Fort Larned captures Breeders' Cup Classic
Arcadia, CA (Sports Network) - Fort Larned, ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., set the pace and held on to capture the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic to conclude the 29th World Championships at Santa Anita Park.
More than 55,000 people came to the second day of the Breeders' Cup to see if 6-5 favorite Game On Dude could give trainer Bob Baffert his first Classic victory.
Game On Dude, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, got a bad start in the 1 1/4-mile event. Breaking well from the gate, however, were Fort Larned at 9-1 and Mucho Macho Man, the co-second choice at 6-1 with Flat Out.
Fort Larned had the lead around the first turn and into the backstretch with Mucho Macho Man pressing the pace from the outside. Running third was To Honor and Serve with Game On Dude racing sixth.
The top two horses kept their positions around the final turn as Game On Dude advanced into third from the outside. Fort Larned and Mucho Macho Man battled into the stretch leaving the favorite unable to draw closer and Game On Dude began to fade entering the stretch.
Fort Larned and Mucho Macho Man were alone on the lead at the top of the stretch. Fort Larned, trained by Ian Wilkes, was able to held off a determined Mucho Macho Man and post a half-length victory as the fifth selection.
Flat Out, last year's Classic favorite, finished third with Ron the Greek getting fourth in the 12-horse field. Rounding out the order finish were Richard's Kid, Nonios, Game On Dude, Pool Play, Handsome Mike, To Honor and Serve, Brilliant Speed and Alpha.
The final time for the Classic on a fast track was 2:00.11.
Owned by Janis Whitham, Fort Larned earned $2.7 million for his biggest career victory. The 4-year-old colt has won eight of 19 career starts for $3.7 million.
During the summer, Fort Larned registered consecutive wins in the Cornhusker and Whitney Handicaps and was coming off a third-place result to Flat Out in the Jockey Club Gold Cup.
Fort Larned returned $20.80, $9.80 and $6.80. Mucho Macho Man paid $6.60 and $4.60, and Flat Out paid $5.20 to show.
The loss by Game On Dude leaves the door open for other horses, namely Wise Dan, to be named Horse of the Year.
George Vancouver, coming in from Europe, accelerated down the stretch to win the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf to begin the second day of the World Championships.
Trained by Aidan O'Brien, the 2-year-old colt shook loose from the competition at the top of the stretch in the mile event and went on to post a 1 1/4-length victory over Noble Tune.
Finishing third in the 14-horse field was Balance the Books with Dundonnell getting fourth followed by Gervinho, Artigiano, Lines of Battle, Joha, Brown Almighty, Fantastic Moon, Dry Summer, Summit County, Know More and I'm Boundtoscore.
Ridden by Ryan Moore, George Vancouver covered the distance in 1:33.78 on a firm turf course.
The victory is the second straight Juvenile Turf for both trainer and jockey. Last year, O'Brien and Moore combined with Wrote to take the race.
George Vancouver, bred in Kentucky, earned $540,000 with his second career win in seven starts. The colt has now banked $700,000.
George Vancouver returned $20.60, $11.00 and $7.20. Noble Tune paid $6.00 and $3.80, and Balance The Books paid $6.00 to show.
Odds-on favorite Groupie Doll broke away from the competition at the head of the stretch on her way to winning the $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint.
Ridden by Rajiv Maragh, Groupie Doll was racing in the middle of the 10-horse field up the backstretch until the far turn. The 4-year-old filly, trained by Buff Bradley, went around the turn to join the leaders and went to the lead at the top of the stretch.
Groupie Doll, the 7-10 favorite, drove through the stretch to register a 4 1/4-length victory over 9-2 second pick Dust and Diamonds. Finishing third was Switch with Belle of the Hall fourth.
Rounding out the order of finish were Rumor, 2011 champ Musical Romance, Turbulent Descent, Teddy's Promise, Great Hot and Strike the Moon.
Co-owned by Bradley, Groupie Doll covered the seven-furlongs in 1:20.72 on a fast track.
