ARCADIA, CA – Robert Donaldson’s Spun to Run broke on top and never looked back, taking the field of 10 coast to coast before winning Saturday’s $1 million Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Santa Anita Park.
Bursting from post 3 at 9/1 odds under Irad Ortiz, Jr., Spun to Run immediately asserted himself on the front end heading into the clubhouse turn. While the Korean invader Blue Chipper gave closest chase, Spun to Run posted opening fractions of :23.05 and :46.51.
Heading into the far turn, Spun to Run still held command and began to pull away. Straightening for home with a growing advantage, the Juan Guerrero trainee crossed 2 3/4 lengths the best in a final time of 1:36.58 for the mile-long event over the fast main track.
“I just followed the instructions,” said Ortiz, Jr. “He told me to break running. I broke running, then I thought I broke too hard. On the turn, I knew I was going a little too fast, so I tried to slow it down, but he didn’t want to come back to me for a little while. I had to keep it together. I held it as long as I could. He was drifting out a little in the turn and I had to let him pick it up earlier than I wanted to. He just kept going.”
The even-money favorite Omaha Beach broke a step slowly and found himself toward the rear early, but a powerful five-wide move through the far turn propelled the bettors’ choice past Blue Chipper late for second. Snapper Sinclair steadied near the 3/16 pole before getting up for fourth over Improbable.
Behind them came Coal Front, Mr Money, Diamond Oops, Ambassadorial, and Giant Expectations to complete the order of finish.
Spun to Run’s win was his second straight following triumph in the M.P. Ballezi Appreciation Mile Stakes at Parx. The 3-year-old son of Hard Spun, who Guerrero purchased as a 2-year-old for $64,000, has now earned $1,010,520 to pair with an 11-5-1-3 record.
“This is a drea come true for me,” Guerrero said. “This means everything to me. Everything. Since the minute we got him, he’s been a special horse to us. He’s so good about everything. He’s a colt, but he’s not mean. He loves to run. I just wanted my rider to let him run and show how he can run. A horse who can do what he can do, you’ve just got to let him run.
“This means so much to me. So much. It puts me at a different level as a trainer.”
Spun to Run returned $20.20 to win, $7 to place, and $4.80 to show. Omaha Beach brought back $3.40 to place and $2.40 to show, while Blue Chipper paid $6 to show.