10/31/2014 7:21PM

Goldencents repeats in BC Dirt Mile

Barbara D. Livingston
Goldencents, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, wins the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile by 1 1/4 lengths Friday.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Come hell or high water, Goldencents was going to the early lead in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.

In a brazen and brave display, the colt ultimately held off his lone stretch challenger after setting torrid fractions to become the first two-time winner of the $1 million BC Dirt Mile on Friday at Santa Anita.

Urged to the lead from the inside post by Rafael Bejarano, Goldencents was pushed by Vicar’s in Trouble through fractions of 22.06 and 44.80 seconds, a wicked pace that took its toll in view of a final time of 1:35.16 over a fast track.

But that’s completely irrelevant: Goldencents was confronted in upper stretch by Tapiture and met that challenge, never relinquishing his advantage when prevailing by 1 1/4 lengths. Pants On Fire finished third, another five lengths back in a field of nine, with the Chilean import Bronzo rallying for fourth.

Goldencents, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred colt by Into Mischief, returned $3.40 as the heavy favorite. Owned by the W.C. Racing of Glenn Sorgenstein and Josh Kaplan, he was making the final start of an 18-race career that ends with seven wins, seven seconds, and earnings of $3,044,000. He will stand at stud next year at Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky.

“This is special in its own right because this is his last race,” said Sorgenstein. “It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Goldencents won the Dirt Mile here last year by 2 3/4 lengths with very similar front-running tactics. He was trained at the time by Doug O’Neill, but because O’Neill is serving a suspension pertaining to medication violations, he was replaced this year by his longtime assistant, Leandro Mora.

Goldencents began pulling away from Vicar’s in Trouble entering the far turn to open a huge lead on the others. Out of the pack, Tapiture was the only opponent to make up appreciable ground on the turn, and by the quarter pole, after six furlongs in 1:09.27, it was a two-horse race. But the 3-year-old Tapiture, ridden by Rosie Napravnik, could make no further headway down the lane.

Bejarano, who was aboard for both BC wins on Goldencents, said: “I knew I was going fast, and I had to find a way to give him a little break from the three-eighths to the quarter pole. I was able to do that.  When the other horse started to come to me, I held onto him just a little bit before I turned him loose. When I turned him loose, he fired big.”

“He’s a tremendous horse,” trainer Steve Asmussen said of Tapiture, the 15th-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby in May. “For us to try to get him to the [Kentucky] Derby all spring, and then for him to do this … he is something.”

After the top four, the order of finish was Big Bane Theory, Carve, Fed Biz, Golden Ticket, and Vicar’s in Trouble. Handsome Mike, also trained by Mora, was scratched earlier in the week.

Vicar’s in Trouble, ridden by John Velazquez for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey, was vanned off the track after being eased from his early efforts. Dr. Wayne McIlwraith reported two hours later that the colt had suffered an undisplaced fracture of the lateral condyle in the left front fetlock joint.

The $2 exacta (1-9) paid $14.20, the $1 trifecta (1-9-4) returned $35.50, and the 10-cent superfecta (1-9-4-7) was worth $32.89.

This was the eighth running of the Dirt Mile, first run in 2007 at Monmouth Park.

