The 2008 Breeders’ Cup Classic was filled with uncertainty over whether defending champion Curlin would be able to handle Santa Anita’s synthetic Pro-Ride surface, and when the race was over it was clear that he wasn’t comfortable in the wake of the victory of Raven’s Pass over European arch-rival Henrythenavigator. Curlin had the lead into the stretch, but faded to fourth in the $5 million Classic.
Owned by Jordanian Princess Haya and Darley Stable, Raven’s Pass, a son of Elusive Quality went off at odds of $13.50-1 and used a wide sweeping move under Frankie Dettori to become the first English-trained winner of the Classic. Trainer John Gosden also won the Juvenile Turf earlier on the card, giving him three Cup victories at the time. It was Dettori’s eight winning Cup ride as European horses won five races over the two day event. The Classic was the third stakes win of 2008 for Raven’s Pass, who was previously owned by Stonerside Stable before it was dispersed in a sale earlier in the year. The 3-year-old colt was retired to Darley’s Kildargan Stud in Ireland after the race.