2004 Breeders' Cup Turf Winner!
Better Talk Now
Dark bay or brown gelding by Talkin Man-Bendita by Baldski
Owner: Bushwood Stable
Trainer: Graham Motion
Last Race: Man O'War (G1)
Next Race: TBD
Horsehat.com FastFact: In 2004, only Better
Talk Now and Eclipse Champion Kitten’s Joy won two
grade one turf races in the U. S.
WON Knickerbocker G2
WON Eight Thirty
2nd Arlington G3
3rd Niagra Breedes’ Cup G2-Can
WON Breeders’ Cup Turf G1
WON Sword Dancer G1
2nd Bowling Green G2
WON United Nations G1
WON Man O' War G1
Talk Now Wins 2004 Breeders Cup Turf
Bushwood Stable's Better Talk Now stormed
to the lead in mid-stretch and rolled on to an upset victory
over favored Kitten's Joy in the $2 million John Deere Breeders'
Cup Turf (gr. IT).
Ridden by Ramon Dominguez for trainer Graham Motion, Better
Talk Now won by 1 3/4 lengths. Kitten's Joy came back after
being passed by Powerscourt down the backstretch the second
time to finish second, a length in front of Powerscourt.
The winner had to withstand a steward's inquiry and an objection,
neither of which altered the order of finish.
Better Talk Now's stunning win thrilled Motion, who won
his fist Breeders' Cup race. Earlier, his Film Maker finished
second in the Filly & Mare Turf and Dance Away Capote
ran fifth in the Juvenile Fillies.
"This has turned out to be an amazing day, to have
three horses run this well and all of them longshots. It
makes it even more special when you have a long shot and
you get a win."
The winning time for the 12 furlongs on a yielding turf
The winner had to survive a steward's review into the stretch
run after John Velazquez, aboard 7-10 favorite Kitten's
Joy, lodged a foul complaint. Edgar Prado, aboard fourth-place
finisher Magistretti, also claimed foul in the stretch against
the first two finishers.
Better Talk Now drifted inward after getting the lead despite
left-handed urging from Dominguez. Stewards decided the
order of finish was correct, however, and declined to make
any change in the order of finish.
"It felt like an hour before they made it official,
but it was more exciting after he went through all of that,"
Star Over the Bay jumped out to a big early advantage,
setting fractions of :24.90, :49.16, and 1:01.22, that he
maintained until he came back deep in the backstretch second
Powerscourt, who broke last for Jamie Spencer, made a big
middle move on the backstretch while four wide and pushed
to the lead, opening a clear advantage on the turn and into
the stretch. He maintained a slight edge over the winner,
but bumped with the Better Talk Now while drifting outward
and tired in the late stages. Kitten's Joy, who challenged
for the lead in the stretch and fell back a bit, outfinised
Powerscourt for second.
The 3-year-old Kitten's Joy, who was ridden by John Velazquez,
was looking for his fourth consecutive graded stakes win.
His last two – the Secretariat and Turf Classic –
were grade I triumphs.
"The whole time around he looked like he struggled,"
trainer Dale Romans said of Kitten's Joy. "He tried
the whole way. He showed the heart of a champion. The turf
was too wet. I didn't think it would make a difference but
it obviously did."
But he said the defeat won't affect Kitten's Joy status
as America's leading turf runner.
"He definitely is the turf champion (of 2004),"
Romans said. "I don't see how anyone could vote any
Velazquez said Kitten's Joy all but stopped after being
bumped by the winner. But he admitted Kitten's Joy was making
hard work of it.
"I slapped him a couple of times and he never quickened
the way he usually does," Velazquez said. "When
I got after him around the quarter-pole and I finally got
him running, then he had to stop. It completely stopped
our momentum. If we had a clean trip, we would have won
Better Talk Now paid $57.80, $12.40, and $5.20. Kitten's
Joy was worth $2.80 and $2.20 and Powerscourt returned $3.00.
A 5-year-old son of Talkin Man produced from the Baldski
Bred in Kentucky by Wimborne Farm, Better Talk Now won
the Sword Dancer Invitational (gr. IT) before finishing
fourth in the Man o' War (gr. IT) in his last start. Both
prep races were contested on yielding courses.
"That was kind of the move he made in the Sword Dancer,"
Dominguez noted. "I didn't know how it was going to
develop, but when I got to the five-eighths pole, I felt
so good. I said, if he is going to win, today is going to
be the day."
The victory, worth $1,040,000, was his eighth in 24 starts
and increased his overall earnings to $1,744437.