Updated on 11/02/2013 4:15PM

Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf: Dank leads 1-2-3 finish for Europeans

Barbara D. Livingston
Dank, with Ryan Moore riding, wins the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf by a half-length.

ARCADIA, Calif. -  Dank continued the Europeans’  dominance on turf at the 2013 Breeders’ Cup by parlaying a perfect trip under jockey Ryan Moore into a half-length victory over Romantica in Saturday’s $2 million Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita.

Alterite rallied mildly to outfinish pacesetter Emollient to finish third in the 1 ¼-mile race, giving European-breds  a sweep of the top three spots in the race. Marketing Mix, Tiz Flirtatious, Laughing, Lady of Shamrock, Kitten’s Dumplings, and Qushchi rounded out the complete order of finish.

[BREEDERS' CUP SATURDAY: Video replays and race results]

Dank, a 4-year-old daughter of Dansili, had not started since earning an automatic berth into the Filly and Mare turf by virtue of her dominating victory in the Beverly D. at Arlington Park 11 weeks ago. Trained by Michael Stoute for owner James Wigan, Dank completed the distance in 1:58.73 over the firm course and paid $5 as the heavy favorite.

Dank broke from the rail and was a bit rank early while pulling Moore within easy striking distance of Emollient, who showed the way for the opening mile through honest splits of 24.02 seconds, 47.50, 1:11.52, and 1:35.26. Dank engaged the leader approaching the stretch, gradually edged clear, and then withstood final surges from several rivals while drifting out near the middle of the course coming to the wire.

Romantica was also a bit rank coming down the hill while racing along the inside before coming to hand once settling back on the main turf course. Jockey Maxime Guyon put Romantica into a drive leaving the backstretch while remaining near the inner rail. Romantica was able to split horses continuing to rally at midstretch and was going best at the end.

Javier Castellano was a late replacement as the rider on Alterite after her regular jockey, John Velazquez, was injured in the previous race. Castellano angled the 3-year-old Alterite wide while making her bid into the stretch, wearing down Emollient in the final jump to finish third.

The victory was the fourth in five starts this season for Dank, who also won Group 2 and Group 3 stakes earlier this year at The Curragh and Newmarket. Her only setback was a third-place finish in the Group 2 Cambridge Stakes at Ascot.

“I was a little concerned because I thought she was being just a bit too ingenuous early on,” said Stoute, who saddled his sixth  Breeders’ Cup winner and second in the Filly and Mare Turf. “Ryan had to do what he had to do from the one draw and at the end of the day the result was a good one and she won.”

Stoute said he considered running Dank in the Prix de L’Opera at Longchamps as a prep for the
Breeders’ Cup but ultimately passed because of the condition of the ground.

“You can see quite clearly from her form that she likes it the quicker the better and we didn’t think the ground would be suitable at Longchamps,” said Stoute, who believed Dank’s performance in the Beverly D. was slightly better than her race on Saturday. “We knew she’d get firm ground over here. I think she should probably be undefeated this year. There was an incident before the race at Ascot and I don’t think she was at her very best.”

Guyon, who rode Romantica, said “I was beaten by the best horse. My horse went really well at the end.”

Trainer Chad Brown said he was hoping to have been in the position Romantica had with Alterite but was pleased with his filly’s effort finishing third.

“I’m proud of this filly’s performance being a 3-year-old and running three times in seven weeks,” said Brown. “She’ll get a lengthy and well-deserved break now.”


$2 exacta (1-2), $23.20
$1 trifecta (1-2-4), $103
$.10 super (1-2-4-8), $95.03
$2 double (5-1), $269.20
$1 pick 3 (13-5-1), $543.60
$.50 pick 5 (2-3-13-5-1), $23,665.90