Updated on 10/03/2016 8:12AM

Found heads one-two-three sweep for O'Brien in Arc


The Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Found, runner-up in five straight Group 1 races this year, broke through in tremendous fashion Sunday at Chantilly, leading an amazing sweep of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe’s top three placings by trainer Aidan O’Brien.

Found beat Highland Reel by 1 3/4 lengths with Order of St George another 1 1/2 lengths back in third. For all the remarkable accomplishments in O’Brien’s epic career, this might have been the best.

“It’s unbelievable,” O’Brien said. “I’m absolutely delighted.”

All three O’Brien runners race for super-powered Coolmore, and all are by the group’s stunningly successful stallion Galileo. Found was making her eighth start of 2016. Highland Reel – who has been to Hong Kong and Dubai this year and won the Secretariat at Arlington last season – was making his seventh start.  Order of St. George was running for the fifth time in 2016 while turning back in distance from 1 3/4 and two-mile races to the Arc’s 1 1/2 miles.  

But Found was much the best of the trio, knifing inside favored Postponed under Ryan Moore with just less than three furlongs left in the race, opening a big lead, and staying on strongly to the finish.

“Aidan had her trained for today,” Moore said. “He said she’d be right. It’s the most special race of the year that gets the best horses, and the trainer has done something unbelievable. She’s an unbelievable filly, and it doesn’t get much better than this.”

Siljian’s Saga finished fourth and was followed home by Postponed, who had what appeared to be a favorable if wide tracking trip and had just made the front when Found overwhelmed him. Then came One Foot in Heaven, Savoire Vivre, Harzand, the pacesetter Vedevani, Talismanic, Left Hand, Silverwave, the Japanese hope Makahiki, Migwar, and The Grey Gatsby. Found ran the 12 furlongs on “good” ground in a very fast 2:23.61 and paid $21.60 in North American betting.

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The Arc has been moved to Chantilly this year and next as its traditional home, Longchamp, undergoes extensive renovation, and both jockeys and observers Sunday believed the right-handed course was playing to horses that could attend the pace. Found, though, raced in midpack much of the trip before Moore quietly positioned her for her big move on the second part of the race’s one long bend. Found, who was coming off a strong second to the talented Almanzour in the Irish Champion Stakes, took every request from her rider in perfect rhythm and displayed a quicksilver turn of foot.

“We thought she had a good chance, but the way the track was riding it made it hard,” Moore said. “She’s had a lot of racing this year, but she keeps improving.”

It was the second Arc win for both Moore and O’Brien. The trainer won with Dylan Thomas in 2007; Moore scored with Workforce in 2010.

Found, a 4-year-old out of the Intikhab mare Red Evie, won for the third time at the highest level while scoring her first Group or Grade 1 victory since upsetting Golden Horn last fall in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Keeneland. Connections did not immediately confirm Found for a defense of that title in the BC Turf at Santa Anita, but Found, even late in the year, is showing no signs of wavering, and would seem to have an excellent chance to break the long string of Arc winners that have failed also to win the BC Turf in the same year. Found became the first horse to win both the Arc and BC Turf.