Ashado strikes in Distaff

Ashado finished strongly to take the Breeders’ Cup Distaff for Texas trainer Todd Pletcher at Lone Star Park tonight.

Ashado finished strongly to take the Breeders’ Cup Distaff for Texas trainer Todd Pletcher at Lone Star Park tonight.

John Velazquez settled the 3-1 favourite in fourth place on the inside as Tamweel set a strong pace tracked by French raider Nebraska Tornado.

The latter weakened quickly on the home turn and Ashado found herself hemmed in on the rail, but once in line for home a gap appeared and she sprinted through the opening to score in good style.

“She’s a great filly and you have to give her all the credit,” said the winning rider.

Storm Flag Flying stayed on to grab second spot, with Stellar Jayne in third.

Sweet Catomine was another favourite to oblige when romping home under Corey Nakatani in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

The 2-1 chance had to overcome trouble in running before sweeping past her rivals to take the winner’s purse for trainer Julio Canani. Sheikh Mohammed’s Balletto was second with Runway Model third.

Aidan O’Brien’s runner, Mona Lisa, was slowly away under Jamie Spencer and never got into the race.

“I tracked Balletto, biding my time,” said Nakatani. “I had a poor trip at the quarter-pole, but when it opened up she really went.”

Canani added: She’s very special.”

Singletary held off a strong European challenge to land the NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile.

David Flores kicked the Don Chatlos-trained colt into a clear lead off the final bend but in the closing stages Spencer came with a strong charge on Antonius Pius.

However, not for the first time O’Brien’s runner threw his chance away by hanging, and after he ducked to his left he could not make up the ground and had to be content with second, beaten half a length.

Flores said: “I had a great trip and I saw where I had to go off the bend.”

Pascal Bary’s Six Perfections, who won the race last year, was hampered on the home turn, but to her credit she ran on well to claim third spot, a further two lengths behind.

Her rider, Jerry Bailey, said: “She lost her momentum and you can’t do that in this sort of race.”

Robert Collet’s Whipper was up with the pace for much of the way but faded in the straight to finish 10th.

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