Bayern in controversial win on day of upsets
By Mark Lamport-Stokes
ARCADIA California (Reuters) - Upsets were the order of the day at the Breeders' Cup on Saturday with the favourites denied in all nine races while Bayern commanded the spotlight in controversial style by winning the showpiece $5 million Classic.
Bayern, a 6-1 choice, survived a lengthy stewards' inquiry before being confirmed as the winner of North America's richest horse race by a nose after holding off Toast of New York at Santa Anita Park.
Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes champion California Chrome, a 4-1 shot, finished third while the 5-2 race favourite Shared Belief charged home late to take fourth, his first defeat in eight career starts.
However, the crowd of 61,114 watching the drama unfold was left hushed as the stewards reviewed a messy incident at the start of the race when several horses bumped into each other after Bayern broke sharply left into Shared Belief.
After a lengthy wait, the stewards made no changes to the finishing order following their inquiry, to the relief of Bayern's jockey Martin Garcia and trainer Bob Baffert.
"You don't like to see it, but you can't control the start," said Hall of Famer Baffert after celebrating his first Classic win in 13 tries.
"I think the nine horse (Toast of New York) probably came over and did more damage 100 yards out of the gate. But it's racing. It's racing luck."
The second and final day of the Breeders' Cup featured surprises in the other eight events. Continued...