Lewis Michael Draws Off in Pat O'Brien

Lewis Michael Draws Off in Pat O'Brien
Photo: Benoit
Lewis Michael set a new seven furlong track record of 1:21.17 in the Pat O'Brien (gr. II).
Order This Photo
Illinois shipper Lewis Michael got a perfect setup along the inside to post a runaway upset in the $297,500 Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) (VIDEO) at Del Mar Aug. 24. Champion sprinter Midnight Lute failed to fire in his 2008 debut.

Sent west by trainer Wayne Catalano, Frank Calabrese's homebred son of Rahy rallied at odds of 8-1 with Rene Douglas aboard. Stewards conducted an inquiry because of a bumping incident in the stretch involving Lewis Michael, on the outside, and pacesetting Barbecue Eddie, who would finish third, but decided to take no action.

Lewis Michael earned a berth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) Oct. 25 at Santa Anita as part of the "Win and You're In" challenge series.

Rebellion, on the extreme outside, got up for second by a neck over Barbecue Eddie. The final time for the seven-furlong Polytrack event was a track-record 1:21.17.

Barbecue Eddie, pushed by Hewitts with second choice In Summation poised in a good spot on the outside, carved quick quarter-mile fractions of :22.65 and :45.07 and took the field into the stretch. But it was Lewis Michael, saving ground along the inside while racing mid-pack, who tackled the leader in upper stretch, angling out a bit for the run home. Lewis Michael got the lead with 200 yards to run and was in control in the late stages, winning by 2 3/4 lengths. In Summation lacked a needed response and settled for fourth, a nose behind the show horse.

Midnight Lute, the 4-5 favorite in the field of 12, was restless in the starting gate and had to be backed out once before settling in. He broke awkwardly near the rear of the pack, where he remained throughout, making no impact in his first start in nine months while finishing 10th.

This was the second start for Lewis Michael following a nine-month layoff. A grade II winner in the Washington Park Handicap 13 months ago at home at Arlington Park over the Polytrack, the 5-year-old bay returned to action July 26 with an easy fourth-place finish in the Sea O'Erin Stakes, a one-mile turf race at Arlington. Lewis Michael, who is out of the Broad Brush mare Justenuffheart, earned his seventh win in 22 lifetime starts and boosted his earnings to $811,714.

Lewis Michael carried 118 pounds to victory, paying $19.20, $9 and $5.80. Rebellion, turning back in distance for Maryland-based trainer H. Graham Motion after a fifth-place finish in the 1 1/16-mile San Diego Handicap (gr. II) July 19, returned $7.20 and $5.40. The $2 exacta was worth an even $100. Barbecue Eddie was $5.40 to show.

In Summation was followed by Hurry Up Austin, Tall Texan, Arson Squad, Doppio, Decado, Midnight Lute, How's Your Halo, and Hewitts.

View Stakes Detail and Full Equibase Chart

Most Popular Stories