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The Racing Dudes react to Annapolis winning the 2022 Coolmore Turf Mile Stakes (G1) at Keeneland, a “Win & You’re In” for the 2022 Breeders’ Cup Mile. The Todd Pletcher-trained 3-year-old defeated his elders in stakes-record time for a huge win, but was it enough to make him a legitimate threat against Modern Games? Watch the replay for the Racing Dudes’ INSTANT reactions, then tell us YOUR thoughts in the Comments section!
Bass Racing’s homebred 3-year-old Annapolis reached the front just passing the eighth pole and went on to post a 1½-length victory over Ivar (BRZ) to win the 37th running of the $1 million Coolmore Turf Mile (G1) for 3-year-olds and up Saturday afternoon.
The performance came on a day in which Keeneland set a Fall Meet record for the Pick 5 of $1,431,736.
Trained by Todd Pletcher and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., Annapolis covered the mile on a firm course in a stakes-record time of 1:33.29. It is the second victory in the race for Pletcher, whose previous came with Host (CHI) in 2005. It was the third stakes win of the afternoon for Ortiz.
Annapolis is the fourth 3-year-old to win the race and first since Aussie Rules in 2006.
The victory gave Annapolis a fees-paid berth into the $2 million FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) Presented by PDJF to be run here Nov. 5.
Also earning Breeders’ Cup berths Saturday afternoon were Forte, winner of the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) for the FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), and Slammed, winner of the Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) for the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1).
In the Coolmore Turf Mile, Masen (GB) led the field of 11 through fractions of :23.58, :46.60 and 1:10.01 with the trio of Annapolis, Somelikeithotbrown and Atone in closest pursuit. Masen carried his lead into the stretch where he was joined by Annapolis, who pushed on by leaving the eighth pole and building enough cushion to hold off the closers.
Annapolis is a Kentucky-bred son of War Front out of the Unbridled’s Song mare My Miss Sophia. In notching his first Grade 1 victory, Annapolis improved his career record to 7-5-2-0 and hiked his career earnings to $1,166,100 with Saturday’s $573,500 check.
Annapolis returned $14.70, $7.50 and $4.94. Ivar, winner of this race in 2020, returned $6.48 and $4.58 under Joe Talamo with Order of Australia (IRE), winner of the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Mile here in 2020, finishing a nose back in third and paying $5.20 to show under Christophe Soumillon.
It was another neck back to Set Piece (GB) with Casa Creed, Masen, Classic Causeway, Atone, favored Santin, Gray’s Fable and Somelikeithotbrown following in order.
Irad Ortiz Jr. (winning rider of Annapolis)
“He is very tactical; he can do anything. Last time (Sept. 3 Saranac G3 at Saratoga), there wasn’t too much speed in the race so we decided to let him do his thing. It was a slow pace, 49 (49.79) and he was going relaxed; it was pretty much an easy win. But before, in the race at Belmont (July 4 Manila-L), he was right in behind the speed and on the bridle and he responded really well with a good turn of foot coming home.
“The pace today was a little different from last time. I knew there would be some pace in front of me. I tried to get some position going into the first turn, and thank God everything worked out perfect. I ended up where I wanted to, sitting fourth on the rail, saving some ground, and then was able to keep him out in the stretch. He gave me good turn of foot going down the lane.”
On beating older, proven Grade 1 winners as a 3-year-old
“Very impressive. It’s not easy to win against these horses. We had Santin, we had Masen (GB), we had so many good horses in this race, the O’Brien horse (Order of Australia-IRE). He’s only a 3-year-old but he’s doing so good right now. I think he has ability. He’s a nice horse.”
Perry Bass (winning owner with his mother, Ramona Bass, in the name of Bass Racing)
“It’s pretty impossible to put this (victory) into words. A huge thanks to the team who raised him from Day 1 and brought him along this far – the trainer (Todd Pletcher), (jockey) Irad (Ortiz Jr.) – we could go on and on.
“(This win is) the pinnacle. (My mother and I) talk about (the racehorses) daily. We fret daily. The lows are the worst, and the highs … I’ve never experienced a high like this.”
Joe Talamo (rider of runner-up Ivar-BRZ, who won the race in 2020)
“He was moving so good. I thought he was a winner turning for home, but hats off to the winner, he fought really nice. He’s fun to ride every single time. He always puts in a good run in that last part. His form always holds up really well. (Trainer) Paulo (Lobo) keeps him in great condition every time he runs.”
Paulo Lobo (trainer of Ivar)
“He was a little wide on the last turn, but I am very happy. He lost to a good horse. No excuse. He ran good in a very fast race. He ran huge. I think we will run back in the Breeders’ Cup. Let’s hope for the best.”
Christophe Soumillon (rider of third-place finisher Order of Australia-IRE)
“The horse ran great. Unfortunately, he (broke a step slow) when the gate opened. After that, I was very happy with him. I was cruising behind the winner in the last turn. I was just hoping he could go a bit earlier. I saw he was waiting for the gap in this race, so I knew I had no time on the inside. When I asked him, he quickened really well and he was fighting hard to the line. It was a great run and I’m sure he will be even better in a few weeks time for the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), and we know if the track is a bit softer it’s not going to be a problem for him.”
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