Bo Hirsch’s homebred Ce Ce swept past the dueling leaders, which included defending champ Gamine, at the top of the lane and drew off powerfully to score by 2 ½ lengths in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) at Del Mar on Nov. 6.
Fellow Kentucky-bred Gamine was seeking to become the second repeat winner of the race and grabbed the lead away from the gate. She was pressured on the outside by Bella Sofia down the backstretch and into the far turn, while Ce Ce swept four-wide on the bend. As the pacesetters began to retreat, Ce Ce circled rivals and shot clear of the dueling leaders in the stretch to win going away. Ridden by Victor Espinoza and trained by Michael McCarthy, Ce Ce stopped the clock in 1:21 for the seven furlongs.
The $520,000 winner’s share of the purse increased Ce Ce’s bankroll to $1,753,100 and improved her record to 16-8-1-2. It was the third Grade 1 victory of her career. She is a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Elusive Quality out of the Belmont to Me mare Miss Houdini.
“Around the turn, she put in her run, and she was very good,” said winning trainer Michael McCarthy. “It’s a proud moment for (Bo Hirsch and me). Such a fantastic day and fantastic event. Just happy for everybody. She’s been very consistent. She’s been touting herself his week that she was going to run a big one. I’m just glad she did it on a stage like today.”
Espinoza added, “It was the right race at the right time for this filly. 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 five-eighths pole, I got a little excited. I wanted to go inside, but that spot was taken, but It worked out.”