11/04/2006 1:00AM

Miesque's Approval roars home

Miesque's Approval, with Eddie Castro up, wins the Breeders' Cup Mile at Churchill Downs on Saturday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A year after he couldn't win a $50,000 claiming race at Aqueduct, Miesque's Approval beat some of the best turf horses in the world in Saturday's $2.17 million at Churchill Downs.

Having one horse beaten after the opening half-mile, Miesque's Approval came with a thunderous late kick while eight wide in the stretch to win the Mile by 2 3/4 lengths. Aragorn, whose connections said he wasn't handling the firm turf course, won a multiple-horse photo for second by a head over Badge of Silver. It was a neck back to Sleeping Indian in fourth.

Araafa, the 3-1 favorite, finished ninth.

It was the first Breeders' Cup win for owners Live Oak Plantation, trainer Marty Wolfson and jockey Eddie Castro.

At the end of his 6-year-old season, Miesque's Approval looked like his career was over. Trained at the time by Bill Mott, Miesque's Approval finished sixth in a $50,000 claiming race at Aqueduct on Nov. 3, 2005.

He was sent back to Charlotte Weber's Live Oak farm in Florida, reevaluated and turned over to Wolfson, who wanted to change tactics with Miesque's Approval and turn him into a closer.

"I always thought the horse was better with a late run, so when I got him I switched his tactics to where all he had was a three-eighths-mile run," Wolfson said. "It seemed to change him around."

The first race in which Miesque's Approval displayed that late run was in the Sunshine Million, where he rallied from 11th to win at 48-1.

"I liked the way he ran that day, when he was 12 to 15 lengths back and he made a three-eighths mile run on the outside," Wolfson said. "I told Eddie today to ride him like that race. He was too close in the Shadwell"

Miesque's Approval had finished fourth in the Shadwell Turf Mile in his start before the BC Mile.

Silent Name, under Victor Espinoza, set fractions of 23.32 and 46.76 seconds while being stalked by Badge of Silver.

Castro advanced Miesque's Approval five wide down the backside and around the turn and swung him eight wide in the stretch. He exploded past Silent Name and Badge of Silver in the final 200 yards to get the win. Miesque's Approval, a son Miesque's Son, covered the mile over firm turf in 1:34.75 and returned $50.60 to win.

"He's done that in a lot of his races," Wolfson said. "He'll go very wide, he's got such a tremendous turn of foot. At the three-eighths pole I didn't know if he was going to get there, but at the eighth pole I knew he'd get there. I just didn't know how much he'd win by."

It was the 12th win from 39 starts for Miesque's Approval, who pushed his career earnings to $2,645,875.

Corey Nakatani, the jockey of Aragorn, said his horse simply didn't handle the turf course.

"The turf was loose, it's really heavy, he ran second just on class," Nakatani said.