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The Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile is a race for 3-year-olds and older and will be run around the two turns of the main track.
In the $1 million Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at 1 mile, WinStar Farm and CHC Inc's Life Is Good, who was a Kentucky Derby favorite before being sidelined by injury in the spring, returned this summer and finished second by a neck to Jackie's Warrior in the H. Allen Jerkens Stakes (G1) at Saratoga for trainer Todd Pletcher. In his next start, Life Is Good returned to the winner's circle, taking the Kelso Handicap (G2) at Belmont Park on Sept. 25.
Winchell Thoroughbreds and Willis Horton Racing's Silver State, trained by Steve Asmussen, won his first four starts of the year, including a "Win and You're In" berth for this race when he captured the Hill `N' Dale Metropolitan Handicap (G1) at Belmont Park in June.
Slam Dunk Racing, Richard Baltas, Jerry McClanahan, and Michael Nentwig's Ginobili earned a free berth into the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile when he took the Pat O'Brien Stakes (G2) at Del Mar on Aug. 28.
Race 6 at Del Mar on Saturday, November 6 - Post 4:19 PM
|1||Silver State||7-2||Ricardo Santana, Jr.
|3||Ginobili||4-1||Drayden Van Dyke
|4||Jasper Prince||30-1||Yuichi Fukunaga
|5||Life Is Good||4-5||Irad Ortiz, Jr.
|7||Snapper Sinclair||12-1||Joel Rosario
|8||Eight Rings||10-1||Juan Hernandez
Flashy 4-year-old Japanese chestnut Pingxiang ("ping-SHANG") enters the Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) amid a career-best season for globetrotting trainer Hideyuki Mori. The swift U.S.-bred son of Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) champ Speightstown has won three of his five starts this year and will once again ship around the world with hopes of making it into the race, which did not occur last year when he was pre-entered in the Breeders' Cup Sprint.
In 2021, the Naoya Fujii-owned maternal grandson of Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Unbridled's Song has landed the Kamakura Stakes (April 25) and Tempozan Stakes (June 26) in Japan in his two starts leading into his American foray, stamping himself as one of the country's best 7-furlong horses. Yet to traverse a mile and win around two turns, he also must overcome a four-month layoff.
Closely related to top sire Munnings, the emblazoned colt has a record of 14-5-3-1 and is 5-1-0 since being shifted to dirt racing in his past nine starts. He has earned $653,268 for Mori, a trainer who has proven he can ship a longshot around the world to glory. This year, his 3-year-old Pink Kamehameha shocked the $1.5 million Saudi Derby field with a strong victory and his stable star Matera Sky was second in both the 2019 $2.5 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) and 2020 $1.5 million Saudia Sprint on The Saudi Cup's undercard.
Pingxiang was purchased by his owner for $100,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling 2018 sale. He is named after a city in the province of Jiangxi, China.
Ginobili was a slam dunk in the Aug. 28 Pat O'Brien Stakes (G2), earning a berth in the Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) through the "Win and You're In" challenge series. The 4-year-old gelding scored a 1 ¾-length victory over several graded stakes winners, including defending champion C Z Rocket and Flagstaff.
"When I worked him the other morning (a bullet :46.40 on Aug. 21), and I couldn't pull him up, I said `Oh, boy,'" jockey Drayden Van Dyke said after the Pat O'Brien. "I knew what I was sitting on today and it was just a matter of letting him do it. It worked exactly the way it was supposed to."
Trainer Richard Baltas purchased the Kentucky-bred for $35,000 and offered him to Nick Cosato of Slam Dunk Racing, a former jockey agent and basketball aficionado. Baltas is a co-owner, as are Jerry McClanahan and Michael Nentwig.
"I loved him and jumped in," Cosato said. "I was at Santa Anita when he arrived off the van from the farm as a 2-year-old. Everyone was in awe of his looks, and no one believed he was 2. He had the body of a 4-year-old."
Ginobili is named for Manu Ginobili, a former professional basketball player with the San Antonia Spurs.
Each of his three wins have come at Del Mar, this year's host of the Breeders' Cup.
