D. Wayne Lukas, the Breeders’ Cup’s winningest trainer, added to his record Saturday – with a shocker.
Under jockey Victor Espinoza, 61-1 long shot Take Charge Brandi ($125.40) led gate to wire to take the $2 million Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita and give Lukas his 20th Cup victory.
It was Lukas’ sixth win in the Juvenile Fillies, but his first in nine years.
“This is the most exciting one yet,” said the 79-year-old trainer, the oldest to win a Cup race.
A daughter of Giant’s Causeway, Take Charge Brandi is owned by Will Horton, who also raced 2013 Classic runner-up Will Take Charge. A $435,000 purchase, the 2-year-old filly had flopped in four consecutive stakes before the Cup.
“(Owners) want to win when the whole world is watching,” Lukas said. “If you can get one of these, it’s worth five of the others.”
Coincidentally, Espinoza’s only previous Cup win also came with a Lukas long shot: 2000 Distaff winner Spain, who returned $113.80 for a $2 bet.
“We’ll be back,” Lukas promised. “We’re not going to retire very quick.”
Et cetera – Dayatthespa ($13) became only the second New York-bred to win a Cup. She led all the way in the $2 million Filly & Mare Turf. Trained by Chad Brown, the 5-year-old mare was immediately retired and will be sold at auction Tuesday in Kentucky. Among the mare’s current owners is bloodstock specialist Pete Bradley, a UC Davis alumnus who grew up on a cattle ranch near Sacramento.
▪ Work All Week ($40.20) became the first Illinois-bred to win a Cup stakes with an upset in the $1.5 million Sprint. Trained by first-time Cup winner Roger Brueggemann and ridden by Florent Geroux, the 5-year-old gelding held off defending Sprint champion Secret Circle.
▪ Other Cup winners (with payoffs) on Saturday were Judy the Beauty (Filly & Mare Sprint, $8.20) and Bobby’s Kitten (Turf Sprint, $16.40).
▪ After three years at Santa Anita, the Cup moves in 2015 to Keeneland in Lexington, Ky., where it snowed Saturday.
Call The Bee’s Debbie Arrington, (916) 321-1075. Follow her on Twitter @debarrington.