BREEDERS' CUP JUVENILE TURF | PURSE: $1,000,000 | GRADE 1 | 2-YEAR-OLDS | ONE MILE (Turf)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- European turf horses were shut out in two races on the Friday Breeders' Cup program at Churchill Downs, but it didn't take long for them to get on the scoreboard Saturday when Wrote, a 2-year-old Coolmore colt, rolled to victory in the $1 million BC Juvenile Turf, the first grass race of the second day of the 2011 Breeders' Cup.
With Ryan Moore riding for trainer Aidan O'Brien, Wrote rallied from seventh to prevail by 2 1/4 lengths over Excaper, a race-long factor at 33-1 under Emma-Jayne Wilson. Farraaj, also prominent throughout under Neil Callan, was just a nose back in third, with Lucky Chappy another 1 1/4 lengths back in fourth.
Wrote, an Irish-bred by High Chapparal, completed the one-mile distance in 1:37.41 over a course rated good. He paid $25.20 as seventh choice.
"He's a lovely horse," said O'Brien, the iconic Irish trainer who entered the 2011 BC with a 4-for-63 BC record. "He ran a good race last out," referring to a third-place finish in a Group 2 race at Newmarket. "We're very happy."
Majestic City set the pace in the fifth running of the Juvenile Turf, with Excaper and Farraaj giving closest chase. Meanwhile, Wrote was biding his time, loping along easily, before Moore eased him out into the middle of the course and straight into the fray for the final quarter-mile. From there, Wrote had nothing in his way in steadily drawing off for his first career stakes victory in five overall tries.
"The horse had a very easy run," said Moore. "He handled the ground very well."
Wrote had raced four previous times, winning twice, including a handicap in Ireland in his third start. "We always liked him after that," said O'Brien. "He had been working very well."
"We're absolutely elated," O'Brien added. "These races are very hard to win."
Coolmore, the powerhouse stable owned by Susan Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith, also was represented in the 14-horse field with Finale, but that Todd Pletcher-trained colt was very wide throughout and finished seventh as the lukewarm 4-1 favorite.
The victory was particularly meaningful for Coolmore and O'Brien because of the connection to their stallion, High Chapparal, who won the 2002 and 2003 runnings of the BC Turf, in a dead-heat in 2003.
After the top four, the complete order was Animal Spirits, Daddy Nose Best, Finale, Caspar Netscher, Shkspeare Shaliyah, Fantastic Song, Coalport, State of Play, Majestic City, and Tequila Factor.
The $2 exacta (5-11) paid $964; the $1 trifecta (5-11-4) paid $4,065.60; and the 10-cent superfecta (5-11-4-12) returned $4,507.02.