Updated on 09/15/2011 1:20PM

Fantastic Light tops 1-2 European finish


ELMONT, N.Y. - Fantastic Light continued Europe's domination of the $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf with a hard-fought victory over fellow European Milan on Saturday at Belmont Park.

Fantastic Light launched a rally on the final turn, led by 2 1/2 lengths in the final furlong, and was all out to hold off Milan by three-quarters of a length. Sent off as the favorite, Fantastic Light ($4.80) finished 1 1/2 miles in 2:24.36, shaving 0.14 off Sky Classic's 1992 course record.

Fantastic Light won three Group 1 races in England and Ireland this year. Owned by Godolphin Racing, he was a late addition to the Turf field when entries were drawn on Wednesday. Godolphin chose to enter Fantastic Light in the Turf instead of the Classic, the race in which he had been expected to start.

"If he wouldn't have won we would have been disappointed," said Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford. "We are delighted, but that last furlong seemed to take forever."

Trained by Saeed bin Suroor, Fantastic Light was always well placed under jockey Frankie Dettori. Through the first six furlongs, Fantastic Light was fourth or fifth, stalking the pace set by With Anticipation and Timboroa, who set fractions of 24.40 and 48.02 seconds. With Anticipation remained close to the lead until the end of the backstretch, when Timboroa took the lead. Timboroa had a two-length lead with a quarter-mile remaining, but his jockey, Edgar Prado, knew he was a long way from the wire.

"My horse was comfortable, but [With Anticipation] died and I made the lead," Prado said. "I thought he would take me a little further and I'd have a target."

Timboroa led into the stretch, but could not shake clear of Fantastic Light. "I didn't want to get to the lead too early," Dettori said. "I let Timboroa take me as far as he could and then I asked him. He had a great turn of foot."

With Fantastic Light clear in the stretch, Milan launched his rally and was rapidly making up ground as the wire approached.

"The only thing that scared me was that Fantastic Light got a little comfortable in front," Dettori said. "I kept saying, 'Can you give me a little more?' "

Milan was stuck in trouble on the final turn and never felt like a winner to jockey Michael Kinane.

"I got held up a bit," Kinane said. "Fantastic Light got four or five lengths on me and I thought I just had too much to do."

The first two finished far in front of the other nine runners in the Turf. Timboroa held third, but finished 6 1/2 lengths behind Fantastic Light. Blazing Fury, a 3-year-old, finished fourth, and was followed by Hap, Chorwon, With Anticipation, Lodge Hill, Slew the Red, Quiet Resolve, and Mutamam.

Fantastic Light gave the Maktoum family's Godolphin Racing its second winner in the Turf in the last three years. Godolphin scored with Daylami in 1999. Last year, Europe's Kalanisi won the Turf at Churchill Downs.

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