2023 Breeders' Cup Mile
The world's best grass milers compete in this race around two turns on the turf course for horses 3-years-old and older.
Breeders' Cup Mile
The 2023 Breeders' Cup Mile will be held on Saturday, November 4 at Santa Anita Park. Bet & watch the race with OffTrackBetting.com (OTB) - US Legal Online Wagering.
Songline Favored in FanDuel Breeders' Cup Mile
OCT 30 - Sunday Racing Co. Ltd.'s Songline (JPN) is the 5-2 morning line favorite for the $2 million FanDuel Breeders' Cup Mile presented by PDJF (G1). A three-time Grade 1 winner and earner of more than $6.2 million, Songline will depart post 10 under Keita Tosaki in the field of 14.
Godolphin runners Master of The Seas (IRE) (7-2) and Mawj (IRE) (4-1) are the second and third morning line propositions.
Trained by Charlie Appleby, Master of The Seas exits a tough nose beat in the Coolmore Turf Mile (G1) at Keeneland in his most recent start. Prior to that he won the Woodbine Mile (G1) under William Buick, who has the mount Saturday from post 14.
Saeed bin Suroor trains Mawj, who returned from a five-month layoff to win Keeneland's Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) on Oct. 14 going 1 1/8 miles. Oisin Murphy has the mount Saturday from post 6.
2023 Breeders' Cup Mile Field & Odds
Race 6 at Santa Anita on Saturday, November 4 - Post 4:30 PM
|1||Shirl's Speight||30-1||John Velazquez
|2||Gina Romantica||12-1||Tyler Gaffalione
|3||Casa Creed||8-1||Luis Saez
|4||Win Carnelian (JPN)||30-1||Kosei Miura
|5||Lucky Score||30-1||Irad Ortiz, Jr.
|6||Mawj (IRE)||4-1||Oisin Murphy
|Saeed bin Suroor|
|8||Du Jour||15-1||Flavien Prat
|10||Songline (JPN)||5-2||Keita Tosaki
|11||Kelina (IRE)||6-1||Maxime Guyon
|13||More Than Looks||15-1||Joel Rosario
|14||Master of The Seas (IRE)||7-2||William Buick
SONGLINE AND CASA CREED LEAD FANDUEL BREEDERS' CUP MILE
OCT 25 - In the $2 million FanDuel Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) at one mile on turf, Sunday Racing Co. Ltd.'s 5-year-old mare Songline (JPN) earned two Breeders' Cup Challenge automatic berths at Tokyo Race Course in the spring when she captured the May 14 Victoria Mile (G1) for an automatic starting position into the Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1), and then earned a free slot in the Mile when she won the June 7 Yasuda Kinen (G1). Trained by Toru Hayashi, Songline returned to the races on Oct. 8 and finished second by a nose in the 1 1/8-mile Mainichi Okan (G2) at Tokyo.
Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier, Westerberg, and Peter Brant's 3-year-old Paddington (GB) looks to regain the form he displayed as Europe's top miler, having reeled off four consecutive Group 1 wins in the Irish 2000 Guineas, St. James's Palace, Coral-Eclipse and the Qatar Sussex Stakes, in which he earned a free berth into this race for trainer Aidan O'Brien.
In the U.S., LRE Racing LLC and JEH Racing Stable LLC's Casa Creed will be competing in his fourth straight Breeders' Cup. The 7-year-old, trained by Bill Mott, has won his last two races, including a Win and You're In for the Mile when he captured the Aug. 12 Fourstardave Handicap (G1) at Saratoga.
2023 Breeders' Cup Mile Contenders
Charles E. Fipke is a man who knows what he wants and is not shy about instructing his trainer where he wants his horses to run, like it or not.
That habit is what landed Shirl's Speight in Japan in February 2023 to contest the February Stakes (G1) at Tokyo Racecourse. Trainer Roger Attfield made no secret of the fact he didn't think it was a great idea.
It's not that the 6-year-old son of Speightstown didn't fit. He had finished second in his previous start in the FanDuel Breeders' Cup Mile (G1). But it's a tough assignment to take on Japanese horses on their home turf and the race is run on the dirt, to boot. Shirl's Speight did well to finish ninth.
