After more than a decade of being outfooted by American specialists, Europe earned its first tally in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) on Saturday when Glass Slippers found precious room at the right time to register a 10-1 upset in the 5 1/2-furlong dash at Keeneland.
Although 10th down the backside and around the turn, Glass Slippers was in ideal position staying close to the inside by jockey Tom Eaves as a hot pace of :21.26 and :43.81 was set by Into Mystic. Improving position entering the stretch, Glass Slippers found a small seam to slip through between rivals in mid-stretch, hit the front inside the eighth pole and won by a half-length from the late-arriving 26-1 outsider Wet Your Whistle.
A homebred racing for Bearstone Stud, Glass Slippers completed the race in 1:01.53 over a course rated good. She paid $22.40.
“To come and compete against the best sprinters in the world and beat them is just amazing,” trainer Kevin Ryan said. “She’s been great all week. Every day getting fresher and cantering on the turf track every morning.
“I said to Tom earlier in the week, ‘Now you’re going quicker running into a bend let’s see how she changes her legs,’ and straight away no issues at all in the bend. I knew then we were in business. We decided going on a brave ride up the inner and go the shortest route and if it didn’t work such is life. Today was our day.”
Leinster, the 4-1 favorite, finished a half-length behind Wet Your Whistle and was followed by Extravagant Kid, Got Stormy, Front Run the Fed, Wildman Jack, Bombard, Oleksandra, Big Runnuer, Texas Wedge, Into Mystic, Imprimis, and Just Might.
This was the third top-level tally for Glass Slippers, who previously captured the 2019 Prix de l’Abbaye (G1) at Longchamp and the Flying Five (G1) at The Curragh on Sept. 12. She was a neck second in her title defense of the Prix de l’Abbaye on Oct. 4, which prevented her from achieving a Group/Grade 1 triple here. Her career record now stands at 17-7-3-1, $1,123,796.
Bred in Great Britain, the 4-year-old Glass Slippers is by Dream Ahead and out of Night Gypsy, by Mind Games.