Updated on 09/18/2011 12:23AM

Miesque's Approval a winner

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Miesque's Approval captures the $269,500 Firecracker Breeders' Cup Handicap at Churchill Downs on Saturday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Miesque's Approval further entrenched himself in the top echelon of North American turf horses Saturday when he captured the $269,500 at Churchill Downs.

Adeptly ridden by Eddie Castro, Miesque's Approval finished 1 1/4 lengths ahead of late-running Free Thinking, paying $3.20 as a heavy favorite in a field of seven older horses.

The Calder-based Miesque's Approval now has won three stakes since Marty Wolfson assumed his training last fall, and by capturing the Grade 2 Firecracker, the resurgent 7-year-old moved closer to a berth in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile, which will be run Nov. 4 on the same course over which he won Saturday.

"He's a special horse with a mind of his own and a will to win," said Wolfson's wife and traveling assistant, Karla. "He knows what he's supposed to do. He probably was just checking out the field early, but then he got into it at the right time. He has a very competitive spirit."

In muggy weather, Miesque's Approval broke sharply from his rail slot but soon settled back to trail. After saving ground on the first turn, he was angled into the clear down the backside, and after splitting rivals leaving the far turn, he overpowered front-running Therecomesatiger in the final furlong. Free Thinking, the 4-1 second choice, rallied to take second by a neck over Therecomesatiger, the 6-1 third choice.

Miesque's Approval, owned and bred by the Live Oak Plantation of Charlotte Weber, finished the one-mile distance in 1:34.52 over a firm course. The horse now has won 10 of 36 starts overall and has earned $1,360,079. The Firecracker was his third stakes win from his last four starts, following victories in the Sunshine Millions Turf and the Maker's Mark Mile.

Miesque's Approval was sired by Miesque's Son, whose dam, Miesque, twice won the BC Mile, including the 1988 running at Churchill.

* Earlier Saturday, jockey Calvin Borel swept the first three races of the card.