July 22, 2024

Talismanic proves the charm in Breeders’ Cup Turf

Talismanic powers home to win the Breeders' Cup Turf (G1) under Mickael Barzalona at Del Mar on Saturday, November 4, 2017 (c) Wendy Wooley/EquiSport Photos

A couple of hours after Wuheida sprang an 11-1 surprise in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1), Godolphin turned the double with the 14-1 outsider Talismanic in the $3,680,000 Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1). The French shipper handed master trainer Andre Fabre his third Turf victory, and fifth Breeders’ Cup win overall, while jockey Mickael Barzalona celebrated his first.

Talismanic used his rail draw, and tactical foot, to secure good early position in fifth. Up front, Oscar Performance zipped over from the outside post 14 to carve out fractions of :23.69, :48.33, 1:12.86, and 1:38.00. Defending champion and 7-5 favorite Highland Reel drafted in his slipstream, racing in tandem much of the way with Beach Patrol.

But favorite backers had early warning when Beach Patrol advanced to accost Oscar Performance on the far turn, and Highland Reel was already being driven along. Talismanic, just behind Highland Reel, followed him into the stretch before getting the split. Although Beach Patrol put away Oscar Performance, he could not fend off the big white face of Talismanic, who collared him by a half-length on the wire.

By finishing 1 1/2 miles in a course-record 2:26.19, Talismanic earned his first Grade 1 laurel, and gave sire Medaglia d’Oro quite a double with Bar of Gold earlier in the Filly & Mare Sprint (G1).

Highland Reel answered every call, without looking quite himself, to report home just another neck away in third. Sadler’s Joy flew from last to take fourth. Seventh Heaven also rallied well for fifth, followed by Bullards Alley, Itsinthepost, Cliffs of Moher, Oscar Performance, Decorated Knight, Fanciful Angel, Bigger Picture, and Hunt. Morning-line favorite Ulysses was scratched after developing heat in his left front ankle.

Talismanic, a British homebred for Darley, had yet to record a Group 1 placing after a fourth in last year’s Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) (G1), fifth in the Grand Prix de Paris (G1), and 11th in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1). Although he hadn’t competed in any Group 1s this term until the Breeders’ Cup, he was coming off two notable efforts – a career-best in the Prix Maurice de Nieuil (G2) at about 1 3/4 miles on Bastille Day and a third to Dschingis Secret and stablemate Cloth of Stars in the Prix Foy (G2). His resume now reads 16-6-5-1, $2,601,181. For more details on his background, see the international profile on TwinSpires.com.

Out of the Grade 3-winning Machiavellian mare Magic Mission, Talismanic descends from the great matron Highclere, thus belonging to the all-star family of Deep Impact, Nashwan, and Nayef.


Winning jockey Mickael Barzalona (Talismanic)

“Right I can’t believe it. I am thrilled to have won my first Breeders’ Cup race. I expected the horse to run well, but I’m not sure I thought I would win. Mr. Fabre is a great trainer.”

Second-place trainer Chad Brown (Beach Patrol)

“We had a very good trip. My horse ran really well. We were just second best.”

Second-place jockey Joel Rosario (Beach Patrol)

“Broke perfect. Beautiful. I followed the speed and saw (Highland Reel) to my inside, so I held my position. Turning for home, he took off, but (Talismanic) was far out from me, so my horse couldn’t see him and my horse is a fighter. He ran well. The fractions were fast but he likes to run like that. It was a good run. It’s just too bad one horse beat us right at the end.”

Third-place jockey Ryan Moore (Highland Reel, favorite)

“He seemed to be laboring today. He didn’t have that usual oomph. They went quick and he rolled a bit down the straight.”

Fourth-place trainer Tom Albertrani (Sadler’s Joy)

“He ran well. He ran his race. I really can’t find any excuses for him. We were a little further back than I’d hope, but that’s the way he runs. I thought he ran a pretty honest race.”

Fourth-place jockey Julien Leparoux (Sadler’s Joy)

“He ran a good race. He came from far back and made a strong run. He couldn’t catch the horses in front of him, but they are also nice horses.”