Goldencents leads with Golden Ticket on the rail and Brujo de Olleros on the far outside.
The $1 million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) featured a field of 11 older horses going 1 mile arouhnd 2 turns of the main track. Haskell (G1) and Pegasus (G3) winner Verrazano was sent off as the 5-2 favorite off his 7th place finish in the Travers (G1), over 7-2 Goldencents, 2nd in his last 4 starts including the Santa Anita Sprint (G1), and 6-1 third choice Brujo de Olleros, 2nd in the Kelso (G2) at Belmont.
Goldencents with jockey Rafael Bejarano set the pace of 22.12, 44.75, and 1:08.64 while pressed by 18-1 Broadway Empire and jockey Rico Walcott. Entering the lane, Goldencents began to pull away from the field, opening up a 5 length lead through 7/8 in 1:21.62. 7-1 Golden Ticket rallied from 10th under Joel Rosario but Goldencents easily cruised to a 2 3/4 length win in 1:35.12. It was another 3 1/2 lengths back to Brujo de Olleros third, while favorite Verrazano was 1 1/2 lengths back in fourth.
Goldencents wins the Dirt Mile
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show
12 Goldencents Bejarano 9.60 5.00 4.00
2 Golden Ticket Rosario 6.40 4.60
4 Brujo de Olleros Garcia 4.60
Winning Time: 1:35.12
$1 Exacta 12-2 34.90
$1 Trifecta 12-2-4 222.20
$1 Superfecta 12-2-4-10 833.60
Left: Goldencents in the winner's circle. Trainer Doug O'Neill said, "My only doubt was when they went a half in 44-and-change. But Raffi knew he was on the best horse and he rode him the easiest way to get in the winner's circle. What a horse. We were really confident, but you never know." Jockey Rafael Bejarano added, "I wasn't worried at all (about the fast fractions) because I know how good this horse has trained. He broke so good from the gate, but (Broadway Empire) wanted to go the lead and put pressure on me. I made sure (my horse) got clear and then at the 3/8 pole, I knew what he would do."
Right: Goldencents in the post parade.
The happy connections celebrate with the trophies. Co-wner Glenn Sorgenstein (holding the larger trophy) said, "We really think he's going to come into his own as a 4-year-old. We'll pick our spots. We'll group together after this race and figure out what we're going to do. I don't see anything happening till late January, give him some time off, well deserved time off. He's raced hard, he's worked hard. He's worked out well, and he always comes back to the track with the same demeanor."
Left: Second place finisher Golden Ticket in the post parade. Trainer Ken McPeek said, "Joel rode a good race and my horse ran a good race but like Ricky Bobby said 'If you ain't first, you're last.' No I'm just kidding. My horse ran great and I'm really proud of him." Jockey Joel Rosario added, "I had a very good trip. I thought for a second (Goldencents) was slowing down, but he just kept going. My horse ran real good, but he was just second best today."
Right: Third place finisher Brujo de Olleros returns after the race. Jockey Alan Garcia said, "Had a great trip and this horse was loaded all the way around. He ran a lot better for me today than he did in the Kelso the last time. Golden Ticket went by me at the half-mile pole and I just followed him, He ran hard all the way."
Fourth place finisher and beaten favorite Verrazano in the post parade. Jockey John Velazquez said, "He got a horrible trip into the first turn and got banged around pretty good. He lost all chance." Trainer Todd Pletcher added, "It was just one of those things. This track is so speed favoring and everyone is just send, send, send. It changes everything."
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