Twilight Eclipse 3rd in Breeders' Cup Turf
Twilight Eclipse became a millionaire over the weekend with a third place finish in the $3,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) at Santa Anita. He wasn’t able to turn the tables on archnemesis Main Sequence, but put in a very strong performance against a group of world class horses.
In 2010 Twilight Eclipse commanded only $1,000 at the Keeneland January Sale. Fast forward four years and he’s earned over a million dollars, won four graded stakes, and placed in six grade one events. Talk about a rags to riches story.
Purchased by West Point Thoroughbreds following his second start at Indiana Downs, the 5-year-old son of Purim has taken his Partners across the country and across the world. Earlier this year he competed in $5,000,000 the Dubai Sheema Classic (G1) at Meydan Racecourse (G1). Needless to say he’s developed into a barn favorite, and created even more lasting memories over the weekend.
After getting wiped out at the break in the 2013 running of the Breeders’ Cup Turf, the plan was to be on or near the lead this year. Twilight Eclipse broke on top, but then there was a mad rush for the top spot and Javier Castellano made the decision to settle midpack. Eventual winner Main Sequence was glued to Twilight Eclipse’s outside throughout and got the jump on him going into the final turn of the 12 furlong race. Twilight came three wide at the top of the stretch before splitting horses and finishing strong to get up for third.
“My goal was to be close to the pace, but they went really fast for 1 ½-miles, said Castellano. “I had a beautiful trip, finished third and was satisfied with the way he did it. He’s a very steady and consistent horse.”
Earlier in the day trainer Tom Albertrani saddled Filly & Mare Sprint runner up Better Lucky. He was very confident his duo would run big in the Breeders’ Cup, and both delivered.
“Twilight Eclipse galloped around here like a monster in the days leading up to the race, so I knew he was sitting on a big one,” said Albertrani. “This was another very good race. Johnny V. had Javier right where he wanted him and got the jump on us. There’s no shame in running behind the top two, they are very nice horses.”
“It’s tough to get beat by the same horse (Main Sequence) four times in a row, but we’re still very proud of Twilight Eclipse,” said WPT president Terry Finley. “It’s hard enough to have a horse talented enough to be a contender in a Breeders’ Cup race, and another to hit the board. I appreciate the support from all of our Partners and look forward to getting a much-deserved grade one win on Twilight Eclipse’s resume in 2015.”
Twilight Eclipse shipped to Palm Meadows in Florida and is under consideration for the $100,000 W.L. McKnight Handicap (G3) run at 1 1/2 miles on the turf on December 27 at Gulfstream. He’ll try for his third straight McKnight win, as he captured both the 2012 and 2013 editions at Calder Racecourse.
West Point Partners from all over the country traveled to California to cheer on Twilight Eclipse and Ring Weekend (who raced in the Twilight Derby on the Breeders’ Cup Friday undercard). Click here to view a photo album highlighting a fun week of world class racing.