Then Fipke pointed Shirl's Speight and Attfield to Dubai, where Shirl's Speight finished a credible fourth of 14 in the Dubai Turf (G1). Back in Canada, he got a much-needed rest before finishing fourth in the King Edward Stakes (G2), then second in the Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1).
Attfield said Shirl's Speight handled the travel well but said the aftermath might have had more impact than the trip.
"He was off for a month. He was turned out for a month, but then he got a little too fat," the trainer said.
Fipke clearly knows his horses. Shirl's Speight, one in a long string of success stories for the adventurous Canadian, exited the Woodbine Mile with a record of five wins, two seconds and two third from 18 starts and earnings in excess of $1.4 million.
He is a Fipke homebred out of a Fipke homebred mare, Perfect Shirl, who won the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) in 2011.
The 4-year-old Gina Romantica became a two-time Grade 1 winner with her victory in the 1-mile First Lady on Keeneland's grass course Oct. 7, but she did not travel the direct route to the top level for owner Peter Brant and trainer Chad Brown. Her trainer said that in the early stage of her career they thought she was a dirt filly and when that didn't pan out there was a lot of Plan B and even Plan C. Patience has certainly paid off for the connections.
Gina Romantica was unraced as a 2-year-old and began her career in a 6-furlong sprint on Tampa Bay's main track in March of 2022. She was a winner that day but faded to sixth place when next tried in the Beaumont Stakes (G3) at 7 furlongs at Keeneland that April. When Brown decided to stretch her out to 1 mile and tried her on the Saratoga turf in the Riskaverse Stakes in August, everything clicked. She capped her 3-year-old season in October with success in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) at Keeneland, beating her stablemate McKulick (GB) in the 1 1/8-mile turf test.
Rested until June this year, she tuned up with a fourth-place finish in the Eatontown Stakes (G3) at Monmouth Park and then Brown sent her to Colonial Downs for the Beverly D. (G1) at 1 3/16 miles on the grass in August. She was the runner-up that day behind fellow Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) contender Fev Rover (IRE). She then showed her fondness for Keeneland's course when winning the First Lady with Tyler Gaffalione in the irons for the first time at odds of 11-1, and in the process beat another of her stablemates, this time Filly & Mare Turf probable In Italian (GB).
Gina Romantica is a daughter of Into Mischief out of Special Me by Unbridled's Song and her dam is the gift that keeps on giving. Special Me was purchased for only $6,000 by co-breeder Carrie Brogden and Gina Romantica sold as a yearling at the Keeneland 2020 September sale to Brant for $1.025 million.
He may be a 7-year-old but Casa Creed, a Kentucky-bred son of Jimmy Creed, is rolling right along as if trainer Bill Mott had discovered an equine Fountain of Youth, hitting the board in 19 of his 33 career starts with earnings approaching $2.5 million.
If anything, he's getting better. And Mott has taken to showcasing the veteran on the international stage. In 2022 he finished second in the 1351 Turf Sprint (G2) at the super-rich Saudi Cup (G1) meeting in Riyadh, then was fifth in the Al Quoz Sprint (G1) in Dubai a month later. He was second again in the Saudi race in 2023.
His top-level efforts back home have been, if anything, even better. In 2022, he won the Jaipur Stakes (G1) in June at Belmont Park and the Fourstardave Stakes (G1) in August at Saratoga. A year later, he was third in the Jaipur but then won the Kelso Stakes (G3T) at Saratoga and repeated in the Fourstardave.
The major gap in his resume? The Breeders' Cup.
In 2020 at Keeneland, Casa Creed chased the early pace in the FanDuel Breeders' Cup Mile Presented by PDJF (G1), then gave way and finished 12th. A year later in the same race at Del Mar, he raced in midfield, was bumped around between horses at the top of the stretch and finished eighth.
Mott switched signals when the World Championships returned to Keeneland in 2022, opting to send Casa Creed to the 5 1/2-furlong Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (G1) rather than the mile. Starting from the No. 11 gate, he quickly dropped far back and finished ninth with a mild rally.
One thing is for sure about Win Carnelian (JPN) - a 6-year-old son of Screen Hero (JPN) has found success when he's placed at the right level.
