No­table win­ners from last weeks Breed­ers’ Cup

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - SPORTS - Jeff Scott

Win­ners at the Breed­ers’ Cup are more than the horses that fin­ish first, al­though they are usu­ally the main fo­cus. Below are a few of last week­end’s no­table win­ners.

Bricks and Mor­tar – Head­ing into the Breed­ers’ Cup, there were six horses ar­guably in the run­ning for 2019 Horse of the Year. With so many con­tenders, a loss last Satur­day would prob­a­bly would have ru­ined any horse’s chances. When four of the six did in fact lose – Mid­night Bisou, Sis­ter­char­lie, McKinzie and Code of Honor – it left Turf win­ner Bricks and Mor­tar and Sprint win­ner Mi­tole as the most likely horse of the year can­di­dates.

Bricks and Mor­tar is vir­tu­ally cer­tain to win out over Mi­tole, for sev­eral rea­sons: he is un­de­feated in six starts, while Mi­tole has won 6-of-7; he was ex­tremely im­pres­sive win­ning the Turf in what may have been his best race of the year; and the HOY award has never gone to a horse who raced pri­mar­ily at sprint dis­tances, as Mi­tole has.

Vino Rosso – Vino Rosso’s

de­ci­sive Clas­sic vic­tory showed once again what a good 3-year-old can some­times ac­com­plish when given time off and then brought back to race at four. Had it not been for his con­tro­ver­sial DQ in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, the son of Curlin – who also won the Gold Cup at Santa Anita back in May – would have had three Grace 1 wins at a mile and a quar­ter. Still, in a weak ol­d­er­male di­vi­sion, Vino Rosso qual­i­fies as a se­ri­ous can­di­date for an Eclipse Award.

Blue Prize – This ul­tra­con­sis­tent Ar­gen­tini­an­bred mare had won big races prior to last week­end, in­clud­ing back-to­back edi­tions of the Spin­ster Stakes in 2018 and 2019, but had of­ten come up a bit short when fac­ing her di­vi­sion’s best. Her length-and-a-half tri­umph over HOY con­tender Mid­night Bisou in the Distaff ended the lat­ter’s sev­en­race win­ning streak and al­lowed Blue Prize to re­tire at the high point of her ca­reer

The Distaff was also the first Breed­ers’ Cup vic­tory for Blue Prize’s con­nec­tions, trainer Ig­na­cio Cor­reas, owner Mer­riebelle Stable and jockey Joe Bravo. The pop­u­lar 48-year-old Bravo ended years of frus­tra­tion at the Breed­ers’ Cup with his well-timed ride aboard Blue Prize, and his col­or­ful emo­tional com­ments af­ter the race showed why he is one of the best in­ter­views in the game.

Chad Brown – Brown’s three Breed­ers’ Cup wins (out of 14 races) were tops among train­ers. Brad Cox, with two, was the only other con­di­tioner to sad­dle more than one win­ner. Brown scored with Struc­tor (5-1) in the Ju­ve­nile Turf, Uni (7-2) in the Mile and Bricks and Mor­tar (11) in the Turf. He also had a pair of thirds with odd­son Sis­ter­char­lie (4-5) in the Filly & Mare Turf and With­out Pa­role (8-1) in the Mile.

Irad Or­tiz Jr. – Or­tiz was one of three jock­eys to win mul­ti­ple races at this year’s Breed­ers’ Cup. Javier Castel­lano and Joel Rosario won two each, while Or­tiz made it into the win­ner’s cir­cle with four of his 12 mounts. They in­cluded fa­vorites Four Wheel Drive (3-2) in the Ju­ve­nile Turf Sprint and Bricks and Mor­tar in the Turf, as well as Spun to Run (8-1) in the Dirt Mile and Vino Rosso (9-2) in the Clas­sic.

Amer­i­can Pharoah – No stal­lion sired the win­ner of more than one Breed­ers’ Cup race. Amer­i­can Pharoah, how­ever, was the only stal­lion to sire three in-the-money fin­ish­ers – and, as a first-crop stal­lion, he only had starters in the five 2-year-old events. Pharoah’s win­ner was Four Wheel Drive (3-2) in the Ju­ve­nile Turf Sprint; his third-place fin­ish­ers were An­other Mir­a­cle (19-1) in the Ju­ve­nile Turf Sprint and Sweet Me­la­nia (9-2) in the Ju­ve­nile Fil­lies Turf.

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