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Enable makes Breeders' Cup history

04 November, 2018, 06:14 | Author: Rachael Silva
  • Game Winner winning the Grade 1 American Pharoah Stakes at Santa Anita

Game victor found himself chasing 40-1 long shot Knicks Go as the field turned onto the long Churchill Downs stretch and that one proved tough to reel in.

Even if he isn't recognized as this year's top thoroughbred, Accelerate all but assured his place as North America's best older horse.

Accelerate took the lead at the top of the stretch and held off Gunnevera to win the $6 million Classic by a length Saturday, strengthening his bid for Horse of the Year over Triple Crown victor Justify. Game victor, a Candy Ride colt owned by Gary and Mary West, ran 1 1/16 miles on a fast track in 1:43.67.

"This is a huge win for me", said Baffert, who second-guessed himself during Game Winner's rough start before his pupil recovered. "When he took the lead, for a second he was waiting for other horses". "That horse, he likes Churchill Downs". "These races are hard to win".

"We've just got to keep him healthy", he said of the horse, who improved to 4-0 in his young career. Game Winner also emerged as one of the year's top Juveniles.

Disco Partner was third, a distant 7 1/4 lengths back. Knicks Go returned $21.40 and $11.20, and Signalman paid $15.80. He seemed like he didn't mind that. His jockey pulled him up before Thunder Snow made it to the first turn in one of the most weird Derby performances in recent memory. The 2-year-olds competing in the Breeders' Cup races are the likely favorites for the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby in the spring. An ankle issue forced Justify to retire unbeaten in July, leaving Saturday's marquee Breeders' Cup Classic without the sport's most notable horse. Justify's ankle issue led Baffert to retire the colt in July, eliminating the opportunity to follow 2015 Triple Crown victor American Pharoah in pursuit of a rare grand slam. This one required more work before 42,249 on a brisk, overcast day on a track that was fast after two days of heavy rain. Bob Baffert-trained horses have won three of the last four editions of the Breeders' Cup Classic, and this year, Baffert has two contenders: West Coast (5-1) and McKinzie (6-1).

- Line of Duty survived a lengthy postrace review before stewards upheld his half-length victory over Uncle Benny in the $1 million Juvenile Turf.

She will be ridden by regular jockey Frankie Dettori and will go off from the favored stall two in the one-and-a half-mile test at the famous Louisville racecourse. Soon after Stormy Liberal out-dueled favorite World of Trouble to retake the $1 million Turf Sprint by a neck, 6-year-old Roy H swept past Promises Fulfilled and flew to a 3 1/4-length win in the $2 million Sprint. It gave co-owners Winstar Farm and China Horse Farm another significant win six months after claiming the Derby with Justify.

O'Brien, who has won 12 Breeders' Cup races but never a Classic, said Mendelssohn has "toughened up" since he broke poorly and was pulled up to finish last out of 20 in the Kentucky Derby in May.

This weekend he will send out five runners in racing's world championships, the 2018 Breeders' Cup.

Meanwhile, Frankie Dettori believes "records are there to be broken" as Enable gears up for the feature Breeders' Cup Turf tomorrow.


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