So far in his 23-race career, however, that level has been quite a bit below the top rung of the class ladder.
The trend started in his 2-year-old season in 2019 when Win Carnelian posted a win and two seconds from four starts. But in his only graded stakes race, the Niigata Nisai Stakes (G3), he finished seventh.
He was winless in three starts in 2020 with his best outing being a respectable fourth in the Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2,000 Guineas-G1). At age 4 he contested only two low-level races, finishing first and second.
Things seemed to have turned around in 2022. After a warmup race at Hanshin Racecourse, Win Carnelian reeled off two consecutive victories, culminating in the Sekiya Kinen (G3) at Niigata. But then it was back to the top level and a 12th-place finish in the Mile Championship (G1) to close out the season.
Promise blossomed again in 2023 as Win Carnelian got home first Feb. 5 in the Tokyo Shimbun Hai (G3). A trip to Dubai was next in March for the Godolphin Mile (G2) that marked his first start on dirt. He finished sixth of 14.
He was back home, back on the turf and back at the top level just more than a month later for the Yasuda Kinen (G1) and again found the top level too high, finishing eighth as Songline (JPN) rolled to victory.
Win Carnelian returned to the races Oct. 8 in Tokyo in the 1 1/8-mile Mainichi Okan (G2) in which he finished fifth of 12 beaten 1 3/4 lengths.
If ever there were a model of consistency, it would be Lucky Score.
Through the first 19 starts of his career, the 5-year-old, Ontario-bred Lookin at Lucky gelding had six wins, four seconds and five thirds. Tossing out a learning experience in his career debut, he has not finished worse the fifth despite a penchant for racing from the back of the field.
And he's done that while climbing through the allowance ranks gradually, starting in the autumn of 2020, then breaking into the stakes ranks in the Bold Venture Stakes (G3) at Woodbine Aug. 13, 2022. He was shuffled back to last of 13 in that 6 1/2-furlong race on the all-weather track but came with a late rush to finish fourth, beaten just 1 1/4 lengths.
After an allowance win on the turf, Lucky Score was back against stakes company and back on the all-weather surface in the Vigil Stakes (G3). He also was back in the winner's circle thanks to another late rally from last.
He closed out 2022 with a third-place finish in the 6-furlong Kennedy Road Stakes on the all-weather, missing while being forced 10-wide because of his running style.
Mark Casse took over training duties as Lucky Score returned from a six-months layoff to finish second in an allowance event. That race was on the turf and on the turf Lucky Score would stay, running with the best Canada has to offer and some visiting Europeans, too.
He won the Highlander Stakes (G2) July 1, then posted three consecutive thirds, in the Connaught Cup (G2), the King Edward Stakes (G2) and the Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1). Then, on Oct. 8, he faced off against invaders from Kentucky and New York in the Nearctic Stakes (G2). Again running from far back, the photo finish camera found him second behind Big Invasion as eight horses were just three-quarters of a length apart at the wire.
Trainer Saeed bin Suroor has said that Godolphin's homebred Mawj (IRE) is a tiny filly but one who always has had class. Jockey Oisin Murphy, who was in the irons when the 3-year-old scored the upset in the Qipco 1000 Guineas Stakes (G1) at Newmarket on May 7, termed her "clearly just exceptional." Mawj has proved both right in 2023.
After winning two condition races, first the Jumeirah Fillies Classic at 7 furlongs by a head and then the Jumeirah Fillies Guineas at a mile by 8 ½ lengths, at Meydan in Dubai over the winter, Mawj returned to Europe for the 1000 Guineas. She raced down the center of the wide Newmarket straight and in the final furlong of the 1-mile test over soft turf it became a two-horse epic battle to the wire between the previously unbeaten and heavily favored Tahiyra and her. Mawj, dispatched at 9-1, showed steely determination to cross the wire a half-length in front, with the runner-up finishing 7 ½ lengths clear of the rest of the field.
With her first G1 victory added to her resume Mawj was entered next in the Coronation Cup (G1) at Royal Ascot in June but developed a respiratory infection the day before the race and missed the party.
She returned to the races on Oct. 14 with a trip to North America and a visit to Keeneland for the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1). She extended her win streak to four with a front-running victory in the 1 1/8-mile test.
