BREEDERS' CUP DIRT MILE | PURSE: $1 MILLION | 3-YEAR-OLDS & UP | GRADE 1 | 1 MILE
After blazing through a half-mile in :44.75 and six furlongs in 1:08.64, Goldencents still had plenty in the tank to hold off the closing move of Golden Ticket in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park.
In earning his fourth Breeders' Cup victory, jockey Rafael Bejarano hustled the 3-year-old son of Into Mischief from the outside post in the field of 12, where he raced just ahead of Broadway Empire through a quarter-mile in :22.12. Those two continued within a length of each other through a half-mile before Goldencents opened a clear lead in the turn.
Bejarano said with the track favoring early speed, he wasn't afraid of being aggressive.
"Yeah, that's why it was one of my options to send him right away from the gate," Bejarano said. "Everything was great. I had a good trip and I had a little pressure in the first turn but it wasn't that bad."
W.C. Racing (Glenn Sorgenstein), Dave Kenney, and RAP Racing's (University of Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino) Goldencents also won this year's Santa Anita Derby at the Arcadia, Calif. track. He is trained by Doug O'Neill, who also secured his fourth Breeders' Cup win, after enduring some nervous moments when he looked at the early fractions.
"My only doubt was when they went a half in 44-and-change. But Raffi [jockey Bejarano] knew he was on the best horse and he rode him the easiest way to get in the winner's circle. What a horse. We were really confident, but you never know."
Goldencents posted a 2 ¾-length victory, completing one mile in 1:35.12. He paid $9.60 to win, $5 to place, and $4 to show. Magic City Thoroughbred Partners' Golden Ticket made a big move to rally from 10th, but had to settle for second, paying $6.40 and $4.60. It was another 3 1/2 lengths back to Team Valor International and Richard Santulli's Brujo De Olleros in third, returning $4.60 to show.
"I thought for a second the horse in front [Goldencents] was slowing down, but he just kept going," said Golden Ticket's jockey Joel Rosario. "My horse ran real good, but he was just second-best today."
Bred in Kentucky by Rosecrest Farm and Karyn Pirrello, Goldencents is out of the winning Banker's Gold mare Golden Works.
Sorgenstein said they plan to race Goldencents next year and see unlimited potential for his 4-year-old season.
"We really think he's going to come into his own as a 4 year old," Sorgenstein said. "He's raced hard, he's worked hard. He's worked out well, and he always comes back to the track with the same demeanor."
In the planned final start of his career before he goes to Ashford Stud, two-time Grade 1 winner Verrazano finished fourth as the 5-2 favorite.
Centralinteligence was taken up 6 ½ furlongs into the race and was vanned off. An initial diagnosis indicated a fracture in the fetlock joint.
Taptowne and Easter Gift were scratched from the race.