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Pleasanton’s Bonde Sees She’s A Tiger Disqualified From Breeders’ Cup Win
Trainer Jeff Bonde of Pleasanton thought he had earned his first Breeders’ Cup victory Saturday when his speedy filly She’s a Tiger crossed the wire a nose in front of Ria Antonia in the $2 million Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita. The victory celebration was short-lived, however.
The stewards put up the inquiry sign soon after the race, and after a lengthy review, disqualified She’s a Tiger for bumping Ria Antonia in deep stretch and placed her second.
“It wasn’t meant to be, I guess,” said a distraught Bonde, who in a telephone interview said he didn’t agree with the decision by the stewards. “I felt, that if it was right at the wire, it wasn’t going to change the outcome, but they thought otherwise.”
According to the official Equibase chart footnote, She’s a Tiger came out and made contact with Ria Antonia “about 40 yards out.” Gary Stevens rode She’s a Tiger and said the stewards had a tough call.
When interviewed by David Grening of the Daily Racing Form, Stevens said, “I thought I rode the best filly. She was waiting, we made some contact. [Ria Antonia] was getting really tired and it may have made it look more severe. My filly didn’t even react to it. Tough call for them to have to make up there (in the stewards stand) but I’m not going to bitch about it.”
The disqualification was only the second in the history of the Breeders’ Cup. The first DQ occurred at the inaugural Breeders’ Cup in 1984 at Hollywood Park when Fran’s Valentine was disqualified from first and placed 10th in the Juvenile Fillies.
Bonde took the disqualification hard.
“In this game, there’s little middle ground,” said Bonde. “There are ups and downs, and I’m sure I’ve felt heartbroken many times before, but I’m definitely heartbroken today.”
Ria Antonia, a 32-1 long shot ridden by Javier Castellano, paid $66.60 to win and earned $1,100,000 for her owners. She’s a Tiger made $360,000 for her runner-up placing.