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DEL MAR, CA – Highly-touted European colt Mendelssohn gave American racing fans their first taste of his brilliance, riding the rail to victory in Friday’s Grade 1, $1,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
Off swiftly from the inside post under jockey Ryan Moore, Mendelssohn took back slightly to save ground while Sands of Mali led through fractions of :22.83, :46.87, and 1:11.29. Exiting the far turn, Moore saw an opening and urged his steed along the outside of the pacesetter. Taking command near the 1/16 pole, Mendelssohn broke free late and hit the wire first by a length in a final time of 1:35.97 for the mile-long turf event.
“We made the best of the draw in number one,” Moore said. “He ran a good race at Newmarket (where he finished second in a Group 1 last out) and he quickened well today.”
Racing at the rear of the field until the top of the stretch, Untamed Domain commenced a furious rally six-wide down the stretch to get up for second by a 1/2-length over Voting Control. Catholic Boy was a head back in fourth, with Beckford, Masar, My Boy Jack, Flameaway, and Sands of Malie separated by little more than a length. James Garfield, Rajasinghe, Snapper Sinclair, Encumbered, and Hemp Hemp Hurray completed the order of finish. Tap Daddy and Pubilius Syrus were scratched as also-eligibles.
Originally a $3,000,000 yearling purchase last September by the Coolmore conglomerate of Michael B. Tabor, Mrs. John Magnier, and Derrick Smith, the son of Scat Daddy improved his career earnings to $706,652 with a record of 5-2-1-0. Trainer Aidan O’Brien won for a race-record fourth time, following triumphs with Wrote (2011), George Vancouver (2012), and Hit It a Bomb (2015).
“He’s progressed with every race,” O’Brien said. “We were afraid to change him up, so we kept him on the grass. He’s stepped up every time. This is marvelous. It’s been a big team effort this year.”
Mendelssohn returned $11.60 to win, $8.40 to place, and $5.60 to show. Untamed Domain brought back $11 to place and $7 to show, while Voting Control paid $6.20 to show.
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