LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A jockey brawl in the winner's circle and long-shot victories made for a wild opening day at the Breeders' Cup, capped by Unrivaled Belle's victory in the US$2 million Ladies' Classic under the lights Friday at Churchill Downs.
Unrivaled Belle, co-owned by Montreal's Peter Vegso, ran 1 1-8 miles in 1:50.04, winning by 1 3/4 lengths over 3-2 favourite Blind Luck in front of 41,614.
Jockeys Calvin Borel and Javier Castellano traded punches after the first Breeders' Cup race, with an enraged Borel needing to be restrained. He was furious about a move in tight quarters by Castellano.
The genteel atmosphere of the Breeders' Cup -- well-dressed fans, wealthy owners and gorgeous horses worth millions -- was jolted when Borel and the lesser known Castellano tangled.
Borel charged Castellano shortly after the $500,000 Marathon, angry over a mid-race move in traffic that endangered Borel and fellow rider Martin Garcia.
Borel, the usually smiling three-time winner of the Kentucky Derby, turned livid during the fight that went on for several minutes in front of startled onlookers. His eyes bulged and the veins in his forehead stood out as he resisted being held back.
Eventually, his wife and brother each took one of his arms and marched him back to the jockeys' room. He later rode in two other races and didn't win.
Shared Account scored the second-biggest upset in the event's 27-year history, winning the $2 million Filly & Mare Turf at 46-1 odds on a grey and chilly day.
Celebrity chef Bobby Flay earned his first Breeders' Cup victory as owner of More Than Real in the $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf.
American horses won all of the six races. No jockey or trainer won more than one race on a day where horses and riders got around safely.
Off the track, though, was a stunningly different story.
The races went off without Zenyatta, who was back in her barn waiting to defend her title Saturday in the $5 million Classic against the boys. She will put her 19-0 winning streak on the line in the 1 1/4-mile race, the richest in North America.
The two-day world championships were back at Churchill Downs for a record seventh time.
-- The Associated Press