Groupie Doll adds $540,000 to her earnings. The filly has won nine of 16 career starts for $1.6 million. The Filly and Mare Sprint is her fifth straight stakes win.
Groupie Doll paid $3.40, $2.60 and $2.10. Dust and Diamonds returned $4.20 and $3.20, and Switch paid $3.60 to show.
Longshot Tapizar, ridden by Corey Nakatani, took the lead at the top of the stretch on his way to winning the $1 million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.
Shackleford, last year's runner-up, was the co-favorite at 5-2 with Emcee in the nine-horse field. The 4-year-old colt stumbled badly at the start as Emcee and jockey Alan Garcia set the pace.
Tapizar was racing just behind Emcee with Jersey Town near the lead and Shackleford moving forward on the outside. Around the final turn, Emcee had the lead on the inside with 15-1 Tapizar second to his outside and Shackleford in third.
Coming out of the turn, Tapizar surged to the lead and went on to post a 2 1/4-length win over the late running Rail Trip. Delegation finished third followed by John Scott in fourth.
Completing the order of finish were Jersey Town, Emcee, Shackleford, Fed Biz and Second City.
Tapizar stopped the timer at 1:35.34.
Trained by Steve Asmussen, Tapizar notched his sixth win in 14 career starts and picks up $540,000. Fifth in last year's Dirt Mile, the colt has lifetime earnings of $972,632 for owner Winchell Thoroughbreds.
The win is Nakatani's 10th Breeders' Cup victory.
Tapizar returned $32.60, $13.60 and $8.20. Rail Trip paid $8.40 and $5.80, and Delegation paid $8.20 to show.
Mizdirection, ridden by Mike Smith, came flying down the middle of the course to capture the $1 million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. The win was the second of the weekend for Smith making him the only rider or trainer to have more than one victory over the two days.
Setting the pace in the 14-horse field was Starspangledbanner with Chosen Miracle running second. Starspangledbanner, ridden by Joseph O'Brien, had the lead down the turf course and into the stretch.
A wall of horses came charging at the leader with Mizdirection surging on the outside. Trained by Mike Puype, Mizdirection ran through the stretch outside most of the other runners and went on to post a half-length win over Unbridled's Note.
Finishing third was Reneesgotzip and Great Mills hold on for fourth followed by Great Attack, Corporate Jungle, Next Question, Tale of a Champion, Upgrade, Starspangledbanner, Camp Victory, Chosen Miracle, California Flag and Bridgetown.
Mizdirection covered the 6 1/2-furlongs in a blazing 1:11.39, just off the stakes record of 1:11.28.
A 4-year-old filly, Mizdirection picked up $540,000 with the win and gave Smith his 17th career Breeders' Cup victory. On Friday, the Hall of Fame rider won the Ladies' Classic aboard Royal Delta.
Mizdirection has won seven of 12 lifetime starts for more than $800,000. She is perfect in four starts at 6 1/2-furlongs.
Mizdirection paid $15.80, $7.40 and $5.00. Unbridled's Note returned $5.80 and $4.40, and Reneesgotzip paid $7.00 to show.
Undefeated Shanghai Bobby found something extra down the stretch to hold on and capture the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile. The 2-year-old colt covered the 1 1/16-miles in 1:44.58.
Ridden by Rosie Napravnik, Shanghai Bobby went off as the 6-5 favorite in the nine-horse field. Power Broker was the 2-1 second pick.
Setting the pace was Title Contender with Shanghai Bobby to his outside in second. The top two battled up the backstretch and around the far turn.
Shanghai Bobby, trained by Todd Pletcher, took the lead on the final turn and into the stretch. However, the favorite began to tire allowing the field to come to him.
At the top of the stretch, Shanghai Bobby looked like a beaten horse but he was able to dig down and hold off the late running He's Had Enough. The favorite posted a head victory over He's Had Enough with Capo Bastone third and Fortify finishing fourth.
Rounding out the finish were Power Broker, Dynamic Sky, Speak Logistics, Title Contender and Monument.
Perfect in five starts, Shanghai Bobby is the early favorite for the 2013 Kentucky Derby.
