Ruler of the World's Iridessa Fends off Vasilika in F/M Turf

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7th at SA , $2,000,000GI Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup F/M Turf (1 1/4m)Winner: Iridessa (Ire), f, 3 by Ruler of the World (Ire)

Iridessa | Horsephotos

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ARCADIA, CA–After getting shut out on day one of the World Championships at Santa Anita, Team Europe got on the board in the GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf Saturday, as 3-year-old Iridessa (Ire) (Ruler of The World {Ire}) took charge in the final furlong and held off a game Vasilika (Skipshot) to post a 13-1 upset. The victory was the first in the Breeders' Cup as a trainer for Joseph O'Brien, who captured the GI Breeders' Cup Turf aboard St. Nicholas Abbey (Montjieu {Ire}) in 2011 and becomes the second person, after Freddy Head, to win Breeders' Cup races as both a jockey and trainer.

Conquering the G1 Bet 365 Mile in her fourth start at two last fall at Newmarket, Iridessa took a few outings to find her best form as a sophomore before scoring a convincing tally in the

G1 Juddmonte Pretty Polly S. June 28 at The Curragh. Never factoring when seventh in the G1 Kerrygold Irish Oaks there July 20, the bay bounced back to annex the G1 Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron S. Sept. 14 at Leopardstown and was third in the G1 Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot S. last out Oct. 5 back at Newmarket.

Drifting up from her 8-1 morning-line quote here, Iridessa came away well from her inside stall and showed good tactical speed to find her way into the pocket in third as Mirth (Colonel John) led them along through the stretch for the first time through a :23.45 quarter. That one started to widen her lead on the clubhouse turn while clicking off a :46.45 half and opened up a half-dozen lengths soon after straightening onto the backstretch before bumping the margin to near double digits past three-quarters in 1:09.68.

Continuing to save ground on the far turn, Iridessa came off the fence nearing the lane as odds-on favorite Sistercharlie (Ire) (Myboycharlie {Ire}), who had traveled in fifth through the first mile, had to loop four wide while advancing. That one floated out further at the top of the lane and Iridessa took command a furlong from home as Mirth began to hit the wall. Appearing ready to kick clear, she encountered a stubborn foe in local win machine Vasilika to her inside, and those two squared off through the final sixteenth with Iridessa just edging her valiant rival by a neck on the wire. Sistercharlie finished an even third.

“It's very special. Obviously I've been coming here a number of years, and I know how hard it is to compete here,” said O'Brien. “I have been supported by some fantastic owners since I started training. And obviously with that, I've had some very good horses. It hasn't sunk in yet that we've had a winner here.”

“The best thing about riding for Joseph, he gives you instructions, but he never ties you down, and just he told me: 'Get your filly comfortable,'” said Wayne Lordan, winning his first Breeders' Cup race before jetting off to Australia to ride the Aidan O'Brien-trained Il Paradiso (Galileo {Ire}) in Tuesday's G1 Lexus Melbourne Cup. “So sitting third or fourth was my ideal position. And once she was comfortable, I was happy. I knew if I got her comfortable for the first half, she would finish out well. And that's the way it worked out.”

As for beaten favorite Sistercharlie, Chad Brown commented, “Johnny [Velazquez] said it might have been a little too firm for her. They weren't really coming back today. But, not a bad trip. I loved her spot on the first turn. She ran a great race. I think the two horses who finished ahead of her ran outstanding. I don't have any major excuses other than it seems like it's a pretty firm turf and if you're not in the mix turning for home, it's going to be hard to win on it. This was her first time running here and this might not be her course. Not taking anything away from the top two runners. They were really finishing through the wire.”

Pedigree Notes:

Iridessa is the lone black-type winner thus far for Coolmore's second-crop sire Ruler of The World (Ire), victor of the 2013 G1 Epsom Derby. She is the sixth foal to race and first black-type horse out of unraced Senta's Dream (GB), a daughter of Starine (Fr), who captured this very event at Arlington in 2002. Senta's Dream is responsible for a juvenile Australia (GB) colt in Ireland named Order of Australia (Ire) and a yearling filly by Camelot (GB). Ruler of the World will stand at Haras de Bouqetot in France in 2020.

Saturday, Santa Anita
MAKER'S MARK BREEDERS' CUP FILLY AND MARE TURF-GI, $1,840,000, Santa Anita, 11-2, 3yo/up, f/m, 1 1/4mT, 1:57.77, fm.
1–IRIDESSA (IRE), 120, f, 3, by Ruler of The World (Ire)
1st Dam: Senta's Dream (GB), by Danehill
2nd Dam: Starine (Fr), by Mendocino
3rd Dam: Grisonnante (Fr), by Kaldoun (Fr)
O-Mrs. C. C. Regalado-Gonzalez; B-Whisperview Trading Ltd
(IRE); T-Joseph O'Brien; J-Wayne Lordan. $1,100,000. Lifetime
Record: MG1SW-Ire, G1SW-Eng, 12-5-0-3, $1,988,198.
Werk Nick Rating: A+++ *Triple Plus*.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Vasilika, 124, m, 5, by Skipshot
1st Dam: La Belle Marquet, by Marquetry
2nd Dam: Good for Her, by Topsider
3rd Dam: Please Try Hard, by Nashua
O-All Schlaich Stables LLC, Janet Hollendorfer, Gatto Racing,
LLC & George Todaro; B-Mikhail Yanakov (KY); T-Dan Ward.
$340,000.
3–Sistercharlie (Ire), 124, m, 5, by Myboycharlie (Ire)
1st Dam: Starlet's Sister (Ire), by Galileo (Ire)
2nd Dam: Premiere Creation (Fr), by Green Tune
3rd Dam: Allwaki, by Miswaki
(€12,000 Ylg '15 AR15). O-Peter M. Brant; B-Ecurie Des
Monceaux (IRE); T-Chad C. Brown. $180,000.
Margins: NK, 2 1/4, 3/4. Odds: 13.20, 4.60, 0.80.
Also Ran: Fanny Logan (Ire), Just Wonderful, Mirth, Villa Marina (GB), Billesdon Brook (GB), Mrs. Sippy, Castle Lady (Ire). Scratched: Fleeting (Ire), Thais (Fr). Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

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