09/16/2017 7:36PM

World Approval BC-bound following Woodbine Mile win

Emily Shields
World Approval earned a fees-paid starting berth in the Breeders' Cup Mile with his victory Saturday in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The favored World Approval put away a host of challengers on the lead before spurting away in the stretch to take Saturday’s Grade 1, $801,600 Woodbine Mile convincingly, giving jockey John Velazquez a record fifth win in the Breeders’ Cup Mile Win and You’re In qualifier.

World Approval ($6.70) dueled up front along the rail through moderate fractions with Dragon Bay, and they were pressed on the outside by Deauville and Conquest Panthera through the turn.

World Approval began to draw away inside the three-sixteenths pole, and then got home on top by 2 1/2 lengths, in a final time of 1:33.05 over the firm ground.

“The more I read the form, the more I looked at the horses, no one seemed to want to be on the lead,” Velazquez said. “He broke really well, so I kind of held the whole group all the way into the middle of the track to see if anybody wanted to take the lead, and no one went. When I got to the turn, I dropped in. I kind of sat against him, and he settled really nice. At the quarter pole, I asked him to run, and he responded right away, and got away from the horses pretty easily.”

After going four-wide on the turn, Lancaster Bomber made his way through traffic to finish second by a half-length over Long On Value. Mondialiste finished another nose back in fourth, and was followed by Arod, Dutch Connection, Conquest Panthera, Tower of Texas, Glenville Gardens, Best Bard, the 3-1 second choice, Deauville, and Dragon Bay.

Jockey Wayne Lordan was content with the way the 3-year-old Lancaster Bomber ran for him, under low weight of 112 pounds, which was 12 fewer than what highweight World Approval carried.

“I thought the race was run really steady for my horse,” Lordan said. “He quickened well and got to the line well. Maybe a stronger pace might have helped, but he ran a good solid race.”

World Approval gave Woodbine’s leading trainer, Mark Casse, his second consecutive win in the Woodbine Mile, following the popular favorite Tepin last year. All being well, Casse said the gelding is headed for the BC Mile at Del Mar.

“As long as he’s healthy, we’re going to the Breeders’ Cup,” Casse said. “I don’t think I would change places with anybody. He’s good right now. I thought his race was impressive. It’s not exactly the way he wants to run. I’ve said all along that I think he wants a target. There wasn’t a whole lot of speed. Johnny realized that, and rode him accordingly.”

 A 5-year-old son of Northern Afleet, World Approval earned $480,000 for Charlotte Weber’s Live Oak Plantation.