Liam's Map (center) catches Lea (rail) in the stretch in the Dirt Mile
The $1 million Las Vegas Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) featured a field of 11 older horses going 1 mile around 2 turns of the main track. Woodward Stakes (G1) winner and Whitney (G1) runner-up Liam's Map was sent off as the 1-2 favorite over 6-1 Lea, second in the Woodbine Mile (G1) last out, and 9-1 Red Vine, second in the Kelso Handicap (G2).
17-1 Bradester dueled for the lead with 44-1 Mr. Z through opening fractions of 23.10, 46.23, and 1:10.41 while stalked by Lea and Liam's Map. Entering the short stretch, Lea opened up a 1 1/2 length lead and looked homefree through 7/8 in 1:22.66, but Liam's Map easily collared him at the 1/16 pole to win going away by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:34.54 over the fast track. It was another 3 1/4 more to Red Vine third.
Left: Liam's Map in the winner's circle. Winning owner Vincent Viola said, "I wasn't as confident, but I did see at the top of the stretch how he was sort of turning his stride was really comfortable. And with Liam, you know he's really running when his head sort of drops, sort of very comfortably but far forward. Once I saw him with that stride, that far forward stride, it reminded me the first time we saw him breeze on J.J. Crupi's farm.
It was just a whole other level of performance. Once I saw that, I got a little bit more confident."
Right: Liam's Map heads back to the barn after the race. Viola added, "he's going to get on a wonderfully comfortable van and head over to his new home, permanent home at Lane's End with the Farishes. We are humbled and honored that they would have an interest in stallion with their contribution in history in a game that's heralded."
The trophy presentation for the Dirt Mile. Trainer Todd Pletcher said, "What was so imprssive is that he recovered a couple of times. He got steadied at the 5/8 pole and didn't have anywhere to go. Everytime Javier (Castellano) had to tap on the brakes you could see Liam jump back into the bridle. He overcame adversity, and took it to another level."
Left: Second place finisher Lea behind the starting gate before the race. Jockey Jose Lezcano said, "He broke real nice and he was going easy. He gave me a good kick to go to the lead but I knew (Liam's Map) is a good hoerse and he would be coming after me. He went by me easily but Lea ran a big race."
Right: Third place finisher Red Vine in the post parade. Jockey Joel Rosario said, "At the turn he kind of backed up a bit but I was on the inside saving ground so everything worked out. We were just third best, the winner got all the trouble in behind and still won. (Red Vine) is a beautiful and easy horse to ride, he goes out and tries every time."
Breeders' Cup Saturday Results - There were 9 races Saturday highlighted by the $5 million Classic where American Pharoah was an impressive winner in his final start before retiring to stud. Also on the card, Found won the Turf, Nyquist won the Juvenile, and Tepin won the Mile. Get the results, charts, and photos for all 9 races here. Get more photos and comments for each race here.
Breeders' Cup Friday Results - There were 4 races Friday highlighted by the Distaff where Stopchargingmaria won by a neck over Stellar Wind and the Dirt Mile won by Liam's Map. Get the results, charts, and photos for all 4 races here.
Thursday Breeders' Cup Photos - Photos and comments for 38 horses out on Thursday morning at Keeneland on both the main and training tracks, including American Pharoah. Beholder was also out, but was found to have bled when scoped and is scratched from the Classic.
Wednesday Breeders' Cup Photos - Photos and comments for 46 horses out on a very rainy Wednesday morning at Keeneland on both the main and training tracks, including Keen Ice, Frosted, and Golden Horn. No American Pharoah yet, hopefully he comes out tomorrow.
2015 Breeders' Cup Entries - Check out the entries, post postitions, and morning line odds for the 13 Breeders' Cup World Championship races to be held at Keeneland on October 30 and 31.
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.
Breeders' Cup Supplemental Entries - The old official policy on supplemental entries plus all the supplemental entries and how they fared, mostly it was a losing proposition. There are no more supplements now, only late nominations making it impossible to track now.