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It’s a Classic Finish for Saint Liam

Times Staff Writer

A jockey who wins more Breeders’ Cup races than anybody and a trouble-prone trainer who was forced to sleep in a racetrack barn several years ago won the $4.2-million Classic with Saint Liam at Belmont Park on Saturday, virtually assuring their 5-year-old horse the Eclipse award for horse of the year.

Saint Liam, ridden by Jerry Bailey, who scored his 15th Breeders’ Cup win and his fifth in the Classic, made the lead about an eighth of a mile from the wire and won by one length before a crowd of 54,289. Saint Liam’s win capped an erratic year for his trainer, Rick Dutrow, who also won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint with Silver Train earlier in the day.

Dutrow, 46, was suspended by New York racing authorities through June and July after his horses twice tested positive for illegal drugs. Eight years ago, with drug problems of his own, Dutrow lost all his horses and spent nights sleeping with other people’s horses at Aqueduct, one of Belmont Park’s sister tracks.

“It was a bad scene,” Dutrow said late Saturday. “My girlfriend, who had given birth to our daughter, was murdered in upstate New York. My father [the successful trainer Richard Dutrow Sr.] was diagnosed with cancer. But I stayed and made it, because I’ve got such a passion for this game. If I can do it, anybody can do it.”

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During Dutrow’s absence this year, other trainers took over, and Bobby Frankel saddled Saint Liam for a big win at Churchill Downs. Saint Liam, whose career ended with his Classic win, which was worth $2,433,600, ran six times this year, winning four Grade I races and finishing second once. His sixth-place finish in March in the Santa Anita Handicap, which came after a cross-country trip from New York, was “a mistake,” said his owner, William K. Warren Jr., an oilman from Tulsa, Okla.

The other horse-of-the-year candidates either ran themselves out of contention in the Breeders’ Cup or were unable to run because of injuries. Borrego, who had won $1-million races back to back, finished 10th in the Classic. Lost In The Fog, undefeated in 10 starts, was seventh in the Sprint. Rock Hard Ten, who had a hoof injury, was scratched from the Classic on Friday and Afleet Alex, winner of the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, has recovered from an injury but was not ready to run in the Classic.

“I always felt I had the best horse,” Dutrow said. “He’s the last horse standing. If anybody wants to try us in another 45 days, we’d be ready.”

Dutrow’s first Breeders’ Cup winner, Silver Train, beat Lost In The Fog by six lengths. Other winners on U.S. racing’s richest day were Stevie Wonderboy and Folklore in the Juvenile and Juvenile Fillies; Pleasant Home in the Distaff; Shirocco in the Turf; Artie Schiller in the Mile; and Intercontinental in the Filly and Mare Turf. The bookend races, the Juvenile Fillies and the Classic, produced the only winning favorites. No one hit all the races in the pick six, which started after the 2-year-old races were run. Tickets with five winners were worth $90,325 apiece.

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Flower Alley finished second in the Classic, 1 1/2 lengths in front of Perfect Drift, who was running in the race for the fourth time. The rest of the order of finish was Super Frolic, Suave, Choctaw Nation, Starcraft, Sir Shackleton, Sun King, Borrego, Oratorio, Jack Sullivan and A Bit O’Gold. Saint Liam, paying $6.80 for $2, ran 1 1/4 miles in 2:01 4/5 .

In a 13-horse field, Saint Liam broke from the next-to-the-outside post in a race that is started on the first turn at Belmont.

“He broke out sharply,” Bailey said, “and stayed there for 20 or 30 yards, so instead of saving ground for the first few jumps, I was losing ground.”

But Saint Liam was never far from the front. He was fourth after half a mile, behind Sun King, Suave and Flower Alley. At the quarter pole, the order hadn’t changed up front, but Saint Liam, still in fourth, was only a length off Sun King.

“I was trying to keep him off the leaders as long as I could to leave him with a target,” Bailey said. “My horse took the worst of it, breaking out at the start, and he still was very authoritative in winning.”

Borrego was a poor imitation of the horse he was at Del Mar and in the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont four weeks back. He was never better than eighth place.

“At the five-eighths and half-mile poles, I still thought I was in good shape,” said jockey Garrett Gomez, who won two Breeders’ Cup races earlier. “I was eight wide, and I didn’t like it out there, so I moved inside. He gave me 50 yards of run through the stretch, but then he flattened out. He didn’t show up with his ‘A’ game today.”