As a juvenile in 2022, she was campaigned exclusively at 6 furlongs. She won first time out and then finished second in the Albany Stakes (G3) at Royal Ascot behind Meditate, the eventual Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) winner. Mawj captured the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes (G2) in July and ended her 2022 season with a third-place finish in the Cheveley Park Stakes (G1) at Newmarket.
Mawj, which is the Arabic word for "wave" is by Exceed And Excel (AUS) out of the New Approach (IRE) mare Modern Ideals (GB). That makes her a half-sister to Modern Games (GB), who won the 2021 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) and returned the next year to prove victorious in the FanDuel Breeders' Cup Mile Presented by PDJF (G1). Modern Games is the 2022 Eclipse Award-winning Male Turf Horse.
Masteroffoxhounds has compiled a nice record of competitive finishes in top-class races since returning to his native land from Ireland in late 2020. That record might be a lot better, though, if he hadn't been competing with some other stars from the Phil D'Amato stable.
The 6-year-old horse is by War Front, out of the Galileo (IRE) mare Outstanding (IRE). Hh started his career in the Emerald Isle, winning once in six starts.
He was shipped back across the Atlantic near the end of 2020, winning the San Marcos Stakes (G2) at 1 1/4 miles in his second start for trainer Richard Baltas.
His head-knocking with D'Amato-trained rivals started with his first race in 2021 as Masteroffoxhounds finished third in the 1 1/2-mile San Luis Rey Stakes (G3), 1 length behind the D'Amato-trained Say the Word.
A trip to Kentucky and New York was fruitless and he tossed in the only really poor performance of his U.S. career upon returning to California, finishing 11th and last in the Del Mar Handicap (G2) on Aug. 21.
Since, Masteroffoxhounds has been consistent if not masterful while running in almost all Grade 1 and Grade 2 events on the grass. But he was seeing the wrong end of rivals from the D'Amato barn including Count Again, Hong Kong Harry (IRE) and Gold Phoenix (IRE). If you can't beat 'em, join 'em and his owners at Rockingham Ranch sent him D'Amato after a second-place finish April 30, 2022, in the Charles Whittingham Stakes (G2).
The new barn didn't exactly put a spring in Masteroffoxhounds' step as he was third in his first outing for the new trainer -- behind winning stablemate Count Again. But he remained a consistent money-maker for his connections, posting seven in-the-money finishes in 11 starts through Oct. 1.
Throughout his career, trainer Bob Baffert has focused on horses bred and conditioned to run on dirt. Du Jour is a notable exception, and with good reason. The 5-year-old gelding is co-owned by his wife, Jill.
Du Jour started his career with a promising second place on turf in November 2020, then was third on the dirt to start 2021. Back on the grass, he quickly won two races impressively - enough evidence to convince the Bafferts to give him a chance at the big time.
That was the American Turf Stakes (G2) on May 1, 2021, at Churchill Downs, three races before the Kentucky Derby (G1). Du Jour came with a late rush to win by 1 1/2 lengths.
A long drought ensued as Du Jour was sent to do battle at the highest levels but failed to find the winner's circle through his next eight starts. That sequence started with starts in the Belmont Derby Invitational (G1) and the Saratoga Derby Invitational (G1), in which he finished fourth and third against top international fields.
Unraced in 2022, he returned to finish second in both the Thunder Road Stakes (G3) and the Frank E. Kilroe Mile Stakes (G1), both at Santa Anita, to start 2023.
That promising start flagged a bit with a fourth in the American Stakes (G3) on April 2 and a sixth in the Shoemaker Mile (G1) on May 29. A two-month break seemed to do the trick as Du Jour finally got the job done again in the Wickerr Stakes at Del Mar July 23 and stormed to a late-running win in the Del Mar Mile (G2) Sept. 2, defeating some of the most accomplished turf horses on the West Coast.
Star gazers might be forgiven for overlooking Astronomer as his light flickered on and off through the early part of his career. But his light began to rekindle as the Air Force Blue gelding worked through his 4-year-old season in 2023.
The Kentucky-bred, trained by Simon Callaghan for his breeder, Alice Bamford, and Michael Tabor, got off to an uncertain start in California in 2021.
