finishes in first place in the Breeders Cup Juvenile race during the Breeders Cup World Championships at Del Mar Race track. Mandatory Credit: Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

Corniche outlasted a strong field to win the $2 million Juvenile in the featured event on Friday of Day One of the 38th Breeders’ Cup, the international championship of thoroughbred horse racing, at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in Del Mar, Ca.

But the star of the show Friday was likely Echo Zulu, a romping winner in the $2 million Juvenile Fillies.

Day One is considered Future Stars Friday at the event, with all five Grade 1 races carded for 2-year-old horses, the juveniles of the sport.

Corniche, the 7-5 post-time favorite, finished strong to win the $2 million Juvenile. He is trained by controversial Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert and owned by Speedway Stables. He crossed the wire under Mike Smith, who won his 27th career Breeders Cup race, the most all time.

Pappacap and Giant Game were second and third, respectively. Jack Christopher, the morning-line favorite in the Juvenile, was scratched earlier in the day on the advice of track veterinarians.

Echo Zulu produced the day’s most impressive performance in winning the Juvenile Fillies, jumping to the front out of the gate and controlling the pace throughout before finishing ahead by 5 1/4 lengths under a hand ride. Echo Zulu is owned by L and N Racing and Winchell Thoroughbreds and is trained by Steve Asmussen, the all-time leading trainer in North America by wins. Echo Zulu was ridden to the victory by Joel Rosario and covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.24 as the 4-5 favorite. She has won all four of her career starts.

Modern Games won the $1 million Juvenile Turf in a crazy turn of events that saw him run while not under considerations for betting purposes. Modern Games, who was bred in Ireland, was inadvertently scratched when fellow Godolphin runner Albahr flipped in the starting gate and was thought to have injured Modern Games. He was examined and allowed to compete, closing fast down the stretch to win easily under William Buick after being trained by Charles Appleby.

Pizza Bianca, owned by celebrity chef Bobby Flay, had to weave her way through traffic and come off the pace to win the $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf at odds of 9-1. She was ridden by Jose Ortiz and trained by Christophe Clement, who earned his first Breeders Cup win after going losing his first 40 races at the event.

Twilight Gleaming captured the $1 million Juvenile Turf Sprint, covering the five furlongs in 56.24 seconds and finishing a half-length ahead of Go Bears Go, with Kaufymaker ending up third in a blanket finish. Twilight Gleaming, a filly, was bred in Ireland and is owned by Stonestreet Stables. She was ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., is trained by Wesley Ward and went off at odds of 6-1. It was the third straight win in this race by Ortiz Jr. and Ward.

–Field Level Media