Saint Liam’s last prep was a win in the Woodward, and then Dutrow skipped the 1 1/4 -mile Jockey Club Gold Cup, three weeks later. Doubters pointed to the Santa Anita Handicap, Saint Liam’s only other start at the Classic distance.

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“I thought he’d win [the Classic] easier than he did,” Dutrow said. “There wasn’t even a thought that he wouldn’t get the mile and a quarter at Belmont. The horse showed up the right way. What more could I ask?”

*

BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX

Breeders’ Cup Classic

1 1/4 miles. Dirt. Stakes Purse $4,000,000. Open. Value of Race $4291560. Value to Winner $2,433,600. 2nd $936,000. 3rd $514,800. 4th $266,760. 5th $140,400. Mutuel Pool $8,033,441.00; Exacta Pool $4,488,173.00; Trifecta Pool $4,222,093.00; Superfecta Pool $1,789,571.00

*--* Horse Jo Wt PP 1/4 1/2 3/4 Mile Str Fin To $1 ck ey Saint Ba 126 12 4-2 4-2 5- 1/2 4- 1/2 1- 1/2 1-1 2.40 Liam il ey Flower Ve 122 8 3-2 1/2 3-2 4- 1/2 3- 1/2 2- 1/2 2-1 1/2 10.00 Alley la zq ue z Perfec Gu 126 4 5-1 6- 1/2 6- 1/2 6-1 1/2 5- 1/2 3-nk 14.50 t id Drift ry Super Coa 126 6 10-1 7- 1/2 3-hd 5-2 4-hd 4-nk 69.25 Frolic Suave Pr 126 7 2-1 1/2 2-2 2-1 2- 1/2 3-1 1/2 5-3 1/4 16.40 ad o Chocta Es 126 2 13 12- 1/2 9-hd 8-2 8-2 6-1 1/4 13.00 w pi Nation no za Starcr Va 126 13 11-1 1/2 9- 1/2 8-2 7-2 7- 1/2 7- 1/2 8.50 aft le nz ue la Sir Ca 126 5 6- 1/2 10- 1/2 13 12- 1/2 11-3 8-nk 36.50 Shackl st eton el la no Sun Be 122 1 1-hd 1- 1/2 1- 1/2 1-hd 6-1 1/2 9-2 30.50 King ja ra no Borrego Go 126 10 8-hd 11- 1/2 12- 1/2 10-2 10-1 10-1 1/2 2.60 me z Orator Fa 122 3 7- 1/2 5- 1/2 7- 1/2 9-1 1/2 9-1 1/2 11-6 1/4 9.40 io ll on Jack De 126 9 12- 1/2 13 10- 1/2 13 12-1 12-nk 51.25 Sulliv tt an or i A Bit Jo 126 11 9- 1/2 8-hd 11-2 11- 1/2 13 13 51.75 O’Gold ne s

*--*

SCRATCHED: Rock Hard Ten

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Off at 5:42 Start Good for all but Super Frolic. Won Driving.

Time , :234/5, :473/5, 1:121/5, 1:364/5, 2:012/5, Cloudy.

Track: Fast. Winner- B h,5,by Saint Ballado - Quiet Dance by Quiet American. Trainer- Dutrow, Jr.RichardE. Bred By Edward P. Evans(KY)

*--* PP HORSE WIN PLACE SHOW 13 SAINT LIAM $6.80 $5.10 $4.20 9 FLOWER ALLEY $8.70 $7.10 5 PERFECT DRIFT $7.80

*--*

*--* $2 Exacta 13-9 Paid $62.00 $2 Trifecta 13-9-5 Paid $501.00 $2 Superfecta 13-9-5-7 Paid $12636.00 $2 Daily Double (2-13) Paid $76.00; Daily Double Pool $1,310,306.00 $2 Pick Three (11-2-13) Paid $2045.00; Pick Three Pool $1,424,123.00 $2 Pick Four (2-11-2-13) Paid $17303.00; Pick Four Pool $2,280,681.00 $2 Pick Six (10-3-2-11-2-13) Paid $90325.00; Pick Six Pool $4,586,699.00

