Favored Liam’s Map came from off the pace to win by 2 1/2 lengths in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Kenneland Racecourse. Ridden by Javier Castellano, the 4-year-old gray colt ran the distance in a track-record time of 1:34.54.
This was trainer Todd Pletcher’s eighth career Breeders’ Cup victory and the fifth for Castellano. Liam’s Map earned his second consecutive Grade 1 victory in his eighth career start.
“I kind of lost him at the five-sixteenths pole, but when I saw him turning for home I could see he had some momentum,” Pletcher said.
Liam’s Map is usually a front-runner, but he was stuck back in the pack before rallying to wear down pacesetter Lea. Red Vine was another 3 1/4 lengths back in third.
“I expected to be on the lead, but unfortunately he didn’t break sharply,” ¿Castellano said. “ In this game you have to have a Plan B.”
Stopchargingmaria won by a neck, giving trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey Javier Castellano their second victories of the day.
The stewards examined video of the stretch run, when Stopchargingmaria slightly bumped Stellar Wind and carried her wide toward the grandstand.
Victor Espinoza, aboard Stellar Wind, filed the objection against Castellano, saying he was forced to check his horse.
Said Castellano: “You always get scared when this happens because it’s such a big race and you don’t want to get taken down, but I did nothing wrong. My horse ran a great race and I kept a straight path.”
Hit It A Bomb closed with a powerful five-wide surge to edge 5-2 favorite Airoforce by a neck, with Birchwood another neck back, in first Breeders’ Cup race at Keeneland.
It was the ninth Breeders’ Cup win for Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien, and the seventh for jockey Ryan Moore. Hit It A Bomb overcame post 14, the outside slot, to improve to three for three in his U.S. debut after a pair of wins in Ireland.
Said O’Brien: “We were always looking forward to coming to Keeneland. When we got the outside draw we were worried and when the ground changed we were also worried. Ryan said he would let him really relax, because he knew what he could do. He’s a real classy miler.”
Juvenile Fillies Turf
Catch A Glimpse gave Canadian trainer Mark Casse his first Breeders’ Cup victory in 26 starts. Catch A Glimpse pressed the pace set by Ruby Notion and held off a late run from 5-2 favorite Alice Springs by three-quarters of a length in 1:39.08 for the mile.
Florent Geroux was aboard, improving his Breeders’ Cup record to two for two. It was the third consecutive victory for Catch A Glimpse, her first victory outside of Canada.
“It feels good. It feels really good,” Casse said of his first Cup win. “When this is all you’ve ever done for your entire life....this is my entire life. This is important.” Added Geroux: “In the stretch I had plenty left and I was pretty confident. She gave me a good run.”