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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 (euro790) 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. Donativum held off a fast-closing Westphalia to win the $1 million (euro790,000) Juvenile Turf by a half-length.
Bred by NFL Houston Texans owner Bob McNair and owned by Darley Stable, Midshipman paid $9.20, $4.40 and $3.20.
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 trainer Bob Baffert's sixth Breeders' Cup win and his second in the Juvenile.
Square Eddie returned $5 and $3.80, while Street Hero was another half-length back in third and paid $4.40.
Form also held in the Mile, with 9-5 wagering favorite Goldikova beating defending champion Kip Deville.
Frenchman Freddy Head became the first man to train and ride a Breeders' Cup winner. He rode Miesque to victories in the Mile in 1987 and '88.
Ridden by Olivier Peslier, Goldikova timed 1:33.40 and paid $5.60, $4 and $2.80, ending the string of long-shot upsets that began the day.
Kip Deville trained by Rick Dutrow who lost for the first time in five starts at Santa Anita, returned $4.80 and $3.40. Dutrow came to California without his biggest star, Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Big Brown, who was retired because of an injury that denied fans a showdown with Curlin in the Classic.
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.
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.
Ridden by Frankie Dettori, Donativum covered one mile (1,600 meters) in 1:34.68 and paid $13.60, $7 and $5. Dettori delighted the fans with his trademark flying dismount in the winner's circle.
The winner is co-owned by Princess Haya of Jordan.
Westphalia returned $5.40 and $3.80 as the 3-1 favorite, while Coronet of a Baron paid $5.40 to show.
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 : 2021-06-13 14:11 GMT+08:00