Breeders’ Cup: Mitole Shows Championship Form in Winning BC Sprint
US Racing Team
Mitole staged a sizzling stretch run to show he’s every bit a champion as he won $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) on Saturday at Santa Anita against one of the most contentious fields of the day.
With Shancelot setting eye-opening fractions of 21.47 seconds for the first quarter mile and 44.04 for a half mile, Mitole uncharacteristically was in the middle of the pack in a field of eight.
However, with regular rider Ricardo Santana, Jr., Mitole made his move heading for home and overtook the field, including Shancelot , in the stretch and pulled out the victory in a thrilling finish.
The 4-year-old colt has now won 6-of-7 this year for trainer Steve Asmussen and not only is he the likely to be chosen sprint champion, he improved his resume for Horse of the Year consideration.
Imperial Hint was a morning scratch, and Landeskog was scratched earlier in the week.
Shancelot was sent off as the slight 3-2 favorite, with Mitole at 9-5. Maybe it was the home track, where Shancelot finished second to Omaha Beach in the Santa Anita Sprint Championship in his previous race.
Whatever, Mitole showed his grit and determination in winning for the 10th time in career starts. He was second twice and third twice in his other races.
“Mitole has been such a special animal,’’ Asmussen said. “They mean so much to the connections and the people that care of them. Ricardo has been on the horse from the get-go and he does his best all the time.”
|1||4||Mitole||Steve Asmussen||Ricardo Santana Jr.|
|2||6||Shancelot||Jorge Navarro||Jose Ortiz|
|3||7||Whitmore||Ron Moquett||Flavien Prat|
|4||5||Engage||Steve Asmussen||John Velazquez|
|5||3||Firenze Fire||Jason Servis||Irad Ortiz Jr.|