Patricia Arturo More than 1 year ago
GoldenCents wins second consecutive Breeder's Cup Dirt Mile.
Matthew Hood More than 1 year ago
1.) It's probably a good thing for this horse that this was his last race. He was so extended that he would have never been the same. He was VERY leg weary and drifting in the stretch. 2.) Kinda sad to see Mora keep saying how O'Neil was unjustly suspended in the post race comments. Did he not test positive? Did O'Neil fight this at all and said he just wanted to get it over with?
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
This result clears up a few different things for me. GOLDENCENTS is a legitimate racehorse he is good and proved it . SANTA ANITA is as speed biased as ever. SUSPENSIONS mean absolutely nothing. And in horseracing it pays to cheat. Or does anybody really believe ONEILL is not getting his cut from this win. Or that there is any difference between ONEILL and MORRA. the owners don't because as soon as ONEILL is " available" he becomes the trainer again.thats why you suspend the whole stable and make trainers think twice.
Michael D More than 1 year ago
Ray what a stupid comment without owners and start banning them they leave the sport. The owners are what keeps racing alive and well. Mora has been the trainer all along and will continue to be even when training of Oneills name. Drugs are bad for any sports but in all sports there needs to be an equal playing field and FYI the drugs Oneill was banned for would do absolutely nothing to improve the performance. Learn something before making stupid comments. It is obvious you have never owned horses? Ban an owner and what is he supposed to do with all his horses he or she is paying over 3K a month to run. It would ruin the hurting sport even more
Joel Firsching More than 1 year ago
Mora was the so called trainer when this horse started and ended his career. Another California horse that can't win a grade 1 outside of California. So he gets a slow start and gets pushed hard out of the gate and still does a 22 flat. Meanwhile, vicars in trouble gets a perfect start and coughs up a lung after 5 furlongs. Tell me this is a legitimate outcome. It smells like a grade 1 quarter horse race at Los Al.
Michael D More than 1 year ago
why hate on goldencents he proved beyond any doubt there is no horse in the world better then him at a flat mile. haters will continue to hate and he didnt win in kentucky too long a race and if not a believer the you know zero about horse racing
andre johnson More than 1 year ago
While this horse was clearly best, santa anita should not host the breeders cup.The turns are too tight and the stretch run too short which gives closers no real chance of winning either on turf or dirt especially in big fields on breeders cup day.While weather in southern cal is great, the breeders cup leadership should see by now what is clearly obvious, the matches box shape of the track makes it a speed favoring conveyor belt,totally unfair to horsemen and bettors alike! Belmont, churchhill ,keeneland, gulfstream park,woodbine and fair grounds are much better venues as they give all horses a fair shot to win.Even delmar would be a better venue as its track layout is not as speed favoring.
Kristopher Marshall More than 1 year ago
I think this was the only front runner to win all day. You can't possibly say that Tapiture needed a longer stretch. The pace setters on the turf held on well, but did not win, even with uncontested leads. Did you watch?
Michael D More than 1 year ago
the best horse won the race there were no closers besides the second horse and he had every chance to win. Closers faired pretty well in all races didnt they and the best horse will usually win if given the right jockey to time the move.
Alex More than 1 year ago
Can't wait for the new horses of suspended trainers rule next year.
Michael D More than 1 year ago
stupid you cant punish the owners geez so the owner of the yankees should be suspended what a player tests positive?? You forget without the owners there is no racing. The drugs Doug was suspended for would not improve the horses performance and did goldencents test positive i think not. If one player tests positive on a team the entire team and owner should be suspended very stupid comment. Obviously you have never owned a horse nor played in a competitive sport
harpharper . More than 1 year ago
Speed bias anyone???
Michael D More than 1 year ago
one race a frontrunner wins who happens to be the best miler on dirt in the world and you cry speed bias. Rosies horse had every chance as a closer to win
Pagani Zonda More than 1 year ago
Half of Saturdays dirt races were won by front runners. In fact the first three, the Juvenile Fillies, and also the Classic.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Breed him to Zenyatta.lol. Speed and endurance. Who knows. Stephanie's kitten?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That was a WOW performance. He should be just as effective as a stallion. Tapiture race should give credence to this year much maligned three year olds. He was the only one to menace this running machine.
Michael D More than 1 year ago
finally a comment that complimented the horse, he is a beast and was all heart
Ffm Web More than 1 year ago
Glad to see Goldencents retire on a winning note. First-time winner of the BC Dirt mile. He should be a popular Sire choice. A solid campaigner from his 2yo through 4yo racing years.
Ffm Web More than 1 year ago
CorrectionL First 2-time Winner of the BC Dirt Mile.