*--*

HOW THE RACE WAS RUN

* SAINT LIAM settled just off the early pace, was well placed while four wide along the backstretch, was unhurried leaving the far turn, took up chase after the leaders while continuing wide entering the stretch, drew alongside FLOWER ALLEY to challenge in upper stretch, surged to the front leaving the furlong marker then edged clear under steady right hand urging. FLOWER ALLEY raced just behind the early leaders, launched a rally three wide on the turn, made a strong run to threaten in upper stretch, fought heads apart into deep stretch and yielded grudgingly. PERFECT DRIFT was unhurried while between horses, launched a bid leaving the turn, angled out in upper stretch then closed late to gain a share. SUPER FROLIC stumbled badly at the start, was unhurried for six furlongs, closed ground steadily along the rail to reach contention on the turn then finished willingly along the inside. SUAVE pressed the pace from outside for a mile, battled heads apart for the lead in upper stretch then weakened from his early efforts. CHOCTAW NATION was outrun early while saving ground, swung six wide while gaining on the turn then finished evenly. STARCRAFT (NZ) failed to mount a serious rally while racing wide. SIR SHACKLETON never reached contention while wide on the turn. SUN KING dueled along the rail for a mile and gave way. BORREGO was outrun early, lodged a mild five wide move between horses on the turn and flattened out. ORATORIO (IRE) saved ground to no avail. JACK SULLIVAN never reached contention. A BIT O’GOLD raced wide throughout.

Source: Equibase

*

SPRINT

6 furlongs, Breeders’ Cup Sprint, 3-year-olds & up, purse $1 million.

*--* Horse and PP 1/4 1/2 St r. Fi n. To $1 Jockey Silver 3 5 1 5 1 1/2 2 hd 1 hd 11.90 Train, Prado Taste of 1 8 1 1/2 7 1/2 4 1 2 3 12.50 Paradise, Gomez Lion Tamer, 5 9 1/2 8 2 5 1/2 3 nk 12.40 Velazquez Attila’s 2 1 1/2 2 1 3 1 1/2 4 2 45.50 Storm, Valenzuela Elusive 8 6 3 6 1/2 6 2 5 hd 53.50 Jazz, Albarado Lifestyle, 9 10 2 9 1 1/2 7 hd 6 1/2 55.25 Solis Lost in the 7 4 2 1/2 1 1/2 1 hd 7 1/2 0.70 Fog, Baze Imperialism, 10 11 11 9 hd 8 3 1/4 19.50 Espinoza Gygistar, 11 7 1/2 10 2 10 1 9 5 3/4 14.20 Castellano Wildcat 6 3 hd 3 1/2 8 2 10 2 3/4 6.40 Heir, Elliott Battle Won, 4 2 hd 4 hd 11 11 16.30 Dominguez

*--*

Scratched-none

3-SILVER TRAIN...25.80;0.40; 8.10

1-TASTE OF PARADISE...10.60; 7.20

5-LION TAMER...7.60

Time-22.01, 44.56, 56.65, 1.08.86. Cloudy Fast. Winner-dbb.c.3 Old Trieste-Ridden in Thestars Trained by Richard E Dutrow Jr. Owned by Buckram Oak Farm

$2 EXACTA (3-1) PAID $215.50

$2 TRIFECTA (3-1-5) PAID $1,593.00

$2 SUPERFECTA (3-1-5-2) PAID $35,358.00

$2 PICK THREE (12/10/3) PAID $2,371.00

$2 PICK FOUR (1/12/10/3) PAID $13,162.00

$2 HEAD2HEAD 3 VS 5 WINNER 4 $3.90

BILL CHRISTINE’S COMMENT

Silver Train, a head winner over Taste Of Paradise as undefeated Lost In The Fog ran seventh, paid $25.80. Silver Train had won only three of 10 starts, but the 3-year-old had batted .500 in four tries at Belmont.

Trainer Rick Dutrow, winning the Sprint and the Classic, said that he probably wouldn’t have run Silver Train had the race been run at any track but Belmont.

Garrett Gomez, riding Taste Of Paradise, saw his foul claim against Silver Train denied.

Edgar Prado, riding Silver Train, could not see interference. But Gomez said:

“I didn’t have any room. I was focused on a hole, and then it closed on me. It cost me the race.”

*

MILE

1 mile on turf, Breeders’ Cup Mile, 3-year-olds & up, purse $1.5 million.