Tried first at 1 mile on the Del Mar turf course, he beat only one rival in a race more noteworthy as the first win for Mackinnon, who won the Del Mar Juvenile Stakes and the Zuma Beach Stakes at Santa Anita in his next two starts and finished third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G3).
Callaghan next tried the dirt but Astronomer beat only two rivals in that race. Things finally clicked when Astronomer led all the way to a 5 1/4-length victory on the Golden Gate Fields turf Oct. 2.
Things really clicked in his next start as Astronomer rallied from a pace-stalking trip to post a 30-1 upset victory in the Qatar Golden Mile Stakes on the Breeders' Cup undercard at Del Mar.
Unfortunately, injury claimed all of Astronomer's 4-year-old season and when he returned July 21, 2023, he was given a shot at 1 1/8 miles. That didn't work out as he led at the first three points of call, then faded quickly to finish 10th, beating only a horse who was pulled up. Then it was back to 1 mile at Del Mar and Astronomer responded, winning by a head, at 21-1 odds, with a late rush.
With his horse's star in the ascendancy, Callaghan next targeted the City of Hope Mile (G3) at Santa Anita Sept. 30. After leading almost all the way, Astronomer was nailed in the final strides by the favorite, Hong Kong Harry (IRE).
Astronomer's sire, Air Force Blue, was a sensation in England as a 2-year-old but did not live up to the promise at 3. His dam, Qaraaba (GB), was successful in minor events in England from 2010 through mid-2012, then made her last start under Callaghan's care, winning the Robert J. Frankel Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Dec. 3. She, in turn, was sired by hugely successful stallion Shamardal.
Songline (JPN) is the definition of a specialist. And her specialty is 1 mile on the grass.
The 5-year-old mare got going early. After finishing second in her career debut going 7 furlongs at Tokyo Racecourse, she won her next start in which she moved up to a mile.
Songline then won again at 7 furlongs to start her 3-year-old year, raising hopes of Classic glory. Those hopes were dashed when she flopped against the best of her generation, finishing well up the track 12 lengths behind the winner in the Oka Sho Japanese One Thousand Guineas (G1).
She then was second in the NHK Mile Cup (G1), third in a Group 3 event at Niigata Racecourse and won the Fuji Stakes (G2) back at Tokyo - all at a mile. Dropped back to 7 furlongs, she tossed in another clunker in the Hanshin Cup on Christmas Day, finishing 15th beaten by 7 lengths.
As if to show she could succeed while going shorter, Songline traveled to Saudi Arabia for her 2022 debut in the rich 1351 Turf Sprint at King Abdulaziz Racecourse in Saudi Arabia. The race, reflecting the sponsor's name, is 1,351 meters or just less than 7 furlongs. She won that event but, again, was in-and-out for the rest of the year.
She was fifth in the Victoria Mile (G1) in May, won the Yasuda Kinen (G1) in June and was fifth in the Sankei Sho Centaur Stakes (G2) at Chukuo Racecourse in September. That performance earned her a five-month layoff but a return to the Middle East didn't help matters as she finished 10th, beaten 7 1/2 lengths in defense of her 1351 Turf Sprint crown.
The tide turned, big time, on Songline's return to Japan. After another short break, she won the Victoria Mile, then turned right around to post her second consecutive win in the Yasuda Kinen, putting her at the pinnacle of Japanese milers.
After a four-month break, Songline returned to the races Oct. 8 in the 1 1/8-mile Mainichi Okan (G2) at Tokyo that drew a field of 12. In a four-horse photo finish, Songline came up a nose short of victory in a runner-up effort.
Songline's apparent penchant for the mile belies her pedigree. She is a daughter of 2013 Japanese Derby (G1) winner Kizuna (JPN), whose sire, Deep Impact (JPN), won the 2005 Japanese Derby. He, in turn, was sired by Sunday Silence, winner of the 1989 Kentucky Derby (G1), Preakness (G1) and Breeders' Cup Classic (G1).
Kelina (IRE) has danced all the big dances for owners Alain and Gerard Wertheimer and trainer Carlos Laffon-Parias. She's come up short more often than not but her notable successes are testament to her breeding and the faith of her connections.