Baltas has saddled horses in the championship series 15 times and is looking for his first win. He moved to Lexington when he was 21 because he wanted to break into the industry. He attended the Kentucky Equine Institute and began working as a groom at Spendthrift Farm. He worked for many trainers, including Hall of Famer Richard Mandella, before taking out his trainer's license in 1991. His wife Debby's family ran the backside track kitchen at Hollywood Park for many years until the track closed in 2013.
The impeccably swift Jasper Prince gave jockey Jose Ortiz a brief thrill last year when he overcame his wide post to clear the field in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1), flashing immense early foot at Keeneland. Unfortunately, unable to keep up with the fast fractions he put forth, the son of Violence faded to last of 14, but has returned to winning ways in 2021, thanks to a victory in September's Enif Stakes (Listed) at Chukyo.
Violence's best runner outside of the United States, the Kazuo Kato-owned charge also won the 2020 Enif Stakes (Listed), hinting that its slightly longer 7-furlong distance may be more to his liking. In the Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1), he must go a furlong farther.
Jasper Prince has a record of 6-2-3 from 26 starts and earned $1,035,328 for Hideyuki Mori, a trainer who has proven he can ship a longshot around the world to glory. Earlier this year, trainee Pink Kamehameha shocked the $1.5 million Saudi Derby field with a strong victory and his stable star Matera Sky was second in both the 2019 $2.5 million Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) and 2020 $1.5 million Saudia Sprint on The Saudi Cup's undercard.
Mori purchased Jasper Prince at the OBS March 2017 sale in Florida for $100,000. He was bred by Hill `n' Dale Equine Holdings. His maternal granddam is Ambitious Cat, a $950,000 purchase by Chiefswood Stables and R. Krembil out of the 2002 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Grade 1-placed, she was at her best when winning the 2006 Dance Smartly (G2) at Woodbine. Ambitious Cat was a half-sister to brilliant filly Blushing K. D., as well as Electronic Unicorn, who earned nearly $4 million as one of the best milers in Hong Kong's illustrious history.
Life is good for the connections of Life Is Good. An odds-on favorite in all five career starts, he's only lost one race, and that was by a neck.
The 3-year-old bay started the year by beating second-place Medina Spirit, who went on to win the Kentucky Derby (G1), in two races at Santa Anita. First, Life Is Good finished three-quarters of a length ahead of Medina Spirit in the Sham Stakes (G3). His win in the San Felipe Stakes (G2) was much more decisive: he romped home ahead of the field by 8 lengths.
These convincing wins led bettors to select him as the favorite for the Kentucky Derby in one of the Future Wager pools. However, he suffered a hind-end ankle injury during training, and he was sidelined for the remainder of Triple Crown season.
His comeback race, under new trainer Todd Pletcher, unfolded to be one of the top races of the year: Saratoga's H. Allen Jerkens Memorial Stakes (G1). Life Is Good led until the top of the stretch, when Jackie's Warrior, one of the nation's top sprinters, overtook him. Life Is Good re-rallied, and the two horses battled it out to the finish. Jackie's Warrior won by a neck, handing Life Is Good his first loss.
Life Is Good bounced back and won the Kelso Handicap (G2) by 5 1/2 lengths, affirming his near-perfect record while facing older horses for the first time.
"We were very pleased with the way he ran. He seemed to settle pretty nicely," Pletcher said.
He is pointed to the Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) Nov. 6 at Del Mar.
Life Is Good's sire is Into Mischief. He is owned by CHC Inc. and WinStar Farm.
Perseverance probably best describes 6-year-old Snapper Sinclair considering prior to 2021 he won only five times in 29 races. However, for this determined veteran, that tells only half the story.
Despite only modest success relative to wins and losses, the son of City Zip amassed an astounding $1,438,260 in purse money between 2017 and 2020. In 2020 alone, Snapper Sinclair would endure competitive losses in the Cigar Mile Handicap (G1) at Aqueduct, Tourist Mile (Listed) at Kentucky Downs, the first division of the Fifth Season Stakes (Listed), Essex Handicap (Listed) and Razorback Handicap (G3). The Steve Asmussen charge also was beaten a nose in the Risen Star Stakes (G2) in 2018 at Fair Grounds.
