Race Day breaks record by nearly one second
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 30, 2015) — Matthew Schera’s Race Day surged past pace-setter Encryption at the eighth pole and held off a belated bid from favored Hoppertunity by three-quarters of a length to win the 58th running of the $200,000 Hagyard Fayette (G2) for 3-year-olds and up in track-record time on Friday afternoon on the opening day of the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by John Velazquez, Race Day covered the 1 1/8 miles on a fast main track in 1:47.90 to erase the track standard of 1:48.79 established this spring by Protonico, also trained by Pletcher. It was the first victory in the Hagyard Fayette for Pletcher and Velazquez.
Encryption quickly grabbed the lead in the field of nine after breaking from the outside post and posted fractions of 23.55, 47.15 and 1:11.41 with Commissioner next and Race Day just off the pace in third.
At midstretch, Race Day quickly disposed of Encryption and opened a daylight margin that was more than enough to hold off Hoppertunity.
A Keeneland sales graduate, Race Day is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Tapit out of the More Than Ready mare Rebalite. The $120,000 winner’s share boosted Race Day’s earnings to $733,450 with a record of 11-6-1-2.
Race Day returned $10.60, $5.20 and $4.40. Hoppertunity, ridden by Victor Espinoza, paid $3.60 and $2.80 with Encryption finishing four lengths back in third under Paco Lopez and paying $6.80 to show.
It was 1½ lengths back to Commissioner in fourth with Protonico, Geothermal, V. E. Day, Code West and Ulanbator following in order. Departing and Eagle were scratched.
In the race prior to the Hagyard Fayette, Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s homebred Tweet Kitten held off favored Closing Bell by a half-length to win the 15th running of the Bryan Station for 3-year-olds.