Kelina is a homebred daughter of Frankel (GB) out of the Oasis Dream (GB) mare Incahoots (GB), who also raced for the Wertheimers.
Her first two races in 2022 were so good -- victories by 3 and then 3 1/2 lengths at Deauville and Chantilly -- that she was entered in one of the top year-end events for 2-year-old fillies, the Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac (G1) on Oct. 2.
Sent to the post as the favorite, she raced prominently early but when jockey Maxime Guillon called on her, there was nothing left in the tank. Eased through the final 100 meters, she officially was placed last.
She finished second in a comeback race at Longchamp in the spring, then ran into one of Europe's best 3-year-old fillies, Blue Rose Cen (IRE), in the Emirates Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (G1) or French 1,000 Guineas. She finished fourth, then got back in the win column against softer opposition with a victory in the Prix de Sandringham (G2) at Chantilly June 4.
As summer wore on, Kelina was back in deep waters, finishing next to last in the Prix Rothschild (G1) at Deauville July 30 and again beating only one rival in the Prix du Moulin de Longchamp (G1) Sept. 3.
Little wonder then, that she was at long odds for the Qatar Prix de la Foret (G1) Oct 1. But it was her day. Hooking up with the odds-on favorite, Kinross (GB), in the stretch run, Kelina found just enough in the closing strides to win by a half-length. Kinross' jockey, Frankie Dettori, protested to no avail that Kelina had crossed in front of him in the late going and the result stood.
Exaulted, a son of Twirling Candy, has been a useful racehorse from his early days, consistently finishing in the money while racing against quality rivals. And that despite a full year's layoff from May 2021, when he finished third in the Triple Bend Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita to May 2022, when he finished fourth in the same race.
The turn of the calendar to 2023 proved a breakthrough year for the veteran, whose mother, Gilded Miracle, was sired by 1992 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) winner, Gilded Time. The key appeared to be a switch from the dirt to the turf.
Exaulted started the year by winning an allowance race at Santa Anita Jan. 2, rallying down the stretch to get by the leaders and win by 1 3/4 lengths as an 8-1 proposition. That was his first victory since Feb. 1, 2021.
He returned Feb. 5 to win again with a similar trip, rallying from off the pace to win by 1 3/4 lengths. This time, though, he was the favorite and the victory encouraged trainer Peter Eurton to move him back into the stakes ranks in the American Stakes (G3) April 2, again at a mile on the Santa Anita turf. He won this one by 1 1/2 lengths.
On May 29, again at Santa Anita and again at a mile on the turf, Exaulted took the lead in the stretch in the Shoemaker Mile (G1) and then held off some of the best grass runners on the West Coast to win by a half-length. That race was a "Win and You're In" Challenge race, guaranteeing Exaulted a spot in the FanDuel Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) to be run Nov. 4 at Santa Anita. Exaulted had a three-month break after the Shoemaker victory and returned to the races Sept. 2 at Del Mar with a runner-up finish beaten 2 1/4 lengths in the Del Mar Mile (G2).
Eurton was reminded after Exaulted's Shoemaker win that the Breeders' Cup World Championships were headed to his home track and replied with a chuckle, "I've never done any good anywhere else, so I'm glad it's here."
More Than Looks
More Than Looks did not race at age 2 and when he finally got to the track Feb. 19, 2023, at Gulfstream Park, his debut was not particularly auspicious. Off slowly, he ran evenly and didn't quit but finished eighth, beaten just 6 3/4 lengths after 5 furlongs on the turf.
His next start was moved from the turf to Gulfstream's all-weather track and he loved it, rallying from last of seven to win in the final strides by a neck.
Keeneland beckoned and a mile on the turf. Again coming from far back -- last in a field of 12 -- More Than Looks came up just a head short of the favorite, Turf King (IRE). That was followed by a trip to Ellis Park, where the colt used every bit of 1 1/16 miles over the turf to track down and ease by Fearless Soldier for his second career win.
More Than Looks next took on some heavyweights in the Manila Stakes (G3) at Belmont Park. After another slow start, he picked things up in the stretch and this time won by a comfortable 1 1/2 lengths.
