11 Odds-On Breeders' Cup Betting Favourites - That Lost
Being odds-on favourite doesn't make a Breeders' Cup runner a certainty - it just means many, many people figure they're the best horse in the race. We look back below at the shortest odds-on favourites to have lost in Breeders' Cup betting history.
Infamous 4/5 Four
Shocking 8/11 Trio
Two 4/6 Misses
Dortmund at 8/13
Riboletta at 2/5
Seven 4/5 favourites have lined up at the Breeders' Cup since 1998, four have lost, three finishing agonisingly close in second.
Trainer Carl Nafzger was the first to make the list when his four-year-old mare Banshee Breeze failed by a nose to catch front-runner Escena in the 1998 Distaff - and they would suffer the same fate 12 months later, this time beaten 3/4 of a length at odds of 11/5.
Then came Rock Of Gibraltar in the 2002 Breeders' Cup Mile; but for Domedriver (and 3/4 of a length), Sir Alex Ferguson's colt would have retired an unbeaten three-year-old, boasting dual Classic, Royal Ascot and Breeders' Cup successes, to go with the brace of Group 1s he gained at two.
Two years later, it was the turn of the Turf to blemish a flawless career, as Kitten's Joy trailed in 1.75 lengths adrift of 33/1 chance Better Talk Now. The three-year-old, trained by Dale Romans and owned by breeders Ken and Sarah Ramsey, gained some compensation at stud - offspring Stephanie's Kitten, Oscar Performance, and Bobby's Kitten winning four Breeders' Cup races between them
And, finally came Lost In The Fog (pictured): unbeaten in 10 races with an average winning margin of nearly seven lengths, he was 4/5 favourite for the 2015 Sprint for good reason, but when he finished a well-beaten seventh alarm bells rang.
In a sad end to a brilliant talent, Lost In The Fog was the following year diagnosed with inoperable lymphoma, running almost the length of his spine. He lived out his final days at home in Golden Gate Fields and was euthanised aged four in September, 2006.
Three horses have been 8/11 favourite in Breeders' Cup betting history, and none of them have won.
In 2015, 1,000 Guineas heroine Legatissimo (pictured) sought a Group 1 hat-trick in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, but stumbled out of the stalls and just did not have the late pace to reel in 12/1 shot Stephanie's Kitten the winner by a length and a quarter.
In the same race, 12 years earlier, legendary trainer Bobby Frankel had been left dumbfounded as Adoration, rank outsider of the field at 40/1, made all the running to win, leaving his four-time Grade 1 winner Sightseek in fourth.
Running in the colours of this year's hottest Breeders' Cup favourite Enable, Sightseek never returned to the Breeders' Cup, and nor will fellow 8/11 loser Lady Aurelia.
The dual Royal Ascot winner beat just two horses home in the Turf Sprint last year, as 40/1 shot Stormy Liberal won, trainer Wesley Ward blaming her long season for the poor performance.
We're getting into disaster territory now, as among those beaten at 4/6 is an unbeaten juvenile that never recovered.
Some blamed slow ground on the inside of the dirt track for Officer's 5th placing at 4/6 in the 2001 Juvenile, but jockey Victor Espinoza said: "He wasn't the best horse." Trainer Bob Baffert adding: "It wasn't our day".
Though they later came to the conclusion that Officer must have displaced his palate when running down leader Came Home - meaning his breathing was hampered from hence force and he could no longer operate at top speed, right when it matter most. Baffert also criticised Espinoza, saying: "He can't be ridden like that. I knew the only way he'd get beat was if he got in a match race with Came Home and that's what happened."
Compounding their disappointed, Officer, who had won his first three starts with consumate ease as the long odds-on favourite each time, ran only once more - and was beaten again. All seven of the Breeders' Cup runners he's sired, have also been beaten.
Golden Horn's (pictured) odds-on losing journey was not as catastrophic. Already the Epsom Derby, Irish Champion Stakes and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner, he had little to prove in the 2015 Breeders' Cup Turf at Keeneland, and was beaten only by Found, who next year won the Arc.
He was 8/13 favourite because that Breeders' Cup field was a step down in class, unfortunately, he was already burnt out.
As a two-year-old, Dortmund went unbeaten for the mighty Bob Baffert, so at three he went down the US Triple Crown route, in the same year American Pharaoh became the first horse to win it since 1978.
Leaving the superstar behind him, he bounced back to win twice before turning four, and embarking on a Breeders' Cup Classic campaign. In further appalling timing, along that road he thrice met 2014 Kentucky Derby and the same year's Dubai World Cup winner California Chrome.
With Art Sherman's star bound for the 2016 Classic, of course, Baffert rerouted to the Dirt Mile. Dortmund shot to the head of the betting at 8/13f, but jockey Martin Garcia didn't have enough horse left after those skirmishes with California Chrome and the pair finished fourth. The Big Brown colt later became his great rival's stablemate, but never won again.
No. 1 on this list of the shortest-priced beaten favourites at the Breeders' Cup is Riboletta.
She had won the fillies equivalent of the Belmont Stakes, the Beldame, and was on a winning streak of six, including four Grade 1 handicaps to accompany her Grade 1 stakes victory.
Riboletta was without doubt the season's most outstanding filly in North America, and that was reflected in the 2000 Breeders' Cup Distaff betting as she sat at the top of the market at 2/5, her nearest rival Beautiful Pleasure priced at 51/10. It was also reflected in the $400,000 fee owners Aaron and Marie Jones to supplement their star for the $2million race.
Beautiful Pleasure had caused an upset in the race last year, following her own Beldame Stakes win, beating 8/5 favourite Silverbulletday, but this time it was the turn of 56/1 chance Spain, who has since proven her win was no fluke.
Riboletta, however, finished 7th, fading quickly with two furlongs to race, with what turned out to be a career-ending injury. The five-year-old was retired after vets confirmed damage had been done to suspensory ligaments in her left front leg.
Despite that defeat, Riboletta was crowned the 2000 Champion Older Mare at the Eclipse Awards, and has since produced the filly Riboletti to not only win herself, but go on to produce a winner herself in Senora Acero.
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