Heavily favored Gamine couldn’t pull off a repeat in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint at Del Mar.
Ce Ce and jockey Victor Espinoza made a four-wide move off the turn and rolled down the stretch to win the $1 million, Grade 1 event.
Gamine had won nine of her 10 career races — including last year’s Filly & Mare Sprint at Keeneland — for trainer Bob Baffert and was the 2-5 favorite Saturday.
More Breeders’ Cup: Picks to win, horses to avoid while betting Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup
Gamine set fast early fractions of 22.31 seconds for the quarter-mile and 44.92 seconds for the half-mile while being hounded by Bella Sofia and Edgeway.
“I sort of blame myself there,” Baffert said. “I might not have had her as fit. I’ve been teaching her to lay off the pace, and (jockey John Velazquez) never really had a chance to lay off the pace. … It wasn’t her day today. I could tell she was struggling.”
Ce Ce made the winning move off the turn and beat Edgeway by 2 ½ lengths. Gamine was third.
“It was the right race at the right time for this filly,” Espinoza said. “Mike McCarthy did an amazing job training her up to this race. I had a lot of horse. She bounced out of the gate, but I decided to sit back and she was nice and relaxed. When I shook the reins at her at the five-eighths pole, I got a little excited.”
A 5-year-old daughter of Elusive Quality, Ce Ce improved to 8-1-3 in 16 career starts. Ce Ce covered the seven furlongs in 1:21 and paid $14.40 to win, $5.20 to place and $2.40 to show on a $2 wager.
Edgeway paid $9.60 to place and $3.20 to show, and Gamine paid $2.10 to show.
Life Is Good and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. took the lead out of the gate and never looked back in winning the $1 million, Grade 1 race in commanding fashion by 5 3/4 lengths over Ginobili.
Life Is Good covered the mile in 1:34.12.
“We were looking for a big effort,” trainer Todd Pletcher said. “It’s great to see him show how good he is. … Speed’s his weapon. He’s a very fast horse, so talented. The sky’s the limit for him.”
Life Is Good was the early favorite for the 2021 Kentucky Derby after winning the San Felipe last March but suffered a leg injury that knocked him off the trail. He was moved from Baffert’s barn to Pletcher’s in June.
A son of Into Mischief, Life Is Good improved to 5-1-0 in six career starts. As the 3-5 favorite, he paid $3.40 to win, $2.60 to place and $2.20 to show.
Ginobili paid $4 to place and $3.40 to show, and Restrainedvengence paid $7.20 to show.
Aloha West beat Dr. Schivel by a nose to take the $2 million, Grade 1 race.
Trained by Wayne Catalano and ridden by Jose Ortiz, Aloha West covered the six furlongs in 1:08.49.
“This is the pinnacle of my career,” Catalano said. “We’re pretty light on horses right now, so this is big.”
More on Sprint: Post positions, odds, entries for Sprint
Aloha West paid $24.60 to win, $8.20 to place and $6 to show. Dr. Schivel paid $5 to place and $4.20 to show, and Following Sea paid $9.60 to show.
Jackie’s Warrior, the 1-2 favorite trained by Steve Asmussen, set the early fractions but faded to sixth.
Aloha West, a 4-year-old son of Hard Spun, improved to 5-2-0 in nine career starts.
Last year’s Juvenile Turf Sprint winner, Golden Pal got another Breeders’ Cup victory in the $1 million, Grade 1 Turf Sprint.
Golden Pal and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. broke from the gate with a nice lead and never looked back in covering the five furlongs in 54.75 seconds, tying the course record.
“I asked him to get out of there, and he just broke like a shot,” Ortiz said.
Previously: Post positions, odds, entries for Turf Sprint
Golden Pal finished 1 1/4 lengths ahead of Lieutenant Dan, and Charmaine’s Mia was third.
A 3-year-old son of Uncle Mo, Golden Pal improved to 5-2-0 in eight career starts. Trained by Wesley Ward, the Florida-bred Golden Pal was the 5-2 favorite and paid $7 to win, $4.60 to place and $3.60 to show.
Lieutenant Dan paid $5.40 to place and $4 to show, and Charmaine’s Mia paid $12.20 to show.
Filly & Mare Turf
Loves Only You became the first Japanese horse to win a Breeders’ Cup race by taking the $2 million, Grade 1 event.
Trained by Yoshito Yahagi and ridden by Yuga Kawada, Loves Only You beat My Sister Nat by a half-length and covered the 1 3/8 miles in 2:13.87.
A daughter of Japan’s Deep Impact, the 5-year-old Loves Only You improved to 7-2-3 in 15 career starts. Loves Only You paid $10.60 to win, $6.20 to place and $4 to show.
“It’s a dream come true for Japanese horse racing history,” Yahagi said. “I’d love to come back Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland next year and do the same thing, to win!”
My Sister Nat paid $17.60 to place and $8.80 to show, and 2-1 favorite War Like Goddess paid $3 to show.
In the final race of his career, Space Blues rallied down the stretch to win the $2 million race by a half-length over the pace-setting Smooth Like Strait.
Trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by William Buick, Space Blues covered the mile on turf in 1:34.01.
“For him to go out on a high like this, I’m over the moon,” said Appleby, who got the fifth Breeders’ Cup victory of his career.
More Mile: Post positions, odds, entries for Mile
The 2-1 favorite, Space Blues paid $6.20 to win, $4.60 to place and $3.40 to show. Smooth Like Strait paid $9 to place and $6.20 to show. Ivar paid $11.40 to show.
A 5-year-old son of Dubawi, Space Blues finished his career with a 11-3-1 record in 19 starts.
Jason Frakes: 502-582-4046; [email protected]; Twitter: @KentuckyDerbyCJ.
This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Breeders’ Cup 2021: Race results, payouts from Saturday at Del Mar