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Breeders' Cup

Life Is Sweet with Ladies’ Classic win

By Beth Harris
Associated Press / November 7, 2009

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ARCADIA, Calif. - Life got sweeter for Life Is Sweet without her daunting stablemate Zenyatta in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic yesterday. After fruitlessly chasing the undefeated mare in three previous races, Life Is Sweet found the winner’s circle.

Garrett Gomez guided her from last - more than 17 lengths behind - to a 2 1/2-length victory in the $2 million race at Santa Anita. Life Is Sweet was one of four long shots to win on the opening day of the 26th annual world championships.

“It was exhilarating,’’ co-owner Marty Wygod said.

The 4-year-old filly shares the barn of defending champion Zenyatta, who stayed in her stall resting ahead of today’s $5 million Classic against the boys. She will put her 13-0 winning streak on the line in the 1 1/4-mile race, the richest in North America.

Both horses are trained by John Shirreffs for different owners.

“I was glad she was able to get it done today,’’ Shirreffs said.

Life Is Sweet ran 1 1/8 miles in 1 minute 48.58 seconds and paid $18.20, $8, and $5 at 8-1 odds.

Mushka returned $12.80 and $6.40, while Music Note was another length back in third for the second straight year and paid $3.20 to show.

Life Is Sweet improved to 4 for 5 this year in races where Zenyatta wasn’t running, with her only loss to males in the Hollywood Gold Cup.

“If you have to be overshadowed by something, that is the right mare to be overshadowed by,’’ Wygod said. “She’s a great, great mare.’’

American horses won four of the day’s six races, with jockey Julien Leparoux riding two winners on a day that went off without incident to horses or riders.

Man of Iron opened the card with a thrilling nose victory over 9-year-old gelding Cloudy’s Knight in the $500,000 Marathon, the day’s only race featuring males.

Midday won the $2 million Filly & Mare Turf by a length, snapping an 0-for-6 streak in the Breeders’ Cup by veteran European trainer Henry Cecil. She Be Wild charged along the rail to win the $2 million Juvenile Fillies by three-quarters of a length under Leparoux. The $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf was won by Tapitsfly, who held off Rose Catherine by a half-length. Informed Decision won the $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint by 1 1/4 lengths over defending champion Ventura, giving Leparoux his other win.