Ladies Dominate the Discussion at the Breeders' Cup

Complete coverage of the 2009 Breeders' Cup

The Breeders' Cup was all about the ladies as Life Is Sweet ran from last to first on the way to a $2 million payout in the Ladies Classic, and her stablemate, Zenyatta, took the the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic, against all the boys.

Life is Sweet, better know for losing to Zenyatta last year, emerged from the mare's shadow and stood in the winner's circle with all eyes on her. The filly, coming into Friday's race, had won only 5 of 14 races, but with her main competition racing Saturday for the big money, Life is Sweet took full advantage and took home the money.

The racing continued Saturday as all eyes focused on Zenyatta, as the "girl raced the boys" in an attempt to become the belle of the ball and collect $5 million of her own.

However, the odds were against her as no filly or mare has ever won the Breeders' Cup Classic. John Shirreffs, the trainer for both Life is Sweet and Zenyatta, told the Los Angeles Times what makes beating the boy's so difficult:

The $5-million Classic has been the domain of the big boys, the rough and ready, who can power over whatever turf is presented and through whatever tight hole is presented.

This one is not for the faint of heart. As Zenyatta's trainer, John Shirreffs, notes, "When one of the boys bumps, another boy bumps back. When the girls get bumped, they just move away."

Zenyatta opened the day favoured to win the race, which created a track buzz as fans debated the possiblity of the girl making history.

First, the race was delayed when Quality Road wouldn't go into the starting gate and was eventually scratched, causing the remaining dozen horses to have to be taken out of the gate and put back in.

When the race finally began, Zenyatta came out of the gate dead last, and was still next to last going into the final turn, when jockey Mike Smith guided her to the rail, then to the outside to take the lead in the final furloughs.

In the longest race of her career, Zenyatta finished the 1 1/4 mile race in 2:00.62.

Gio Ponti finished second, a length behind Zenyatta, and Twice Over was third.

Attendance for the two-day Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita was 96,496, up nearly 10,000 people from last year's event, the Los Angeles Times reported.

RACE RESULTS:

Friday -

  • Breeders' Cup Marathon -- WINNER: Man of Iron
  • Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf -- WINNER: Tapitsfly
  • Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies -- WINNER: She Be Wild
  • Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint -- WINNER: Midday
  • Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint -- WINNER: Informed Decision
  • Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic -- WINNER: Life is Sweet

Saturday -

  • Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf -- WINNER: Pounced
  • Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint -- WINNER: California Flag
  • Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Sprint -- WINNER: Dancing in Silks
  • Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile -- WINNER: Vale of York
  • TVG Breeders' Cup Mile -- WINNER: Goldikova
  • Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile -- WINNER: Furthest Land
  • Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Turf -- WINNER: Conduit
  • Breeders' Cup Classic -- WINNER: Zenyatta

For complete race results visit breederscup.com.  Join the Twitter conversation on the Breeders' Cup Twitter feed.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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