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BREEDERS' CUP NOTES

With four wins, Gomez's Cup runneth over

October 26, 2008|Pete Thomas | Thomas is a Times staff writer.

When a jockey is picked to ride in 13 of 14 Breeders' Cup races, it shows how highly trainers regard him.

It also affords the rider an excellent chance to earn gobs of money.

Garrett Gomez, 36, who won aboard Ventura in Friday's $1-million Filly and Mare Sprint, picked up three victories Saturday to set a Breeders' Cup record for victories in one day and for an overall Breeders' Cup event.

Gomez got his third victory of this Breeders' Cup with a masterful ride aboard Midshipman in the $2-million Juvenile, a race that points horses toward the Kentucky Derby.

"When you run for the big money, I want experience on my side," trainer Bob Baffert said of Gomez, who lives in Duarte. "You want to leave no stone unturned."

In the next race, Gomez picked up his third win of the day on another Baffert horse, Midnight Lute, with a resounding triumph in the $2-million Sprint.

Earlier Saturday, Gomez was victorious aboard Albertus Maximus in the $1-million Dirt Mile.

For Gomez, who earned 10% of the winner's share of each purse, the four victories were worth $360,000.

After the conclusion of the Breeders' Cup, Gomez said it had been an exhausting two days but it was "an amazing experience" to have set the record, after he'd come close twice before.

Coming in, he and 17 others had won twice on a Breeders' Cup card.

Do not disturb

Will Curlin take his fourth-place finish in the $5-million Classic lying down?

Yes.

Though last year's Classic champion clearly dislikes losing, he's very fond of lying down.

"He lies down a great deal," Amy Kearns, a security agent assigned to the reigning horse of the year, said before Saturday's Classic.

"Curlin lies down in the morning after he trains, before the groom does him up. And after lunch, around 2-ish till his afternoon walk. Then after supper he lies down again.

"And Curlin doesn't just lie down and curl up or whatever. He lies out and sinks down into the wood shavings, and he'll get up with them all over his mane."

Chances are, however, the dirt track specialist will have nightmares about Santa Anita's synthetic surface.

Three's a charm

Three cheers are in order for the Darley Stable in Dubai, for closing fast on Saturday's program with winners in the fifth (Juvenile), sixth (Juvenile Turf) and ninth (Classic) races.

Just what Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and his wife need: more millions.

A menace no longer

England-based Donativum posted an impressive victory in the $1-million Juvenile Turf and afterward trainer John Gosden said the horse has been much more controllable since becoming a gelding five months ago.

"He was spending all of his time on his hind legs seeing where the fillies were," Gosden said, prompting laughter. "Before I ran at Royal Ascot, and he ran the Queen's horse over. He really was a complete menace."

For those unaware, a gelding is a castrated animal.

A delightful story

Delightful Kiss finished fourth in the $500,000 Marathon, and so ended the Breeders' Cup campaign of trainer Pete Anderson, 76, who added another chapter to his rich legacy.

The New York-born Anderson began his career as a jockey and won the 1958 Belmont Stakes aboard Cavan. He finished fourth aboard Forego in the 1973 Kentucky Derby, won by Secretariat.

Marathon? Anderson is living one.

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pete.thomas@latimes.com

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