No one dared and Capote won by 1¼ lengths. Thus Pincay found himself on the colt who not only would undoubtedly be named the 1986 juvenile champion but also would become the winter-book favorite to win the 1987 Kentucky Derby. "He's got a tremendous chance in the Derby," Pincay said. "He's a hell of a horse." Gulch ended up fifth, after drawing to within a length of Capote on the turn, but he hit a treadmill in the stretch and drifted out of contention. Polish Navy never got untracked and wound up seventh. A third promising New York 2-year-old, Demon's Begone, ran a listless sixth. So much for three of New York's finest.
Then the surprises started coming in bunches, including Brave Raj's 5½-length victory, at odds of 4-1, in the 1[1/16]-mile race for 2-year-old fillies. That was merely a foreshadowing, for it was followed immediately by the inexplicably dull exertions of Groovy, the colt regarded as the fastest sprinter in America, in the $1 million Sprint. Groovy was Oat outrun from the git-go and never did get his nose in front. Flying wet sails, he finished fourth behind the 11-1 winner, Smile, who scorched through the six furlongs in 1:08[2/5]. "Very, very disappointed," said Groovy's rider, Jose Santos. No more so, however, than the crowd that had sent Groovy off at 2-5 odds.
There were few more crestfallen at Santa Anita on Saturday than the Europeans. For this third Breeders' Cup series, they had shipped to the U.S. their strongest band of horses, including the brilliant winner of the Arc de Triomphe, Dancing Brave, as well as England's Sonic Lady, one of the fastest milers in Europe this year. In the end, all they had to show for it was Last Tycoon's head victory over a fast-closing Palace Music in the $1 million Mile, on the turf. The Irish-bred Last Tycoon paid $73.80 for $2, the longest price of the day. As the 3-year-old colt dashed for the lead through the stretch, Sonic Lady collapsed from first to seventh.
"She's had a wonderful campaign this year," said Sonic Lady's rider, Englishman Walter Swinburn. "I'm just sorry it had to end this way."
So they were all sorry that Dancing Brave's career as a racehorse had to end the way it ended, too. Winner of six of seven races and $1,388,811 this year, the 3-year-old colt came here with the reputation as the finest racehorse ever shipped from Europe to these shores. This was to be Dancing Brave's swan song, his final start before entering the stud next spring. Though gifted with a great closing burst of speed, he never unleashed it in the $2 million Turf at 1½ miles and obviously was not the same colt who had many comparing him with Nijinsky II, Mill Reef and Brigadier Gerard, the greatest horses to race in Europe in the last 20 years.
Favored at 50 cents to the dollar, Dancing Brave finished fourth, 6¾ lengths behind the winner, Manila, a 3-year-old colt known now as the best grass horse in America. Dancing Brave raced well to the turn for home but hung in the drive. "Just didn't have it," said jockey Pat Eddery. "He couldn't quicken. He's off to stud now, and they can't take the Arc away from him."
"Of course I'm disappointed, but we did our best," said Dancing Brave's trainer, Guy Harwood. "Our horse wasn't disgraced. He didn't quite find that kick that he normally does. We knew we were taking a chance coming all this way to run; it has been a long season."
One upset just led to another. In the Classic, there was Pincay, on Skywalker, driving up next to Precisionist and pinning him along the rail behind the pacesetting Herat in the most brilliantly executed ride of the day. Skywalker took the lead three furlongs out, and Precisionist could not catch him. Neither could Turkoman, though he was closing the gap in the final yards when the wire flashed past and Pincay stood on the irons, waving his whip in triumph.
"I tell you," said Pincay, after dismounting from Skywalker, "I'm as happy now as the time I won the  Kentucky Derby on Swale."
But the day, if it belonged to any man or beast at all, belonged to Lady's Secret. There was a good deal of huffing and puffing in some quarters at the end of the Breeders' Cup series over the question of who should be named the 1986 American champion of champions. Obviously, two of the chief contenders, Turkoman and Precisionist, removed themselves from the running when they lost on Saturday.