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Jockey William Buick celebrates aboard Modern Games after winning the Juvenile Turf.
The $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) originally drew a full field of 14 2-year-olds going 1 mile on the turf, however separate incidents at the starting gate led to 13 running but 12 betting interests. Albahr flipped in the starting gate unseating jockey Frankie Dettori and was scratched by the veterinarian. His stablemate Modern Games broke through the gate, and despite being allowed to run, miscommunications between the gate veterinarian, stewards, and parimutuel department led to him being "scratched" as well (betting suspended). Since the horse was fit to run California rules dictate that he run for purse money only. So after betting money was redistributed or refunded, Nownownow Stakes winner Dakota Gold was the 5-2 favorite over 4-1 Dubawi Legend, 2nd in the Dewhurst Stakes (G1), and 9-2 Portfolio Company, 2nd in the With Anticipation (G3) and Pilgrim (G2).
Modern Games rallies on the outside in the stretch.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 4 Tiz the Bomb Hernandez Jr. 17.60 7.40 5.20 6 Mackinnon Hernandez 6.60 5.40 11 Grafton Street Gaffalione 9.40 Winning Time: 1:34.72 $1 Exacta 4-6 46.80 $1 Trifecta 4-6-11 958.70 $1 Superfecta 4-6-11-3 5,014.90Results chart
Left: Modern Games heads to the winner's circle. Winning trainer Charlie Appleby said, "He got up on the front, William got him out and got him into a nice position there, and after seeing William, he had plenty of room there, but when he started to make his maneuver, and so we know it's a great track to slingshot on and that's what he's good at. So he got the job done and in a great fashion."
Right: The trophy presentation for the Juvenile Turf. Winning jockey William Buick said, "He does everything in his stride and not at any stage was I worried that he was not focused. He remained calm. He remained focused. He didn't change complexion at all. And that makes it much easier. In regards to the race, it was, we jumped a tad slow from the gate, but having the 1 hole you can get a bit more space on the inside and a bit more time. So we managed to get into a nice position. The pace was even, and look, the race to be honest was very straightforward. This place, the turf track at Del Mar, a lot of luck is involved in the way the race unfolds, but with a horse like him, you're able to put the luck in your own hands a little bit."
Left: Modern Games in the paddock. Jimmy Bell of owner Godolphin USA said, "I think one of the things Sheikh Mohammed enjoys the most is international competition and certainly with the Dubai World Cup he always loves to see so many participants from so many different places come to run. And the same here with the Breeders' Cup, a world championship whereby this is so exciting to bring European horses over here. It just adds such an element to it. And to be a homebred, to be a part of this thing, I know how proud he is of Charlie and how well he brought these horses over here and knows who to bring and so adept at doing that."
Right: Modern Games heads back to the barn after the race. Appleby added, "A testament to the horse and William. On a big stage like that and things, a quite dramatic incident happening there in the gate. But for him to compose himself and get himself back in there, back in the mindset, and for William to also, like I say, taking on board at one minute you're not sure whether you are or are not in the race that day."
Left: Second place finisher Tiz the Bomb in the post parade. Due to Modern Games running for purse money only, Tiz the Bomb is the "winner" for wagering purposes. Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. said, "It was a good trip, but not the ideal one. I thought I was going to get. Under the wire, I wound up being further back than I was planning on. But from there on, we never got stopped. On the turn for home, everything opened up and we made a nice closing run. We wish would could have gotten the win for Kenny (McPeek)."
Right: Third place finisher Mackinnon returns after the race. Due to Modern Games running for purse money only, Mackinnon is the "second place finisher" for wagering purposes. Jockey Juan Hernandez said, "He ran a good race. He was flying at the end, but the winner was just too much. He tried hard every time." Trainer Doug O'Neill added, "He had a little traffic early, but settled and closed with a great rally. Very proud of him."
Left: Fifth place finisher and beaten favorite Dakota Gold heads out to the track. The Danny Gargan trainee improved his record to 2 wins, 0 seconds, and 0 thirds in 3 stars, earning $385,000 for owner Reeves Thoroughbred Racing.
Right: The horses break from the gate for the Juvenile Turf.
Left: Modern Games stands in front of the gate while Albahr, who flipped in the gate, is laying under it. A statement from racing officials explained: "Modern Games was scratched by the stewards on the recommendation of one of the track veterinarians, Dr. Chuck Jenkins, at the starting gate at 17:35:35 PT. After additional examination and assessment of Modern Games by the attending veterinary team, track veterinarian Dr. Dana Stead concluded that the horse had not been injured and communicated to the stewards that the horse was cleared to run. Due to a miscommunication between the stewards and the Del Mar mutuels department, Modern Games was reinserted into the pari-mutuel wagering pools at 17:37:01 PT. At 17:43:49 PT, after it was made clear to the mutuels department that Modern Games was competing for purse money only, the horse was again removed from the wagering pools."
Right: Albahr was not seriously injured and returned to the barns.
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