A field of 12 older horses made final entry in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1), a 1 mile trip around one turn of the main track at Churchill Downs. Here Comes Ben, winner of the Forego (G1) and Kelly's Landing, was sent off as the 5-2 favorite over 7-2 second choice Tizway, off his win in the Helso Handicap (G2) at Belmont Park. 6-1 third choice Morning Line, winner of the Pennsylvania Derby (G2), completed the top three on the tote board.
Dakota Phone catches Morning Line at the wire with Gayego just behind.
22-1 Hurricane Ike, Morning Line, and 7-1 Vineyard Haven battled for the lead through the chute and down the backstretch through fractions of 22.41 and 44.94. Around the turn, Hurricane Ike and Vineyard Haven both tired as Morning Line inherited a 1 1/2 length advantage through 3/4 in 1:09.44 and 7/8 in 1:22.09. However, 38-1 Dakota Phone, last for the first 5 furlongs, swung out wide by jockey Joel Rosario and closed with a rush to nail Morning Line at the winning post, by a head in 1:35.29. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to 9-1 Gayego third. Favorite Here Comes Ben failed to fire, finishing 11th beaten 12 1/4 lengths.
Dakota Phone (outside) wins the Dirt Mile over Morning Line
Left: Dakota Phone heads to the winner's circle. Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said, "We always thought that, if we could get our horse in a race where there was a very fast pace, he would have a chance to close them down no matter what the distance. I was pretty much in favor of running in the Mile, and there was some question if he could do it on dirt. I have a lot of confidence in Rosario, and he's fast proving that he's going to be one of the better riders in the country. He's a young rider and very strong finisher, and that helped us today."
Right: Dakota Phone in the post parade. Jockey Joel Rosario said, "The way he runs, I knew I'd wind up going outside. When we did, I got a good run from him. He was running well when I got up to (Morning Line) and I thought I could go past him. I was 90-percent sure, and then he got him."
Left: Second place finisher Morning Line was quite rambunctious in the post parade. Trainer Nick Zito, asked about yet another 2nd place finish in a long line of 2nd's in stakes races this year, said, "I can't believe this. What do they say about adversity and God testing somebody? I guess I'm becoming immune to it. But it's amazing how tough this year has been. But I have to be glad the way they ran. When Morning Line was in front and Cool Coal Man (finished 4th) was running, I said, I'm going to be OK."
Right: Third place finisher Gayego in the post parade. trainer Saeed bin Suroor said, "Gayego ran good." Jockey Frankie Dettori added, "They ran very, very quick, but my horse got into a good rhythm and he finished very strong for me."
Breeders' Cup Saturday Results - There were 9 races Saturday highlighted by the $5 million Classic where Mucho Macho Man won over Will Take Charge. Also on the card, Wise Dan repeated in the Mile, Groupie Doll in the Filly and Mare Sprint, and Mizdirection in the Turf Sprint. Get the results, charts, and photos for all 9 races here.
Breeders' Cup Friday Results - There were 5 races Friday highlighted by the Ladies' Classic where Beholder won the Distaff, becoming the first Juvenile Fillies winner to do so. Get the results, charts, and photos for all 5 races here.
2013 Breeders' Cup Entries -A look at the horses entered for all 14 Breeders' Cup World Championship races to be held at Santa Anita on November 1 and 2. Lots of info for each race and links to profiles for each horse along with their post position and morning line odds.
Review: Crushing the Cup 2013 - by Jim Mazur and Peter Mallett. An invaluable tool for trying to unlock the mysteries of handicapping the Breeders' Cup races. Updated for 2013.
Breeders' Cup Weather - What will the weather be like at Santa Anita Park on November 1 and 2? Here are lots of places to find out!
The Breeders' Cup Championship Day - The official page for the Breeders' Cup championship races. Just about anything you need to know about it: results, video clips, and race calls for past years, and eventually nominations, entries, and results.
Free Prep Replays - for major prep races in the Breeders' Cup Challenge. The ones with camera logos have video available.