*--* Horse and PP 1/2 3/4 St r. Fi n. To $1 Jockey Artie 2 5 1/2 4 1 2 hd 1 3/4 5.60 Schiller, Gomez Lrodsnimaux 11 3 2 1/2 2 1 1 1/2 2 no 1.35 (Brz),Vlzqez Gorella (FR), 8 9 1 7 1 5 1/2 3 hd 13.70 Stevens Whipper, 3 7 1 5 hd 9 7 4 1 17.50 Murtagh Majors Cast 7 8 1/2 8 1/2 7 1/2 5 1/2 20.20 (Ire), Dettori Lime House, 12 6 1/2 6 1/2 4 hd 6 1/2 36.25 Santos Host (Chi), 1 11 10 1/2 8 hd 7 2 1/4 15.60 Bejarano Singletary, 9 4 1/2 3 1/2 6 hd 8 1 1/4 8.70 Flores Ad Valorem, 5 2 1/2 1 hd 3 hd 9 9 1/2 37.25 Fallon Valixir (Ire), 10 10 2 1/2 11 10 3 1/2 10 3/4 10.40 Soumillon Sand Springs, 4 1 hd 9 hd 11 11 18.80 Bailey Funfair (GB), 6 dn 12.80 Prado

*--*

Scratched-none

2-ARTIE SCHILLER...13.20;5.00; 90

11-LEROIDESANIMAUX (BRZ)...3.80; 00

8-GORELLA (FR)...6.00

Time-23.47, 46.68, 1.11.15, 1.36.10. Cloudy Good. Winner-b.c.4 El Prado-Hidden Light Trained by James A. Jerkens. Owned by Mrs. Thomas J. Walsh & Timber Bay Farm

$2 EXACTA (2-11) PAID $38.80

$2 TRIFECTA (2-11-8) PAID $504.00

$2 SUPERFECTA (2-11-8-3) PAID $7,021.00

$2 PICK THREE (10/3/2) PAID $2,974.00

$2 HEAD2HEAD 2 VS 8 VS 9 WINNER 2 $3.70

BILL CHRISTINE’S COMMENT

Garrett Gomez was a replacement for jockey Richard Migliore aboard Artie Schiller, the three-quarter-length winner over favored Leroidesanimaux. Migliore suffered a broken leg in a paddock accident earlier this month.

“I had never met Garrett,” said Jimmy Jerkens, who trains Artie Schiller. “His name just popped into my head. I had been watching and saw that he won in a lot of different situations in California. With horses sprinting, and horses going long. With horses on dirt as well as turf. He’s been doing it all out there.”

Artie Schiller finished 12th as the favorite in last year’s Mile.

Leroidesanimaux, undefeated in three starts this year, had also won eight in a row.

“He kind of overused himself in the first part,” jockey John Velazquez said. “He just didn’t have enough left to hold off the winner.”

*

JUVENILE FILLIES

1 1/16 miles, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, 2-year-old fillies, purse $1 million.

*--* Horse and PP 1/2 3/4 St r. Fi n. To $1 Jockey Folklore, 1 2 1 1/2 2 1 1/2 1 3 1 1 1/4 2.35 Prado Wild Fit, 10 10 9 2 4 hd 2 4 3/4 7.00 Solis Original 2 4 hd 3 1 1/2 3 1 3 hd 4.30 Spin, Bailey Ex Caelis, 9 9 4 5 1 2 hd 4 3 16.70 Bejarano Sensation, 7 8 hd 6 1/2 6 2 5 3 1/4 11.40 Coa Knights 5 1 hd 1 hd 5 1 1/2 6 3 1/4 8.90 Templar, Stevens Adieu, 6 5 1 7 1 8 1 7 6 1/4 4.20 Velazquez Along The 3 3 hd 4 1/2 7 2 1/2 8 2 1/4 22.90 Sea, Castellano She Says It 8 6 1 8 1/2 10 9 2 27.25 Best, Martin Diamond Omi, 4 7 1/2 10 9 1/2 10 19.60 Espinoza

*--*

Scratched-none

1-FOLKLORE...6.70;4.20; 70

10-WILD FIT...6.40; 30

2-ORIGINAL SPIN...3.70

Time-22.65, 45.34, 1.10.39, 1.36.81, 1.43.85. Cloudy Fast. Winner-b.f.2 Tiznow-Contrive Trained by D Wayne Lukas. Owned by Robert B & Beverly J Lewis

$2 EXACTA (1-10) PAID $54.50

$2 TRIFECTA (1-10-2) PAID $181.50

$2 SUPERFECTA (1-10-2-9) PAID $1,762.00

$2 PICK THREE (6/6/1) PAID $267.50

$2 HEAD2HEAD 4 VS 9 WINNER 9 $3.40

BILL CHRISTINE’S COMMENT

Bob Lewis, advised by his doctor not to fly for a few weeks, watched with his wife Beverly in Newport Beach as their Folklore won by 1 1/4 lengths.

