Photo: Don August
With the 30th Breeders' Cup passing by quicker than most of us would have liked, we now turn our attention and anticipation to the 31st renewal of the Championships - again to be held at Santa Anita - but not before we ask ourselves, just what did we learn this year?
Europeans in the Breeders' Cup Turf are always to be feared
The Fugue may have been respected, but Magician was largely ignored and allowed to go off at an incredible price in the Breeders' Cup Turf. The lightly-raced Aidan O'Brien trained three year old received an inspired ride from Ryan Moore, gathering in The Fugue in the closing stages to trigger heartache once again for the John Gosden team.
An unrespected O'Brien runner is a rareity at the Breeders' Cup nowadays, but Magician was certainly ignored this year. The three year old is likely to return next season in a bid to fill the void created by the retirement of St Nicholas Abbey.
It's not wise to go against Dan
No matter how hard we tried, we just can't beat Wise Dan. An inferior crop of European milers were sent into battle this year and, headed by the soft ground lover Olympic Glory, they just could not dethrone the champion and reigning Horse of the Year.
Where Wise Dan goes next, or where the public feel he should go, is open for debate, but it must be noted that a raid on European turf is unlikely given Charles LoPresti's comments about Mr Fink being unlikely to be able to travel to watch his star on foreign shores.
First and foremost, Wise Dan is here for the enjoyement of Morten Fink - his owner - but oh how we would love to see him battle it out in Europe.
Breeders' Cup benefit race for Europeans
There have been strong opinions on whether the Breeders' Cup Marathon is a legitimate championship race, and the victory of London Bridge in this year's renewal did very little to deny that opinion. Rated in the middle ranges of British handicap races, London Bridge was sent to America to contest the Marathon and became the third winner of the race for Europe in five renewals of the race. America hold just a single victory in the race.
Given the breeding angles, and the lack of marathon distance races in America, is it time to call last orders on the Breeders' Cup opener?
War was declared with both barrels
Declaration of War split the opinions of Europeans coming into this year's Breeders' Cup Classic, but there could be no denying that he was an intriguing runner if he could handle the dirt on his return to America.
The four year old son of War Front produced an exceptional performance when coming up a neck short of victory in America's greatest race, further enhancing the internationally competitive nature that the Breeders' Cup Classic thrives for.
There can be no denying that Declaration of War earnt an exceptional level of respect from both sides of the pond for his game defeat at the hands of Mucho Macho Man.
Europeans 'mizzing' from Turf Sprint
Whether they would've been able to repel the charge of Mizdirection as she went 7-for-7 on the Santa Anita turf course is open for debate, but the level of entries - i.e. none - from Europe for the $1m sprint contest was disappointing.
Other than Starspangledbanner and Strike The Deal in recent years, the level of interest in Europeans shipping for the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint is somewhat disappointing, especially given the unique challenge that the race provides and at a good spot in the international calendar between the Prix de L'Abbeye and the Hong Kong Sprit.
One would hope that British and Irish trainers would begin to reconsider their swerving of the Turf Sprint as the level of European trained Breeders' Cup winners begins to increase once again.
For god sake, send some sprinters...!
Disqualification needs to be univerally reviewed
In America it was a certainty, but in England the disqualification of She's A Tiger from first place in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies would've been laughed out of the Stewards' Room.
As was pinpointed by the disqualification of Dar Re Mi in the Prix Vermeille some years ago, and further franked by the non-DQ of Elsuive Kate in this year's GI Falmouth Stakes, a univeral concencus needs to be made on when it is and isn't acceptable to disqualify a horse from first place - or indeed any place.
My personal opinion is that a horse should only be disqualified where it has cost the objecting horse momentum towards the line. In this case alone, I did not see She's A Tiger cost her rival any momentum and thus she should have stayed on top for a deserved win for Jeff Bonde and Gary Stevens.