The win is the first for Napravnik in Breeders' Cup competition and she joins Julie Krone as the only female jockeys to win Championship races. Pletcher picks up his seventh Breeders' Cup win.
Owned by Starlight Racing, Shanghai Bobby adds $1.08 million to his earnings which stand at $1,687 million.
Shanghai Bobby returns $4.60, $3.40 and $2.60. He's Had Enough paid $12.60 and $7.40, and Capo Bastone paid $5.00 to show.
Arlington Million winner Little Mike stalked the leader and then cruised to victory in the $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf. Ridden by Ramon Dominguez, Little Mike ran the 1 1/2-miles in 2:22.83 for a Breeders' Cup record.
Setting the pace in the 12-horse field was 46-1 longshot Turbo Compressor. Racing in second was 23-1 outsider Optimizer with Little Mike, at 17-1, running third.
Trained by Dale Romans, Little Mike was fourth coming into the stretch but was able to rally and hold off 2-1 favorite Point of Entry. Little Mike won by a half-length over Point of Entry with 2011 winner St Nicholas Abbey third and Trailblazer in fourth.
Completing the order of finish were Shareta, Kindergarden Kid, Cogito, Slim Shadey, Dullahan, Treasure Beach, Optimizer and Turbo Compressor.
Owned by Priscilla Vaccarezza, Little Mike adds $1.6 million to his bankroll. The 5-year-old gelding has won 12 of 21 career starts for better than $3 million.
Little Mike returned $36.60, $12.20 and $7.80. Point Of Entry paid $4.20 and $3.00, and St Nicholas Abbey paid $3.80 to show.
Trinniberg, ridden by Willie Martinez, proved much the best in winning the $1.5 million Breeders' Cup Sprint. The 3-year-old covered the six-furlongs in 1:07.98 on a fast track.
Trained by Shivananda Parbhoo, Trinniberg battled with Sum of the Parts for the lead in the Sprint. Trinniberg, 13-1 at post-time, put away Sum of the Parts on the final turn and was able hold off 7-2 co-favorite The Lumber Guy to register a 3/4-length victory.
Smiling Tiger finished third in the 14-horse field followed by Sum of the Parts, Justin Phillip, Fast Bullet, Coil, Amazombie, Jimmy Creed, Hamazing Destiny, Gantry, Capital Account, Boxeur des Rues and Poseidon's Warrior.
Trinniberg, who set the pace in this year's Kentucky Derby, picks up $810,000 with his fifth career win. The 3-year-old colt has earned $1,483,300 in 13 lifetime starts.
Trinniberg returned $29.40, $13.20 and $11.00. The Lumber Guy paid $6.40 and $5.00, and Smiling Tiger paid $12.20 to show.
In the final race leading to the Classic, top rated thoroughbred Wise Dan took the lead at the top of the stretch and went on to win the $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile.
Wise Dan, trained by Charles Lopresti, went off as the 9-5 favorite in the nine-horse field. The 2-1 second choice was Aidan O'Brien's Excelebration.
Wise Dan allowed Obviously to set the pace while the favorite was third with Suggestive Boy racing second up the backstretch. Around the final turn Obviously still had the lead as Wise Dan and jockey John Velazquez drew even from the outside.
Owned by Morton Fink, Wise Dan assumed the lead at the head of the stretch as 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom rallied from off the pace. The favorite cruised to a two-length win over Animal Kingdom and set a course and stakes record of 1:31.78 over the grass.
Obviously held on for third followed by Excelebration, Mr. Commons, Jeranimo, Suggestive Boy, Moonlight Cloud and Willcox Inn.
Wise Dan recorded his third straight win and added $1.08 million to his earnings. The 5-year-old gelding has banked more than $3.5 million in 20 starts with 13 wins.
Wise Dan paid $5.60, $3.00 and $2.80. Animal Kingdom returned $6.60 and $4.60, and Obviously paid $4.20 to show.
The 2013 Breeders' Cup World Championships will return to Santa Anita Park for the eighth time.
11/03 22:09:46 ET