Goldikova gleams in Breeders’ Cup Mile

Goldikova stands alone in Breeders’ Cup history after winning her third BC Mile at Churchill Downs on Saturday.  The French bred mare unleashed a sizzling sprint in the straight to defeat Gio Ponti (Tale of the Cat) by almost two lengths clocking 1.35s for 1600m.

”She’s amazing – she can do anything,” trainer Freddie Head said.  “I was the first jockey to win this race twice with Miesque and now I’m the trainer of a mare winning it three times.”

Miesque has been a constant reference point for Goldikova.  The Nureyev mare set the benchmark of 10 Group 1 wins by a European-based horse back in the 1980s but Goldikova eclipsed that record when she won the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp last month.

Goldikova’s three-peat also surpassed two-time Breeders’ Cup Mile winners Lure (1992-93) and Da Hoss (1996, 1998).

Besides three Breeders’ Cup Miles, Goldikova has won the Prix Rothschild three times and the remainder of her Group 1 wins are rounded out by the 2008 Prix du Moulin, 2009 Prix Jacques le Marois, 2009 Falmouth Stakes, 2010 Prix D’Ispahan, 2010 Queen Anne Stakes and 2010 Prix de la Foret.

Goldikova is by deceased Widden shuttler Anabaa from the winning Blushing Groom mare Born Gold.  Her dam is a sister to Group 1 mare Gold Splash.  Second dam Riviere d’Or (Lyphard) was a Group 1 winner and her third dam Gold River (Riverman) captured the 1981 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.

“She is the best filly in the world,” winning jockey Olivier Peslier said.  “I didn’t want to ask too much of her early on.  She relaxed behind the pace but was flying on the home turn.”

Goldikova’s sire Anabaa died in July 2009.  The son of Danzig was given to Freddie Head’s father Alec by Sheikh Mohammed as a yearling after being diagnosed as a wobbler.  Despite that setback, he developed into Europe’s champion sprinter of 1996 winning the July Cup (G1) and Prix Maurice de Gheest (G1) before retiring to the Head family’s Haras du Quesnay.  

Anabaa had shuttled between France and Australia since 1997.  His southern hemisphere bred Group 1 winners included Yell (MRC C F Orr Stakes, Futurity Stakes & MVRC Australia Stakes), Virage De Fortune (QTC Sires’ Produce Stakes & MVRC Australia Stakes), Headturner (AJC Australian Derby), Imananabaa (NZ Railway Handicap), Teranaba (AJC Spring Champion Stakes) and Anacheeva (MRC Caulfield Guineas).