Tracking a hotly contested pace early, Street Sense came up the rail and ran away with the $1,832,000 Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) by 10 lengths at Churchill Downs Nov. 4.
James Tafel's homebred son of Street Cry
got the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.59 at odds of 15-1.
Street Sense, breaking from the rail under Calvin Borel, was content to stay toward the back of the pack early, then made up a sizable chunk of ground on the turn after checking briefly behind the tiring pacesetter Principle Secret. Street Sense moved back to the inside and grabbed the lead mid-stretch. He pulled away with ease under slight urging from Borel. The margin of distance is a record for the Juvenile.
The previous record was 5 ½ lengths by Horse of the Year Favorite Trick in 1997.
"My strategy is always to come up the rail," Borel said. "The boss just told me to ride my race. That's why we do so good together. I just had so much horse. I wasn't worried about finding room."
The 3-1 choice Circular Quay, who trailed the field for the first half-mile after a slow break under Garrett Gomez, ran second and was 2 ¼ lengths ahead of Great Hunter and Corey Nakatani. Scat Daddy was 2 ¾ lengths back in fourth.
"That's just him," Gomez said of Circular Quay's poor start. "He's real lackadaisical, but that's one thing that makes him such a neat horse. He's actually a very professional horse.
At the break, Stormello broke on top from post 2 and was quickly joined by Principle Secret, Pegasus Wind and Got the Last Laugh. The opening quarter was run in :23.07.
Principle Secret took a short lead down the backstretch while getting the half-mile in :46.67. On the turn, Stormello and Pegasus Wind separated themselves from the pack, but they were run down by the winner at the top of the lane.
Street Sense, out of the Dixieland Band
mare Bedazzle, paid $32.40, $12.60, and $8. Circular Quay returned $5 and $3.20 and Great Hunter paid $4.40 to show.
Street Sense broke his maiden in his second start Aug. 19 at Arlington Park going 6 ½ furlongs. On Sept. 10, he faded late to run third in the Arlington-Washington Breeders' Cup Futurity (gr. III) over a sloppy track. In his latest effort, Street Sense ran third behind Great Hunter and Circular Quay in the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) over the Polytrack at Keeneland.
"He just didn't like the Polytrack." Borel said. "I got on him the other day, and he was unbelievable."
Winning trainer Carl Nafzger has had great Breeders' Cup success in the past, saddling Unbridled to win the Classic in 1990 at Belmont Park. Nafzger and Tafel combined with Banshee Breeze to run second in the Distaff in 1998 and 1999.
"I didn't expect that kind of performance but I knew that he was a freaky kind of horse, a really nice horse," Nafzger said. "We love to win at Churchill. We always have. He's my Derby horse. I'd be a fool to say he wasn't."
It is the first Breeders' Cup win for Tafel. It was also the first win for Borel, who turned to look back at his rivals as they cruised down the lane.
Street Sense earned $1,080,000 for his second win in five starts, boosting his career total to $1,178,200.
The complete order of finish was: Street Sense, Circular Quay, Great Hunter, Scat Daddy, Stormello, C P West, U D Ghetto, King of the Roxy, Skip Code, Teuflesberg, Pegasus Wind, Malt Magic, Got the Last Laugh, and Principle Secret.