Going into the 2005 Breeders' Cup Turf at Belmont Park, there were several horses that were well-considered including the 2004 champion, Better Talk Now, the Irish-based favorite Ace, Shakespeare, who had won the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic over the Belmont turf earlier in the year. The horse I myself fancied was 20-1 on the morning-line and that was Shirocco. Shirocco was trained by Andre Fabre, who pulled off the greatest upset in Breeders' Cup history with Arcangues in the 1993 Classic at over 100-1. Shirocco had finished fourth in the Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in France earlier in the year and in the process had finished behind Bago, who would also cross the Atlantic after a third-place finish in the Arc. By the way, Bago had won the Arc the year before also.
Apparently, I wasn't the only one who fancied Shirocco because he was bet down from that juice 20-1 morning-line to a more pedestrian 8-1 at post time. Shirocco settled in second behind the pacesetting rabbit Shake The Bank early on in the process. Shake The Bank was supposed to be setting testing fractions up front so defending champion Better Talk Now could come sweeping up from the back of the pack, which he had done at Lone Star Park in 2004. However, once Shake The Bank stopped after building up the big lead he was supposed to have, Shirocco was there to take over the lead and he never gave it up. In fact, he wasn't even given a big challenge from anyone once he took over. Jockey Christophe Soumillion drove him through the stretch and Shirocco won by a nifty two lengths.
Shirocco would be voted German Horse Of The Year in 2005. For his career, he would win seven of thirteen starts, earning a total of $2,477,588. If you would like to watch the 2005 Breeders' Cup Turf victory by Shirocco, here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fV5AEKIAs6Y. Tune in again tomorrow for more from They Are Off. For right now, I am Gone... GOODBYE!