11/01/2014 6:00PM

Texas Red dominates BC Juvenile

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Barbara D. Livingston
Texas Red, ridden by Kent Desormeaux, romps by 6 1/2 lengths in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Saturday.

ARCADIA, Calif. – With a devastating turn of foot, Texas Red turned Saturday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile into a family affair and created more havoc in the 2-year-old division.

Last for more than a half-mile, Texas Red launched a bid 3 1/2 furlongs out, split horses with a five-wide move, and powered home a convincing 6 1/2-length winner of the Juvenile at Santa Anita. Kent Desormeaux, the Hall of Fame jockey, rode the horse for his older brother, Keith, the trainer and part-owner of the colt.

“Our mom and dad, we owe a lot of credit to, besides Keith and his genius of acquiring these animals. We’ve done it all our lives – this is what we know,” Kent Desormeaux, 44, said. “I got to ride them and stayed small, and Keith has the eye and education. But it’s great being on a brotherly loving team.”

“It’s obviously something special,” said Keith Desormeaux, 46, who captured his first Grade 1 victory. “It makes the success all the more enjoyable. It does help he’s a Hall of Fame rider.”

Kent Desormeaux nearly didn’t get to ride Texas Red. On Sept. 28, the day after Texas Red finished third in the Grade 1 FrontRunner, Desormeaux suffered broken ribs and a partially collapsed lung after getting kicked in the paddock.

“I don’t even know I have ribs,” Desormeaux said.

Early on the card, it didn’t look as though Texas Red’s late-running style would be effective on the main track. But as the track dried out, perhaps it changed.

Texas Red was about 10 lengths back after a half-mile. Blue Dancer had set the pace, pressed by Souper Colossal, and they went the half in 45.66 seconds.

Desormeaux said his biggest decision came around the quarter pole when horses were slowing down around him. He elected to stay inside for a little while before swinging out five wide at the quarter pole.

“They started coming back to him before I got to let him run. I was already wowed at the quarter pole,” Desormeaux said. “It was fun. He was back there, but he didn’t have to alter his stride. All I can say is there’s a new Big Red.”

Texas Red, a son of Afleet Alex, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.91. He returned $29.80 to win.

Texas Red was purchased for just $17,000 at the Keeneland yearling sale. Keith Desormeaux bought him for an ownership group that includes Erich Brehm, Wayne Detmer, Lee Michaels, and Gene Voss. Desormeaux also owns a piece of the horse.

“I still don’t realize how we got him for such a price because he was a physical masterpiece even then – very correct, very confident, very intelligent looking, all the things we look for as horsemen in trying to acquire a good animal,” Desormeaux said.

Desormeaux deduced that the price was so cheap because his sire, Afleet Alex, was a bit cold. But, Desormeaux said, as a son of Afleet Alex, Texas Red likely “is going to get better.”

Texas Red was just one of two California-based horses to run in the Juvenile. American Pharoah, the FrontRunner winner, scratched earlier in the week due to injury. Calculator, second in the FrontRunner, scratched Saturday morning due to a sore foot.

Carpe Diem, the 9-5 favorite, rallied from way back to get up for second by a nose over Upstart. It was 1 3/4 lengths farther back to The Great War. He was followed by Mr. Z, One Lucky Dane, Souper Colossal, Lucky Player, Private Prospect, Blue Dancer, and Daredevil.

Daredevil stopped abruptly as if something had happened. Javier Castellano, his rider, suspects he might have bled.

“He gave the sign that he bled or something because the way he stopped,” Castellano said. “Any horse that stopped the way he did, something is wrong.”