Chalk up an historic "golden" moment for Manitoba on the world stage of horse racing.
Goldencents, the 3-year-old colt born to an Assiniboia Downs mare, has now earned $2 million--and is a leading candidate for champion 3-year-old horse of the year--after crushing his rivals in the Dirt Mile in the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Santa Anita on November 1, 2013.
Never has a horse with Manitoba breeding reached such dizzying heights. "To achieve recognition of that level on that stage is unbelievable for Manitoba racing and breeding," said Assiniboia Downs CEO Darren Dunn. "Every Manitoban should feel proud of what this colt has accomplished."
Goldencents, facing 10 seasoned competitors in the $1 million race, including older more-experienced horses, charged to the lead and never looked back, winning by almost three lengths, awarding his backers $9.60 for every $2 bet. That was his fifth lifetime victory in 12 starts.
The Breeders' Cup victory vaulted him into the lead for the vaunted Eclipse Award for 3-year-old champion male which is voted on in the winter by racing officials and sports writers.
Also of interest to Manitobans in the same race was the third-place finish of Brazilian-bred Brujo de Olleros who is partly owned by Assiniboia Downs horseman and Manitoba Jockey Club director, Barry Arnason.
Goldencents' mother, Golden Works, was bred in Manitoba by "as seen on TV" product innovator Phil Kives. Kives raced the mare at Assiniboia Downs in the mid 1990's, then took her down to Kentucky where he sold her for $7,000. She was subsequently bred to the stallion, Into Mischief, and the rest is history. One of Goldencents' owners is Rick Pitino, the prominent coach of the University of Louisville men's basketball team.
Goldencents' sparkling career had one bump in the road--when he didn't take to the sloppy track at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby and faded to 17th--but he rebounded to become the toast of California racing.
"And the exciting thing is, there is still lots of upside to this gorgeous colt," said Dunn. "The ease in which he won the world championship portends a future that is unlimited. We could be hearing about this horse for years to come."
Stakes Races at Assiniboia Downs for Two Year Olds
Alws Osiris Stakes
Alws Debutante (Fillies)
Stakes Races at Assiniboia Downs for Three Year Old Fillies
Hazel Wright Sires Stake
R.C. Anderson Stakes
Gold Strike Mile
Jack Hardy Stakes
Stakes Races at Assiniboia Downs for Three Year Olds
Golden Boy Stakes
Frank Arnason Sire Stakes
Harry Jeffrey Stakes
Gold Strike Mile
J.W. Sifton Stakes