The National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (G2T) at Saratoga on Aug. 11 proved a bridge too far. No one was catching the winner, Carl Spackler (IRE) that day but More Than Looks turned in his usual game effort with the usual late rally, finishing third beaten 2 1/4 lengths.
Master of The Seas
Master of The Seas (IRE) has been held in high esteem by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum's Godolphin juggernaut since his 2-year-old season and sent to do battle with some of the world's best in England and Dubai. It finally required a road trip to Canada for him to make good on the expectations and produce a Grade 1 victory.
The 5-year-old Dubawi (IRE) gelding won his first two starts as a juvenile, then was fourth in the Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes (G1) in Ireland before a short winter break. A runner-up finish behind stablemate Naval Crown (GB) in Dubai preceded a victory in the prestigious bet365 Craven Stakes (G3) and a second in the Qipco 2000 Guineas (G1). He had a 4 1/2-month break after that race and concluded 2021 with a third-place finish in the Unibet "You're On" Joel Stakes (G2) at Newmarket and a seventh-place finish at Ascot in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (G1).
He then took a six-month vacation, during which he was gelded, and looked like an improved horse upon his return at Newmarket where he won the Earl of Sefton Stakes (G3) in April in his lone start in 2022. He opened 2023 in Dubai. He won the Zabeel Mile (G2) and finished third, beaten just a half-length, in the Jebel Hatta (G1) on March 4.
None of that quite showed the talent that trainer Charlie Appleby expressed for Master of The Seas. And doubts blossomed when he finished 15th, beating only one rival, in the Dubai Turf (G1) on World Cup night later that month.
Appleby did not lose faith and shipped his warrior back home, targeting the Fred Cowley MBE Memorial Summer Stakes (G2) at Ascot, and the gelding got back on course. Far back early, he circled most of the field charging down the stretch on the Round Course and ran on to win by 4 lengths.
From there, it was on to Woodbine, outside Toronto, and a bit of a "make it or break it" chance in the $1 million (Canadian) Ricoh Woodbine Mile. He made it.
With his regular rider, William Buick, back aboard, Master of The Seas was slow from the inside post position and again lagged the field. Again, it proved no problem as he easily surged by the rest of the field and won by 3 3/4 lengths. The victory earned a "Win and You're In" spot in the FanDuel Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) won in 2022 by Godolphin's now-retired Modern Games (IRE), off a Woodbine victory that looked remarkably like the one put up by Master of The Seas.
Master of The Seas remained in North America and ventured to Keeneland for the Coolmore Turf Mile (G1) on Oct. 7. Ridden by James Doyle, Master of The Seas made the lead in deep stretch but was edged at the finish by a nose by Up to the Mark.
Recent Breeders' Cup Mile Winners
|2022||Modern Games||William T. Buick||Charles Appleby||1:33.96|
|2021||Space Blues||William T. Buick||Charles Appleby||1:34.01|
|2020||Order of Australia||Christophe Soumillon||Aidan O'Brien||1:33.73|
|2019||Uni||Joel Rosario||Chad Brown||1:32.45|
|2018||Expert Eye||Frankie Dettori||Sir Michael Stoute||1:39.80|
|2017||World Approval||John Velazquez||Mark Casse||1:34.55|
|2016||Tourist||Joel Rosario||Bill Mott||1:31.71|
|2015||Tepin||Julien Leparoux||Mark Casse||1:36.69|
|2014||Karakontie||Stephane Pasquier||Jonathan Pease||1:32.88|
|2013||Wise Dan||Jose Lezcano||Charles Lopresti||1:32.47|
|2012||Wise Dan||John Velazquez||Charles Lopresti||1:31.78|
|2011||Court Vision||Robby Albarado||Dale Romans||1:37:05|
|2010||Goldikova||Olivier Peslier||Freddy Head||1:35.16|
|2009||Goldikova||Olivier Peslier||Freddy Head||1:32.26|
|2008||Goldikova||Olivier Peslier||Freddy Head||1:33.40|
What is the Breeders' Cup Mile?
The Breeders' Cup Mile (Grade 1) has created an interesting pattern of sorts in that, for this $2 million series on turf of the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, good things have come in two's. Four Mile events of the Breeders' Cup races have had repeat winners. Also, the Mile has had three horses who have posted two victories each.
