Updated on 11/01/2013 6:09PM

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf: Outstrip makes final move to top European exacta

Barbara D. Livingston
Outstrip finishes fast to catch Giovanni Boldini, who appeared headed to victory in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, giving Mike Smith his second straight BC winner of the day.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Shortly after Outstrip finished third in the Oct. 12 Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket in England, his trainer, Charlie Appleby, said Outstrip would be put away for the winter, pointed to the English 2000 Guineas in May. A week later, plans had changed: Outstrip was coming to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.

Good call.

Outstrip flew through his last three-eighths of a mile on Friday at Santa Anita, hurtling past pacesetting Bobby’s Kitten and nailing Giovanni Boldini yards from the finish to win the $1 million Juvenile Turf by a half-length. Bobby’s Kitten, fatigued from a hot pace, easily held third.

The winning royal blue silks of Godolphin were a familiar Breeders’ Cup sight, but the victory was a first for trainer Charlie Appleby, who became a head trainer for Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum’s powerhouse stable when Mahmood Al Zarooni was ousted this spring after a drug scandal. Appleby, a 15-year Godolphin employee, was running his first horse in the Breeders’ Cup.

“It’s all very surreal,” he said.

Outstrip, a compact gray Exceed and Excel colt bred by Darley, had won two of four starts in England this year, placing himself among the upper ranks of European 2-year-olds. He had trained more actively since arriving in California last weekend than any of the other three Europeans in the race, even breezing on turf midweek.

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“I was happy with everything I saw from him this week, especially when we got him on the turf,” Appleby said. “He was so happy out there.”

Outstrip dropped to the rear of the field under Mike Smith and benefited from a sizzling early pace far in front of him. Bobby’s Kitten, the 7-5 favorite, shot to the lead after being asked for speed out of the gate by Javier Castellano, laying out taxing splits of 22.27 seconds for his first quarter-mile, 45.70 for the opening half, and 1:09.53 for six furlongs. That was not the trip envisioned by owner-breeder Ken Ramsey, who vehemently chastised Castellano after Bobby’s Kitten returned to be unsaddled.

“He asked him out of the gate,” said trainer Chad Brown. “I don’t know why he did that.”

It was Irish shipper Giovanni Boldini who took first crack at Bobby’s Kitten. Coming through on the inside around the far turn under Ryan Moore, he switched to the two path for the stretch run and chipped into Bobby’s Kitten’s lead. Moore said Giovanni Boldini was running in spots, not fully bearing down throughout the race, and just as he overtook Bobby’s Kitten to make the lead, there came Outstrip, flying down the center of the track.

“He handled everything beautiful,” said Smith, who was sitting on the colt’s back for the first time Saturday and won his record 19th Breeders' Cup race.

Outstrip paid $14 to win and was timed in 1:33.20 for one mile on very firm turf, a stakes record. Bobby’s Kitten was followed home by Bon Accord, Got Shades, Bashart, Aotearoa, Poker Player, Wilshire Boulevard, Ontology, Shamshon, Home School, and All Cash.

And this time, Outstrip really will be put away for the winter and pointed for the English 2000 Guineas.