Fort Larned and jockey Brian Hernandez holds off Mucho Macho Man with Mike… (Julie Jacobson / Associated…)
Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. won't soon forget his 27th birthday, because he sent Fort Larned to the front from the start in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic, then withstood a stretch-long duel from Mucho Macho Man and jockey Mike Smith to come away victorious by a half-length in the richest race of the two-day world championships at Santa Anita on Saturday.
Trained by Ian Wilkes, Fort Larned was sent off at 9-1 odds and returned $20.80, $9.80 and $6.80.
Flat Out finished third. Game On Dude, the race favorite who had never lost in five previous Santa Anita appearances, finished seventh in the 12-horse field that was run before 55,123.
Fort Larned, a 4-year-old son of E Dubai, won the Whitney Handicap on Aug. 4 at Saratoga and was third in the Jockey Gold Cup on Sept. 29 at Belmont Park.
Wise Dan set a Santa Anita course record to win the $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile, finishing in 1:31.78, breaking the old record set by Atticus of 1:31.89 in 1997.
Wise Dan, ridden by John Velazquez and trained by Charles Lopresti, overhauled pacesetter Obviously in the stretch, then held off 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom by 1 1/2 lengths. Obviously finished third.
Wise Dan's performance puts him in the Horse of the Year talk, having won five of six races this year and four in a row on turf. Wise Dan returned $5.60, $3.00 and $2.80.
Trinniberg, a 3-year-old who finished 17th in a field of 20 at this year's Kentucky Derby, won the $1.5 million Breeders' Cup Sprint under jockey Willie Martinez on Saturday at Santa Anita.
The Lumber Guy finished second and Smiling Tiger was third in the race at six furlongs.
Trained by Shivananda Parbhoo, Trinniberg was sent off at odds of 13-1 and returned $29.40, $13.20 and $11.00 in winning in 1:07.98.
Little Mike and jockey Ramon Dominguez took the lead at the top of the stretch and held off Point of Entry to win the $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf over 1 1/2 miles at Santa Anita. Defending champion St Nicholas Abbey finished third.
Little Mike, sent off at 17-1 odds, was almost entered in the Mile, but trainer Dale Romans thought there would be less speed horses in the Turf.
Little Mike, who returned $36.60, $12.20 and $7.80, also won the Arlington Million and Turf Classic earlier this year.
Unbeaten Shanghai Bobby showed he's the early Kentucky Derby favorite by winning a stirring stretch duel over He's Had Enough to win the $2 million Juvenile at Santa Anita on Saturday and allow Rosie Napravnik to become the second female jockey to win a Breeders' Cup race.
Capo Bastone finished third.
Shanghai Bobby took a clear lead in the 1 1/6-mile race turning into the stretch, then started to lose focus until He's Had Another and jockey Mario Gutierrez offered a challenge. Shanghai Bobby, trained by Todd Pletcher, responded to win by a head. He returned $4.60, $3.40 and $2.60 and is five for five in his career.
He's Had Another is trained by Doug O'Neil and owned by Paul Reddam, the same connections as 2012 Kentucky Derby winner I'll Have Another.
Mizdirection, a 4-year-old filly who hadn't raced since May 27, came charging down the stretch under jockey Mike Smith to win the $1 million Turf Sprint by a half length. It was Smith's record 17th Breeders' Cup victory.
Unbridled's Note finished second and Reneesgotzip was third.
Trained by Mike Puype, Mizdirection is partly own by sports talk personality Jim Rome. Mizdirection is three for three on Santa Anita's downhill turf course at 6 1/2 furlongs.
Mizdirection paid $15.80, $7.40 and $5.00 in a field of 14.
Tapizar, at odds of 15-1, pulled away down the stretch to win $1 million Dirt Mile under jockey Corey Nakatani by 2 1/4 lengths. Rail Trip finished second and Delegation was third.
Trained by Steve Asmussen, the 4-year-old son of Tapit took advantage of a poor performance from 2011 Preakness winner Shackleford, who acted up in the paddock and stumbled at the start before finishing seventh in a nine-horse field.
Tapizar paid $32.60 for the victory.
Filly and Mare Sprint
Odds-on favorite Groupie Doll, under jockey Rajiv Maragh, cruised to a convincing victory in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita on Saturday, winning by 4 1/2 lengths.
Groupie Doll, a 4-year-old daughter of Bowman's Band trained by William Bradley, is five for five since putting on blinkers. She returned $3.40, $2.60 and $2.10 in the seven-furlong race.
Dust and Diamonds finished second and Switch was third.
The first victory during nine Breeders' Cup races on Saturday at Santa Anita went to 2-year-old George Vancouver, trained by Aidan O'Brien and ridden by Ryan Moore, in the $1 million Juvenile Turf.
Noble Tune finished second and Balance the Books was third.
It was O'Brien's seventh Breeders' Cup victory. He also won last year's Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs with Wrote. O'Brien will have one of the favorites in the $2 million Mile with Excelebration.
George Vancouver, a son of Henrythenavigator who raced in England, Ireland and France, won the mile race by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:33.78. He was sent off at 9-1 odds and returned $20.60, $11.00 and $7.20.
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