By Bill Heller
Sand Dollar Stables’ homebred, the two-year-old New York-bred colt Somelikeithotbrown, co-owned by Skychai Racing and co-bred by Hot Pink Stables, did everything right except winning when he led in the one-mile $1 Million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf for virtually 99 percent of the race under Jose Ortiz at Churchill Downs Friday. Weakening in the final 200 yards, Somelikeithotbrown finished third, beaten just three-quarters of a length by Line of Duty at odds of 15-1.
At the time, it seemed to be a great omen for the other five New York-breds running on Breeders’ Cup weekend, but it turned out to be the only race a New York-bred came close to winning.
Mike Maker trains Somelikeithotbrown, a son of Big Brown out of Marilyn Monroan by Tapit who was the only New York-bred on the entire Friday card at Churchill Downs.
Bred for turf, Somelikeithotbrown made his debut in an off-the-turf maiden special weight switched to the sloppy main track at Saratoga on July 23rd. He finished seventh by 13 ½ lengths.
Maker wheeled him right back in a maiden special weight on the grass at Saratoga August 8th, and Somelikeithotbrown won from off the pace by eight lengths under Ortiz, who had also ridden the colt in his debut.
Ortiz’s brother Irad Jr. was the pilot in Somelikeithotbrown’s next two starts in a pair of Grade 3 stakes: the With Anticipation at Saratoga and the Pilgrim at Belmont Park. Somelikeithotbrown raced from just off the pace and finished second in both stakes by a length and a half and three-quarters of a length, respectively.
On Friday, Jose Ortiz couldn’t have gotten Somelikeithotbrown out any faster, and he quickly made the lead. He led by a length and a quarter after an opening quarter-mile on the “good” course in :24.40, by a length after a half-mile in :48.46 and still by a length when he hit three-quarters of a mile in 1:13.60.
Then Somelikeithotbrown spurted away to a 2 ¼-length cushion. But he couldn’t maintain it. Though he fought on tenaciously, he couldn’t hold off Line of Duty and Uncle Benny in the final yards, as Line of Duty won in a final time of 1:40.16.
By finishing third, Somelikeithotbrown earned $90,000, increasing his career earnings to more than $200,000 in just five starts.
Audible Wins the $200,000 Cherokee Run Stakes
Trainer Todd Pletcher chose not to enter China Horse Club, Head of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing and WinStar Farm’s three-year-old New York-bred colt Audible in a Breeders’ Cup race for his first start since finishing third by 2 ½ lengths to subsequent Triple Crown champion Justify in the Kentucky Derby on May 5th. Instead, Pletcher entered Audible in the seven-furlong $200,000 Cherokee Run Stakes, the race preceding the first Breeders’ Cup race on Saturday. Audible rewarded that decision with a two-length victory from off the pace under Javier Castellano in a final time of 1:22.46 as the 6-5 favorite.
That made Audible, whose four-race winning streak heading into the Kentucky Derby included victories in the Grade 2 Holy Bull and the Grade 1 Florida Derby, five for seven lifetime with two seconds and earnings of more than $1.2 million.
“He did everything like a professional today,” Castellano said afterwards. “We broke great and got into a great position with the pace up front.”
One of Audible’s future goals could include the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park on January 26th.
Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Races
Chester and Mary Broman’s homebred, the five-year-old New York-bred mare Highway Star, who won the $150,000 Iroquois Stakes for New York-breds in her previous start on October 20th at Belmont Park, was making her second consecutive start in the seven-furlong $1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, hoping to improve on an 11th-place finish by 14 ½ lengths at 18-1 odds under Angel Arroyo in last year’s edition at Del Mar.
With Jose Ortiz aboard Saturday, Highway Star never got involved while trying to rally from last and finished eighth, though only beaten 6 ¾ lengths, at odds of 41-1.
Patricia Generazio’s homebred, the six-year-old New York-bred world record holder Disco Partner, was up next and went off as the 4-1 second choice in a field of 14 in the 5 ½-furlong $1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf under Joel Rosario.
Disco Partner, who was a fast-finishing third by a half-length in this stakes last year at Del Mar under regular rider Irad Ortiz Jr., was entering this year’s Breeders’ Cup off a dominating 4 ½-length score in the $150,000 Belmont Turf Sprint under Ortiz on October 6th.
He had a new rider Saturday in Joel Rosario as Irad Ortiz Jr. chose to ride World of Trouble, whom he’d ridden in three of his last four races for trainer Jason Servis. World of Trouble went off the 2-1 favorite.
Disco Partner got away 11th, then rallied very wide to finish third by 7 ¾ lengths behind Stormy Liberal, who won by a half-length, and World of Trouble.
Disco Partner, a son of Disco Rico out of Lulu’s Number by Numerous who is trained by Christophe Clement, also earned $90,000 for third, upping his career bankroll to more than $1.35 million.
In the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, Exline-Border Racing, Gatto Racing and Garret Zubok’s five-year-old horse Giant Expectations went off at 22-1 odds in the field of nine under Julien Leparoux and rallied to finish fifth by 14 ½ lengths to City of Light. Sunrise Stables bred Giant Expectations, a son of Frost Giant out of Sarahisittrue by Is It True. Peter Eurton trains Giant Expectations, who broke his maiden on a sloppy track at Belmont Park before racing in California.
Michael Dubb, Gary Aisquith and Bethlehem Stables’ five-year-old New York-bred mare Fourstar Crook, bred by Kathleen Feron and trained by Chad Brown, was coming into the mile and three-eighths $2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf off a smashing two-length victory in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl on October 7th. The daughter of Freud out of Avril a Portugal by D’ Accord hadn’t finished off the board in five starts last year and five starts this year.
Sent off at 9-2 odds from the rail in a field of 14 under Irad Ortiz Jr., Fourstar Crook broke well before settling back in seventh. She was kept inside, then taken outside. She tried to rally, flattened out and finished seventh by 6 ¾ lengths.
J Stables, Sol Kumin’s Head of Plains Partners, trainer/co-owner Chad Summers, Michael Kisber et al’s five-year-old New York-bred superstar Mind Your Biscuits, a son of Posse out of Jazzmane by Toccet who was bred by Samantha Will Boccari’s Jumping Jack Racing, had been under consideration for three Breeders’ Cup races: the Sprint, the Dirt Mile and the $6 million Classic.
Based on Mind Your Biscuit’s powerful 4 ¾-length victory under Tyler Gaffalione in the mile-and-an-eighth Grade 3 Lukas Classic at Churchill Downs on September 29th, his connections opted to stretch him out to a mile and a quarter in the Classic.
Sent off at 8-1 odds in the field of 14 under Gaffalione, he was eighth and in the clear early. He raced wide the rest of the way, never got involved and finished 11th by 30 ¼ lengths to Accelerate.