10/27/2007 4:24PM

BC Day 2: The Turf


5:26 pm: He tried and failed in the 2005 and 2006 Breeders' Cup Turfs, but English Channel finally got it done -- and good for him. In an era of foreshortened careers, English Channel completed his fourth season of racing with a Turf victory in his 23rd and final career start as odds-on Dylan Thomas was fifth a very dull effort.

English Channel, a 5-year-old Smart Strike horse owned by James Scatuorchio and trained by Todd Pletcher, sat a perfect trip, a close third at the rail behind a slow pace (1:19 4/5!), then drew off by daylight through the stretch. Shamdinan, the Secretariat winner, held second over two previous winners of the Turf, Red Rocks and Better Talk Now, with Dylan Thomas a floundering fifth on the soft ground.

English Channel ($8.00) was fifth to Shirocco in the 2005 Turf and third to Red rocks and Better Talk Now last year. He won the last two runnings of the United Nations Handicap over the Monmouth turf course, though over much firmer ground. The time for today's mile and a half was 2:36.96.

The exacta with Shamdinan paid $152 and the tri was $565.40. Funny how you can begin the day hoping to be alive to a singled Dylan Thomas in the pick six, and end up rooting for him to lose a photo for fourth so you can maybe get out for the day with superfectas keyed around Shamdinan at 24-1. Won the photo but the super paid a somewhat disappointing $2469.20, though it was probably folly to hope for more in an eight-horse field with the second choice on top.