Wayne Lukas, the Breeders’ Cup record-holder, won his 18th race since the inaugural Cup in 1984. Ten of Lukas’ wins have come in the two 2-year-old races.

The Breeders’ Cup win gave the daughter of Tiznow and Contrive three wins and two seconds in five starts at Belmont Park. Adieu, who had beaten Folklore in two out of three meetings, finished seventh.

“I told the Lewises before the race -- get the champagne ready,” Lukas said. “I told them we were going to kick butt and not take any names.”

Of his Cup success, Lukas said: “When you train for people like the Lewises and [the late] Bill Young for all these years, you have the continual support that’s necessary. You’ll not only do well, you should do well.”

*

DISTAFF

1 1/8 miles, Breeders’ Cup Distaff, 3-year-olds & up, fillies & mares, purse $2 million.

*--* Horse and PP 1/2 3/4 St r. Fi n. To $1 Jockey Pleasant 11 12 1 1/2 11 2 1 3 1 9 1/4 30.75 Home, Vlasqez Society 1 9 1/2 6 hd 3 1 1/2 2 nk 11.80 Selection, Prado Ashado, 3 5 hd 5 1/2 2 1/2 3 2 1/4 2.25 Velazquez Stellar 2 4 hd 2 hd 5 1 1/2 4 2 1/4 4.50 Jayne, Dettori In The 10 11 1/2 10 hd 6 2 5 1 9.20 Gold, Stevens Capeside 13 1 1/2 1 1 1/2 4 2 6 3/4 57.00 Lady, DeCarlo Nothing But 4 10 2 1/2 8 1 1/2 7 2 1/2 7 6 1/4 32.00 Fun, Solis Hollywood 9 7 1/2 12 1 1/2 10 3 8 3 1/4 30.25 Story, Vlnzuela Sweet 12 13 13 9 1/2 9 4 7.70 Symphony, Bailey Island 8 6 hd 4 1/2 11 2 1/2 10 1 1/4 27.75 Fashion, Bejarano Happy 7 8 1 3 1/2 8 1 11 2 1/2 4.50 Ticket, Espinoza Yolanda B. 5 2 1/2 7 hd 12 10 12 24 1/4 64.25 Too, Coa Healthy 6 3 1 9 hd 13 13 18.40 Addiction, Gomez

*--*

Scratched-none

11-PLEASANT HOME...63.50; .60;13.40

1SOCIETY SELECTION...12.80;.90

3-ASHADO...3.30

Time-23.33, 46.31, 1.10.74, 1.35.82, 1.48.34. Cloudy Fast. Winner-dbb.f.4 Seekingthegold-Our Country Place Trained by Claude R McGaughey III. Owned by Phipps Stable

$2 EXACTA (11-1) PAID $692.00

$2 TRIFECTA (11-1-3) PAID $3,453.00

$2 SUPERFECTA (11-1-3-2) PAID $20,363.00

$2 PICK THREE (3/2/11) PAID $8,668.00

$2 HEAD2HEAD 6 VS 12 WINNER 12 $2.90

BILL CHRISTINE’S COMMENT

Trainer Shug McGaughey’s ninth Breeders’ Cup win -- he’s second in the standings to Wayne Lukas -- was a 30-1 shot, Pleasant Home. Society Selection finished second and Ashado, winner of the race last year, was third, but Pleasant Home’s margin was 9 1/4 lengths. The only bigger Breeders’ Cup winner, Inside Information, who won the 1995 Distaff by 13 1/2 , was also a McGaughey trainee.

Pleasant Home hadn’t won since April but had had seconds in her two most recent starts, at Keeneland and Saratoga.

“I was surprised she was that high of a price,” McGaughey said. “She had really come around of late.”

Todd Pletcher, who trains Ashado, thought she had a chance to win at the quarter pole.

“This is bittersweet,” he said. “We’re not going to hang our heads, but I hate sending her to retirement without another win in this race.”


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