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Midshipman puts himself in Kentucky Derby picture

Midshipman puts himself in Kentucky Derby picture

Midshipman stamped himself as the early favorite for next year's Kentucky Derby with a victory in the Breeders' Cup $2 million (euro1.6 million) Juvenile at Santa Anita on Saturday.
Jockey Garrett Gomez earned his second win of the day _ and third of the two-day event _ guiding Midshipman to a 1 1/4-length victory over Square Eddie. They were the co-favorites at 7-2, although about $1,000 more was bet on Square Eddie.
Earlier, Goldikova burst through a hole along the rail to win the $2 million (euro1.6 million) Mile by 1 1/4 lengths. The Ireland-bred filly's fourth consecutive victory gave Europe its second win after Muhannak in the $500,000 (euro397,000) Marathon.
Also, 36-1 shot Desert Code claimed the $1 million (euro790,000) Turf Sprint, paying $75 to win, and Muhannak won at 12-1 odds that generated a $26.80 payout. Both inaugural races were close, with Desert Code winning by a half-length and Muhannak scoring by a head.
At 6-1, Albertus Maximus continued the trend of big payoffs, rallying from mid-pack to win the $1 million (euro790,000) Dirt Mile by 1 1/4 lengths and return $14.60.
Midshipman paid $9.20, $4.40 and $3.20. Square Eddie returned $5 and $3.80, while Street Hero was another half-length back in third and paid $4.40.
Trained by Bob Baffert, Midshipman ran 1 1-16 miles (1,700 meters) in 1:40.94, a stakes record on the new synthetic surface at Santa Anita.
It was Baffert's sixth Breeders' Cup win and his second in the Juvenile.
Ridden by Olivier Peslier, Goldikova timed 1:33.40 and paid $5.60, $4 and $2.80 as the 9-5 wagering favorite, ending the string of long-shot upsets that began the day.
Kip Deville, the defending champion trained by Rick Dutrow who lost for the first time in five starts at Santa Anita, returned $4.80 and $3.40.
Whatsthescript, also bred in Ireland, was another 2 1/2 lengths back in third and paid $3.40 to show.
Veteran trainer David Hofmans, based in Southern California, earned his third Breeders' Cup victory at long odds thanks to Desert Code. He saddled 19-1 Alphabet Soup to victory in the 1996 Classic, triggering a $41.70 win payout. Hofmans trained 40-1 Adoration, the 2003 Distaff winner, who paid $83.40.
"We'd like to have a 7-2 shot once in a while," Hofmans said. "But they've all been long shots. I like all three of them myself."
Desert Code ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:11.60 under Richard Migliore, who also notched his first Breeders' Cup win. Diabolical was second, while Storm Treasure was another three-quarters of a length back in third.
Migliore recalled walking into Hollywood Park when he was riding in California regularly and reintroducing himself to Hofmans, whom he had ridden for previously.
"I came away feeling that something good's going to happen with this man," the jockey said. "I'm going to win a big race for this guy. And here it is, two years later, and I won a big race for this guy."
Muhannak charged to the lead in mid-straight and held off a big late run by Church Service in the Marathon.
Ridden by Patrick Smullen, Muhannak covered 1 1/2 miles (2,400 meters) in 2:28.24.
Ireland-bred gelding Muhannak earned the first Breeders' Cup win for Smullen and trainer Ralph Beckett.
"It's fair to say our tickets are booked, and we're ready to come back. It's very exciting," said Australian owner Richard Pegum, making his first trip to the United States.
Garrett Gomez rode his second winner of the two-day event aboard Albertus Maximus. They covered the Dirt Mile distance on the new synthetic surface in 1:33.41.
Friday's five-race card exclusively for female horses went off without a hitch. Only two favorites, Zenyatta in the Ladies' Classic and Stardom Bound in the Juvenile Fillies, won.


Updated : 2020-12-05 03:17 GMT+08:00