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Jockey William Buick celebrates aboard Space Blues after the Mile.
The $2 million FanDuel Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) presented by PDJF featured a field of 13 older horses (after 3 scratches) going 1 mile on the turf. Prix de la Foret (G1) and City of York (G2) winner Space Blues was sent off as the 2-1 favorite over 3-1 second choice Mo Forza, winner of the Del Mar Mile (G2) and City of Hope Mile (G2), and 9-1 third choice Mother Earth, 5th in the Queen Elizabeth II (G1).
The cavalry charge down the stretch.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 3 Space Blues Buick 6.20 4.60 3.40 2 Smooth Like Strait Rispoli 9.00 6.20 14 Ivar Talamo 11.40 Winning Time: 1:34.01 $1 Exacta 3-2 29.10 $1 Trifecta 3-2-14 518.20 $1 Superfecta 3-2-14-4 3,708.10Results chart
Left: Space Blues in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Charlie Appleby said, "The fractions were nice sensible fractions that he knew that it was going to be up to their horse as close to the pace as he could, and then it was just the two attributes that Space Blues has out there. Traveling around running behind the pace there and he had the gate change. And I was always confident even coming in off the turn there, William just got into him a little bit. It's just, at those turns, he's not a natural on them. But he's been a great horse and so I'm just delighted for the horse that he's retired on the world stage and especially that he did it today."
Right: The trophy presentation for the Mile. Jimmy Bell of winning owner Godolphin USA said, "Yogi said it best. It's deja vu all over again. About the time you don't think something can happen just come around the next day. Certainly didn't see this coming. But as William and Charlie both say, we got to appreciate these horses. This is a live situation and these things happen. It's a part of the race. We all hate to see these things but it just goes to show you that there's just so many uncontrollable events. And William does such a great job in keeping the horses steady and focused and backed up and going back in and then going ahead to perform it's a lot more difficult than people would imagine, both for horse and for rider."
Left: Space Blues in the post parade. Winning jockey William Buick said, "he's a real quality horse and he's been around the block. He's traveled. Obviously first time in America, but he's traveled around Europe. He's been to Dubai. So he knows the game. I wasn't worried about him really and like Jimmy said, you just focus on the job at hand and once that horse got taken out, you sort of reshuffle again and you end up one horse further in."
Right Space Blues heads back to the barn after the race. Buick added, "We had a perfect trip and I knew today was all about getting a trip for this horse, and the way the race panned out it really played to Space Blues' strengths, and I'm delighted that he could show everyone over here what he's all about and that he's been a great horse for me personally and for everyone on this team."
Left: Second place finisher Smooth Like Strait leads first time by. Trainer Mike McCarthy said, "I thought it worked out wonderfully. He found himself in a great spot turning up the backside, 23 (seconds) and change. Slowed it down a little bit the second quarter. The horse came with a run; always does. As far as American turf horses, no one has put together a campaign of his consistency."
Right: Third place finisher Ivar in the post parade. Trainer Paulo Lobo said, "Everything went well and he overcame a very bad post. He ran good. A little bit more pace I think would have helped us."
The horses break from the gate for the Mile. Joe Talamo aboard Ivar (14) said, "He had a strong finish. It's very tough to come back from behind."
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