Miesque, bred by owner Stavros Niarchos' Flaxman Holdings Ltd., sparkled in the Breeders' Cup Mile in 1987 at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, and conquered a significantly slower surface at Churchill Downs in Louisville the following year. Trained by Francois Boutin, the remarkable filly won by 3-1/2 lengths in California and by 4 lengths in Kentucky - the largest winning margins in the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships race's history.
On the strength of her single North American victories, Miesque was voted champion grass female in 1987 and 1988. The Niarchos family also campaigned Mile winners Spinning World (1997), Domedriver (Ireland; 2002), and Six Perfections (France; 2003) in the name of Flaxman Holdings, Ltd.
In 2003, 5-1 shot Six Perfections, a 3 year old filly taking on boys, stayed in between horses back in eighth early, then came on strong down the stretch splitting rivals to win by 3/4 length over 12-1 shot Touch of the Blues. The time for the mile distance on the firm turf course was 1:33 4/5. It was a neck back to 39-1 longshot Century City. 3-1 favorite Peace Rules set the early pace but had nothing left turning for home, fading badly and finishing last.
At the 2004 Breeders' Cup Mile, Singletary emerged as the champion at 16.50 odds with jockey David Romero Flores. Antonius Pius with jockey Jamie Spencer won second at 31.40 odds while France's Six Perfections with jockey Jerry Bailey placed third at 5.90 odds.
Goldikova, based in France, won the Breeders’ Cup Mile back to back in 2008 and 2009with jockey Olivier Peslier. In her second win in 2009 she was second last for much of the race and at the top of the stretch she was forced to go 5 wide. It looked like she was going to lose, but then she changed leads again and blasted past Coragious Cat to win in 1:32.26, 0.8 seconds off of the world record held by Mr. Light.
Claiborne Farm's homebred Lure, arguably one of the most accomplished horses never to win a year-end championship, also scored two daylight victories, winning by 3 lengths in the 1992 Breeders' Cup Mile at Gulfstream Park, and by 2 ¼ lengths in the following year at Santa Anita Park for trainer Claude R. "Shug" McGaughey III.
Bet the Breeders' Cup - join OffTrackBetting.com
While not necessarily possessing talent to equal Miesque's or Lure's, Da Hoss became a two-time Breeders' Cup Mile winner by virtue of his courage and the innovative training regimen of Michael Dickinson. In 1996, Dickinson had his assistant, Joan Wakefield, test the Woodbine turf course in high heels to determine the best path for the Gone West gelding, who won by 1 1/2 lengths.
Da Hoss missed the entire following season of the Breeders' Cup races due to injury and came back to run in the 1998 Breeders' Cup Mile with only one start in two years. He rallied on a firm Churchill Downs turf course to overtake Hawksley Hill (Ireland) and win the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Mile race by a head.
Also experiencing consistent success in the Breeders' Cup Mile are the European-based horses. Nine of the Mile's first 20 winners had been based with European trainers prior to their wins.
Most remarkably, the Breeders' Cup Mile has also seen the domination of the Northern Dancer sire line. Although the great Windfields Farm stallion did not sire a winner himself, six of his sons and two of his grandsons have sired winners, accounting for 12 victories in the Mile's first 20 years. His sons Danzig and Nureyev have each sired three winners.
|Breeders' Cup Race||Grade||Purse||Date|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint||I||$1,000,000||November 3|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf||I||$1,000,000||November 3|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies||I||$2,000,000||November 3|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf||I||$1,000,000||November 3|
|Breeders' Cup Juvenile||I||$2,000,000||November 3|
|Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint||I||$1,000,000||November 4|
|Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint||I||$1,000,000||November 4|
|Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile||I||$1,000,000||November 4|
|Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf||I||$2,000,000||November 4|
|Breeders' Cup Sprint||I||$2,000,000||November 4|
|Breeders' Cup Mile||I||$2,000,000||November 4|
|Breeders' Cup Distaff||I||$2,000,000||November 4|
|Breeders' Cup Turf||I||$4,000,000||November 4|
|Breeders' Cup Classic||I||$6,000,000||November 4|