10/24/2008 11:00PM

Conduit displays powerful closing kick


ARCADIA, Calif. - Perhaps it was fitting that Conduit won Saturday's $3,195,000 Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita, the richest race in the United States over 1 1/2 miles on turf.

He had already conquered England's longest classic race for 3-year-olds this year, the Group 1 St. Leger at Doncaster over 1 11/16 miles on Sept. 13.

Not surprisingly for a true stayer, Conduit was outstanding through the stretch run of the BC Turf, rallying from fourth through the final furlong to catch Eagle Mountain and win by 1 1/2 lengths. Conduit ($13.60) ran the distance in 2:23.42.

"He keeps getting better and that's the exciting thing about this horse," trainer Michael Stoute said.

Ridden by Ryan Moore, Conduit was as far back as eighth for the first half-mile, which was part of the race strategy Moore and Stoute had worked out.

"We thought there should be good pace and Ryan would get him switched off and in a nice rhythm," Stoute said.

As expected, the maiden Red Rock Canyon had the early lead, setting the pace for Soldier of Fortune, the 8-5 favorite. Red Rock Canyon set fractions of 24.28 and 47.06 seconds, facing pressure on the backstretch from Out of Control and even Solder of Fortune, who was within two lengths of the lead for the first six furlongs.

Out of Control and Soldier of Fortune took over on the backstretch, and fought for the lead on the final turn before Soldier of Fortune took the lead turning into the stretch. Soldier of Fortune led by a half-length in early stretch but yielded the lead to Eagle Mountain.

Eagle Mountain, who had finished second in the 2007 English Derby, looked like a winner briefly, but could not hold off Conduit.

"I can't complain," said Michael de Kock, who trains Eagle Mountain. "He was beaten by a better horse on the day. He was just outstayed."

Ridden by Kevin Shea, Eagle Mountain finished 2 1/4 lengths in front of Dancing Forever, whose third-place finish was his best result since a win in the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap at Belmont Park in June.

Trainer Shug McGaughey said the BC Turf result proved that Dancing Forever needs firm turn.

"He was wide and he fought to finish third," McGaughey said.

Dancing Forever finished a head in front of Soldier of Fortune, who finished in a dead heat for third in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in Paris on Oct. 5. Trainer Aidan O'Brien said the race schedule may have worked against Soldier of Fortune

"I think he's best if he gets more time between his races," O'Brien said.

Conduit is expected to stay in training next year. Owned by breeder Ballymacoll Stud, Conduit has won 5 of 9 starts and $2,487,823.