Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Day of triumph, tragedy

Mucho Macho Man, right, wins a photo finish in the Classic ahead of Will Take Charge, left, and Declaration of War.

Getty Images

Mucho Macho Man, right, wins a photo finish in the Classic ahead of Will Take Charge, left, and Declaration of War.

ARCADIA, Calif. — Mucho Macho Man won the $5 million Classic by a nose Saturday, making Kathy Ritvo the first female trainer to win North America's richest race at a Breeders' Cup that began with the death of a horse in the day's first race.

Gary Stevens capped his comeback at age 50 in stellar fashion, surviving a photo finish in the Classic after winning the $2 million Distaff with Beholder on Friday for a sweep of the biggest races at the two-day world championships at Santa Anita Park.

Last year, Mucho Macho Man finished second by a half-length to winner Fort Larned.

Game On Dude, the 8-5 favorite, finished ninth for trainer Bob Baffert and co-owner Joe Torre, the retired Yankees and Dodgers manager.

The second of two days of Cup racing got off to a troublesome start with a rare disqualification in the opener, the $2 million Juvenile Fillies, and Secret Compass euthanized after the race because of a broken leg.

The DQ was announced after a green screen went up in a spot approaching the final turn to shield injured Secret Compass from the crowd. "When you lose a horse like that, it just took all the wind out of our sails," Baffert said. "I've never had something like that happen on a big day. We're all still in shock."

While running third, Secret Compass' front legs collapsed, slamming jockey John Velazquez hard into the dirt. Velazquez, 41, was taken to a hospital. The 2-year-old filly was euthanized after sustaining a lateral condylar fracture, on-call veterinarian Dr. Wayne McIlwraith said.

"It is the worst type of injury we get, unfortunately," McIlwraith said.

Velazquez had surgery to remove his spleen after internal bleeding was discovered shortly before he was to be released from the hospital. He was to ride in all nine Breeders' Cup races, but he was replaced by other jockeys for the rest of Saturday's races.

Ria Antonia finished second in the Juvenile Fillies but was declared the winner of the 1�-mile race after She's a Tiger was disqualified by the stewards. They ruled She's a Tiger and Stevens drifted out late and bumped Ria Antonia and Javier Castellano, slowing the latter's momentum.

Stevens said he "wouldn't disagree" the call.

It was the first DQ of a winner since the inaugural 1984 Juvenile Fillies, in which Fran's Valentine won and later was placed 10th.

Tampa Bay Downs trainer Kathleen O'Connell of Odessa came up short in her attempt to become the first female conditioner to win the Juvenile Fillies when Scandalous Act finished sixth.

Baffert's 10-1 shot New Year's Day rallied on the rail to win the $2 million Juvenile by 11/4 lengths. The Juvenile's winner is typically tagged as the early Kentucky Derby favorite.

Times correspondent Don Jensen contributed to this report.

Day of triumph, tragedy 11/02/13 [Last modified: Saturday, November 2, 2013 10:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. If Tony Dungy sticks around, he'll broadcast the 2021 Tampa Super Bowl for NBC


    Lost in the Super Tuesday news of the Super Bowl coming back to Tampa was this nugget:

    Pictured, from left, Dan Patrick, co-Host, Tony Dungy, studio analyst, Aaron Rodgers. [Ben Cohen/NBC]
  2. Tragedy, tenacity helped shape Ridgewood valedictorian Johannah Cummines

    Volleyball Preps

    NEW PORT RICHEY — Even if her daily routine didn't permit calories to melt off, Johannah Cummines would deserve to pick anything on the menu.

    Ridgewood High senior Johannah Cummines and mom Chenell. Cummines is headed to Florida Atlantic, where she will play beach volleyball. (Photo courtesy of Johannah Cummines)
  3. Bucs Roberto Aguayo kicks off 2017 on the wrong foot


    The goal posts still seem to be moving for Roberto Aguayo.

    The Bucs woebegone place-kicker, who is in a battle with veteran Nick Folk, went 1-for-4 in field goal tries from 35-40 yards Tuesday on a set of narrow uprights, the first day of full squad Organized Team Activities.

    If that weren’t …

    Roberto Aguayo went 1-for-4 in field goal tries from 35-40 yards Tuesday on a set of narrow uprights.
  4. Rays morning after: Are cold bats a sign of things to come?


    How does an offense that has ranked among the most productive in the league for seven weeks go so cold?

    Steven Souza Jr. extended his weeks-long skid to 8-for-67.
  5. Calvary Christian takes strong lineup, defense to state baseball tournament


    CLEARWATER — No matter what happens in Friday's Class 4A state semifinal against Delray Beach American Heritage, Calvary Christian has already had a historic season. The unbeaten Warriors have won 28 games and qualified for the school's first state baseball tournament.

    The addition of Nolan Hudi to the rotation made a difference, said Calvary Christian coach Greg Olsen. “It was huge.”