Filly & Mare Sprint Division
BreederBo Hirsch LLC
Bo Hirsch’s homebred Ce Ce ($14.40) swept past a trio of dueling leaders, including defending champion Gamine, at the head of the stretch and drew off by 2 ½ lengths to win the 2021 running of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) for 3-year-olds and up at Del Mar. Trained by Michael McCarthy and ridden by Victor Espinoza, Ce Ce covered the 7 furlongs on a fast main track in 1:21. It is the second Breeders’ Cup victory for McCarthy and the fourth for Espinoza.
Gamine, seeking to become the second repeat winner in the history of the race, took the lead out of the gate but was quickly pressured on the outside by Bella Sofia. On the far turn, Bella Sofia applied more pressure on the outside and Edgeway slipped through on the inside as Ce Ce began a sweeping four-wide move. As the field straightened in the stretch, Ce Ce quickly burst clear to erase any doubt of the outcome. Edgeway was second, finishing three-quarters of a length in front of Gamine.
“It’s a proud moment for (Bo Hirsch and I),” said McCarthy. “I wish I would have shaved a little more this morning. Such a fantastic day and fantastic event. Just happy for everybody. She’s been very consistent. I think last year I decided that this year we would go one turn with her. She’s been touting herself this week that she was going to run a big one. I’m just glad she did on a stage like today.”
“It was the right race at the right time for this filly,” said winning rider Espinoza. “Mike McCarthy did an amazing job training her up to this race. I had a lot of horse. She bounced out of the gate, but I decided to sit back and she was nice and relaxed. When I shook the reins at her at the 5/8s pole, I got a little excited. I wanted to go inside, but that spot was taken. But it worked out pretty fine.”
The victory was worth $520,000 and increased Ce Ce’s earnings to $1,753,100 with a record of 16-8-1-3. It is her third Grade 1 victory and fifth graded score overall. In 2020, the 5-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Elusive Quality out of the Belong to Me mare Miss Houdini, won two Grade 1s, taking the Apple Blossom at Oaklawn Park and Beholder Mile at Santa Anita Park. She closed out the year finishing fifth in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) at Keeneland.
In 2021, Ce Ce won four of six starts, including the Princess Rooney Stakes (G2) at Gulfstream Park in July, in which she earned an automatic starting position into the Breeders’ Filly & Mare Sprint.
- October 21, 2021
This is the last of eight weekly news releases focusing on the horses and races leading to the 38th Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Friday, Nov. 5 and Saturday, Nov. 6 at Del Mar.