Updated on 11/02/2013 7:31PM

Breeders' Cup Juvenile: New Year's Day benefits from Garcia's patient ride

Tom Keyser
New Year's Day takes the lead inside Havana in the final sixteenth of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

ARCADIA, Calif. – When giving instructions how to ride New Year’s Day in Saturday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, trainer Bob Baffert told jockey Martin Garcia to ignore all the chatter about a speed bias at Santa Anita.

“I just told Martin ‘Don’t ride the track, just ride the horse,’ ” Baffert said.

[BREEDERS' CUP SATURDAY: Video replays and race results]

Garcia listened, gave New Year’s Day a patient ride, and the colt unleashed a strong stretch run along the inside to run down Havana and win the Juvenile by 1 1/4 lengths. Havana, who made the lead turning for home, tired late and held second by three-quarters of a length over Strong Mandate, who was hustled to the front early in the race.

The win was the third for Baffert in the Juvenile and came only a few hours after his filly Secret Compass suffered a fatal leg injury during the running of the Juvenile Fillies.

“I just can’t believe that filly got hurt. I was just in shock,” Baffert said. “I really thought highly of her, like she was starting to make a move. It’s great that we won, but it doesn’t overcome the tragedy of losing that filly.”

The victory was the first in the Breeders’ Cup for owners Gary and Mary West, who had run fifth and eighth in last year’s Juvenile with Power Broker and Title Contender, respectively. It was also the first victory in a Breeders’ Cup race for Garcia, who has ridden many stakes winners for Baffert and works horses for Baffert in the morning.

“This is a really huge breakthrough for him. He really needed this,” Baffert said.

New Year’s Day had not run since winning a maiden race at Del Mar on Aug. 31. The horse had a fever that prompted Baffert to keep him out of the Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes here on Sept. 28. Baffert told the Wests he was confident he could train the horse up to the race.

While Garcia ignored the speed bias, it was clear that trainer D. Wayne Lukas wanted Joel Rosario to have Strong Mandate on the lead. Breaking from post 14, Rosario hustled Strong Mandate around the first turn to wrest the lead from Conquest Titan, who ran an opening quarter in 22.66 seconds.

Strong Mandate took over straightening away down the backside and ran a half-mile in 45.38 seconds and six furlongs in 1:09.70. Gary Stevens, subbing for an injured John Velazquez aboard Havana, moved his horse to Strong Mandate around the turn.

Stevens was hoping he would have Strong Mandate to run with down the lane, but Havana had cleared him in upper stretch and he began to slow down.

“All of a sudden Strong Mandate came off the bridle and I was left in no-man’s land and had to start after my colt,” Stevens said. “He emptied out pretty good the last sixteenth.”

Meanwhile, New Year’s Day, who was seventh about seven lengths back after three-quarters of a mile, launched his bid around the turn. Coming into the stretch, Garcia dove New Year’s Day to the inside and he rallied past the tiring Havana and Strong Mandate.

“I saved ground at every corner,” Garcia said. “The rail was open and I took it. I didn’t panic. My horse was ready to start running. I thought I had a lot of horse.”

New Year’s Day, a son of Street Cry that brought $425,000 at auction, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.52 and returned $23 to win.

“It takes a way above average young horse to do what he did today,” Baffert said. “It’s exciting to win a Breeders Cup race. The minute he hit the wire I started thinking the first Saturday in May.”

Baffert, of course, was referring to the Kentucky Derby. Baffert has won three Kentucky Derbies. Street Sense is the only one of the previous 29 Juvenile winners to come back and win the Derby.

$2 exacta (4-13), $107.80
$1 trifecta (4-13-14), $476.10
$.10 super (4-13-14-5), $380.76
$2 double (12-4), $116
$1 pick-3 (11-12-4), $278.30

iknownothing114 More than 1 year ago
Anybody seen todd pletcher ?
Greg Rouch More than 1 year ago
Despite the upset win, at least we saw some consistency between East Coast juvenile form and BC results. Havana (Champagne winner) and Strong Mandate (Hopeful winner) were second and third, so their form held up at Santa Anita. I vote that no Eclipse be given out for juvenile colt this year, though! Who deserves it? Nobody.
jttf More than 1 year ago
Gary west threatens to sue the breeders cup for not permitting lasix with juveniles. Now he wins the juvenile without lasix. Maybe he can sue them now for permitting lasix use next year. These med users have no clue.
GuyFleegman1 More than 1 year ago
The owner of Tap It Rich must be feeling good about being beaten by his own trainer...LOL
steve spdaro More than 1 year ago
did i miss an anouncement that havan races without a whip or did gary lee drop it. how come none of you sharpies noticed?
Justin Mato More than 1 year ago
I noticed and got mad about that. I think Stevens was trying to repeat the mistake he made on She's a Tiger. At least he got his classic and $500,000
WMaier More than 1 year ago
Let's get one thing straight, just because New Years Day won the BC Juvenile shouldn't automatically make him the current future book "favorite" for the Kentucky Derby,as the clowns on TVG/HRTV may proclaim. It will be Honor Code. You heard it here first, regardless of what stiffs line up against him in the Remsen.
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
I hear you loud and clear but who needs the "favorite" tag anyway?? Under the rader suits me just fine. Most will rather win the actual race and leave the favoritism to some one else.
Justin Mato More than 1 year ago
Twenty bucks says this horse is injured before the Kentucky Derby
Justin Mato More than 1 year ago
I just won twenty bucks
Tyler Mathis More than 1 year ago
The pick that made my day. What I don't understand is why New Year's Day wasn't the favored of Baffert's two. NYD out of 76K msw win over place horse who won next out and was entered in the juvenile (Bond Holder). Tap It Rich out of 49K msw and beat no one important, but earned a very high speed figure doing it...and yet the talk and the money were all about him. Have players forgotten simple principles like CLASS? Thankfully so; I liked the payout on NYD.
Gene More than 1 year ago
Why has there been nothing written about New Year's Day adding front wraps. I cannot recall a Baffert trainee wearing bandages and he did miss both So. Cal preps leading up to this.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
There is no Shanghai Bobby resume, Eclipse awards so pointless