Snapper Sinclair began the 2021 season with an allowance victory at Oaklawn Park Feb. 4 followed by a nice fourth-place finish in the Godolphin Mile (G2) on the Dubai World Cup program. Asmussen and his gritty hard-knocker would complete their march to this year's Breeders' Cup with a win in the TVG Stakes (Listed) at Kentucky Downs, bracketed by runner-up finishes in the Opening Verse Stakes at Churchill Downs and Eddie D. Stakes (G2) Oct. 1 at Santa Anita.
Early in his career Snapper Sinclair, a two-time competitor at the World Championships, won the Fasig-Tipton Turf Showcase Juvenile Stakes, before finishing 12th in the 2017 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Del Mar. The millionaire's most recent visit to the Championships resulted in a competitive fourth in the 2019 Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1).
Asmussen, a seven-time Breeders' Cup winning trainer and owner Jeff Bloom also campaigned champion Midnight Bisou. The 2019 Champion Older Female, Midnight Bisou never finished off the board in 22 career starts and accrued $7.4 million in purse money.
|2020||Knicks Go||Joel Rosario||Brad Cox||1:33.85|
|2019||Spun to Run||Irad Ortiz, Jr.||Juan Guerrero||1:36.58|
|2018||City of Light||Javier Castellano||Michael McCarthy||1:33.83|
|2017||Battle of Midway||Flavien Prat||Jerry Hollendorfer||1:35.20|
|2016||Tamarkuz||Mike Smith||Kiaran P. McLaughlin||1:35.72|
|2015||Liam's Map||Javier Castellano||Todd Pletcher||1:34.54|
|2014||Goldencents||Rafael Bejarano||Leandro Mora||1:35.19|
|2013||Goldencents||Rafael Bejarano||Doug O'Neill||1:35.12|
|2012||Tapizar||Corey Nakatani||Steven M. Asmussen||1:35.34|
|2011||Caleb's Posse||Rajiv Maragh||Donnie Von Hemel||1:34.59|
|2010||Dakota Phone||Joel Rosario||Jerry Hollendorfer||1:35.29|
|2009||Furthest Land||Julien Leparoux||Michael J. Maker||1:35.50|
|2008||Albertus Maximux||Garrett Gomez||Vladimir Cerin||1:33.41|
|2007||Corinthian||Kent Desormeaux||James A. Jerkens||1:39.06|
The Breeders' Cup Las Vegas Dirt Mile is a 1-mile (1.6 km) Weight for Age stakes race for thoroughbred racehorses three years old and up. As its name implies, it is part of the Breeders' Cup thoroughbred championships, the de facto year-end championship for North American thoroughbred racing, and is run on a dirt course (either natural dirt or a synthetic surface such as Polytrack). This contrasts with the similar Breeders' Cup Mile, run on grass. All Breeders' Cups to date have been conducted in the United States, with the exception of the 1996 event in Canada.
The Dirt Mile race was run for the first time in 2007 during the first day of the expanded Breeders' Cup at that year's host track, Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, New Jersey. It became a Grade I event in 2009.
Occasionally, various track configurations require minor changes in the distance of the race. The 2007 race at Monmouth Park was held at a distance of 1 mile 70 yards (1673 m) instead of the normal distance of 1-mile (1.6 km). The 2015 Breeders' Cup will be held at Keeneland, which does not have the ability to run one mile dirt races, and so the Dirt Mile is scheduled to be run out of the backstretch chute at a distance of 7 furlongs, 384 feet (1525 m).
|Breeders' Cup Race||Grade||Purse||Date|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint||II||$1,000,000||November 5|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf||I||$1,000,000||November 5|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies||I||$2,000,000||November 5|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf||I||$1,000,000||November 5|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile||I||$2,000,000||November 5|
|Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint||I||$1,000,000||November 6|
|Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint||I||$1,000,000||November 6|
|Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile||I||$1,000,000||November 6|
|Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf||I||$2,000,000||November 6|
|Breeders' Cup Sprint||I||$2,000,000||November 6|
|Breeders' Cup Mile||I||$2,000,000||November 6|
|Breeders' Cup Distaff||I||$2,000,000||November 6|
|Breeders' Cup Turf||I||$4,000,000||November 6|
|Breeders' Cup Classic||I||$6,000,000||November 6|
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