Iridessa Makers Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf Champion
Iridessa Hold Off Hard Knocking Vasilika
Edited Breeders Cup Press Release
ARCADIA, Calif. (Nov. 2, 2019) – Mrs. C.C. Regalado-Gonzalez’s Iridessa ($28.40) held off Vasilika by a neck after a duel in deep stretch to win the 21st running of the $2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf Saturday afternoon at Santa Anita. Joseph O’Brien becomes the 2nd in Breeders’ Cup history to win a BC race as a jockey and a trainer joining Freddy Head.
Trained by Joseph O’Brien and ridden by Wayne Lordan, Iridessa covered the mile and a quarter on a firm turf course in 1:57.77. It is the first Breeders’ Cup victory for O’Brien and Lordan.
Longshot Mirth raced off to an uncontested lead with Vasilika tracking in second and Iridessa just behind her. On the turn, Iridessa and Vasilika moved as a team and at the sixteenth pole stormed past Mirth with Iridessa moving fastest only to have Vasilika fight back along the rail and just miss at the wire.
Defending champion and heavily favored Sistercharlie finished another 2 ¼ lengths back in third.
Iridessa is a 3-year-old Irish-bred daughter of Ruler of the World (IRE) out of the Danehill mare Senta’s Dream (GB). The victory, her fourth Grade or Group 1 triumph, was worth $1,100,000 and increased Iridessa’s earnings to $1,988,198.
Jonathan Stettin of Pastthewire.com wrote about this potential amazing feat earlier today as if it was a forgone conclusion, coincidence? We think not! Joseph O’Brien has a long bright future ahead of him and we are sure he will add other Breeders’ Cup trophies to his mantle in the future.
Winning trainer Joseph O’Brien (Iridessa (IRE)) – “That was fantastic. Wayne (Lordan) gave her a great ride and got into a really nice position early on. I’ve got a great team back home that work for me. This is unbelievable.”
Winning jockey Wayne Lordan (Iridessa (IRE)) – “Unbelievable feeling. She was so tough to dig deep and hold on. It was some performance.”
Mark Madgwick, representative of winning owner Mrs. C.C. Regalado-Gonzalez (Iridessa) – “That’s as good as it gets. Unfortunately the owners couldn’t make it, but I’m sure they will be over the moon. She will stay in training next year.”
Second-place trainer Dan Ward (Vasilika) – “What a fantastic race. He (Flavien Prat) rode her perfect. He had her relaxed the whole way. They weren’t gaining ground on the turf so he felt like he had to be out closer (than where she usually is farther off the pace) and just put her where she was comfortable and she did not give up. She’s done everything we’ve asked from her since the day we got her (as a claim). She’s a super horse.”