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After Royal Delta's win last year at Churchill Downs, she was sold for $8.5 million to Benjamin Leon. Mott didn't think he would be training the filly anymore and felt sad the day he had to walk her out of his barn.
"It was like walking to my best friend's funeral," he said earlier this week.
Mott attended the Keeneland sale and congratulated Leon after his purchase, not realizing that a couple weeks later Royal Delta would be back in his care.
"It's such a matter of pride to have a horse of that quality," Mott said. "I thought she could do it again if things went well and they did."
With two Ladies' Classic titles to her credit, Mott and Leon were already looking ahead to next year with Royal Delta. They plan to run her in the $10 million Dubai World Cup, where she finished ninth in March, and then have her close out her career at the Breeders' Cup.
Six different jockeys, trainers and owners won each of the Breeders' Cup races in front of 34,619 fans on a sunny day.
The biggest upset was Calidoscopio's 4 1/4-length victory in the $500,000 Marathon, jockey Aaron Gryder's first Breeders' Cup win. The 17-1 shot from Argentina paid $36.40 to win and at 9 became the oldest Breeders' Cup champion.
Age also played a part in the second-biggest upset. Sent off at 15-1 odds, Hightail kicked off the two-day world championships with a nose victory in the $500,000 Juvenile Sprint, giving Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas his leading 19th Breeders' Cup victory at 77.
"At my age it's significant," Lukas said. "I still have the passion for it and I train every day and ride every day. I'm not going to retire. I'm going to ride out there one morning, fall off the pony. They will harrow me under and if the harrow goes over me a couple of times that will be the end of it."
In the $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf, 11-1 shot Flotilla rallied to win by 1 1/4 lengths and paid $24.80. Trainer Mikel Delzangles and jockey Christophe Lemaire, both from France, won their first Breeders' Cup race.
Zagora won the $2 million Filly & Mare Turf by three-quarters of a length at 9-1 odds. She paid $20.40 to win under Javier Castellano for owner Martin Schwartz, who made his fortune trading on Wall Street.
Beholder led all the way to win the $2 million Juvenile Fillies, holding off 3-2 favorite Executiveprivilege by one length.
"She ran her heart out. It was a big effort and being at her home track sure helps," trainer Richard Mandella said. "I guess Santa Anita still has the magic."
It was the 13th Breeders' Cup victory for jockey Garrett Gomez and the seventh for Mandella, who last won at the world championships in 2003 when he had four victories.
Beholder paid $9.80 to win, while trainer Bob Baffert's Executiveprivilege had her five-race winning streak ended after she drifted out in the stretch.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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