LOUISVILLE, Ky., Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Goldikova won the $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile for a record third straight time Saturday, running by the leaders late.
Gio Ponti, who passed up a chance to challenge Zenyatta in the $5 million Classic, finished second, 1 3/4 lengths in arrears, with a late rush behind the winner. The Usual Q.T. was a longshot third and Paco Boy, another European invader, finished fourth.
Goldikova, a 5-year-old Anabaa mare bred in Ireland, looked like she might be in trouble down the backstretch after breaking from the No. 10 post position and being carried wide around the first turn.
But jockey Olivier Peslier said he was never worried. And when he steered Goldikova to the outside, she quickly hit another gear and roared right to the front. She finished in 1:35.16 and, if not for Gio Ponti's equally quick rally from even further back, Goldikova's performance would have been even more visually impressive.
Goldikova, a force in middle distances in Europe for the past three years, becomes the first horse to win the same Breeders' Cup Championship race three times in a row. Even getting a fragile thoroughbred to a world-class race in three straight years is something of a feat.
"She's amazing. She's amazing," said winning trainer Freddy Head. "She can do anything. Extraordinary. I don't have words."
Head rode Miesque to back-to-back Mile victories during his riding career.