Lundy's Liabililty engaged in a spirited duel with heavy favorite Total Impact through most of Saturday's $480,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) before prevailing on the inside by a head at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meet.
Lundy's Liability, who had not raced since winning the March 27 UAE Derby (UAE-II) and was making his first North American start, earned the victory only after stewards reviewed a claim of foul from the jockey of third-place finisher Supah Blitz, Corey Nakatani against the rider of the winner, David Flores.
Nakatani claimed Flores angled in during the stretch run to prevent Supah Blitz from getting through along the inside. The objection was disallowed.
Lundy's Liability, who went to the lead soon after the start and was nip-and-tuck with Total Impact and jockey Mike Smith for the final three-eighths of a mile, won the 1 1/8-mile Goodwood in a time of 1:48 1/5. Supah Blitz, who altered course after being unable to get through on the inside, settled for third, two lengths behind the first two finishers.
Fractions were moderate – :24 1/5, :48, 1:11 2/5 and 1:35 3/5 – as the two leaders swapped the lead several times before settling into a stretch-long duel.
"He was very sharp," Flores said of the winner. "I tried to keep him as quiet as I could and I was glad I didn't have to push him early. He stayed strong and he showed he was a good horse. (Smith) thought he could get me at any time, and I just had to beat him to the move. I had him in my eye, looking to see what he was doing, and as long as he was quiet then I stayed quiet. When he went, then I went. And I got the advantage."
Nakatani complained, "(Flores) floated out, took Mike Smith wide, and then he saw me coming up the rail and he angled his horse in, and I was trying to get up, and his horse's rear end hits my horse in the left front. What could I do? I had to quit riding."
Flores responded: "(Corey) was taking a chance. I put my horse in a place where he had to think twice."
Trained by Bobby Frankel for owners Slack & Stud TNT, Lundy's Liability, a 4-year-old Brazilian-bred colt by Candy Stripes, earned $300,000 for his fourth win in six career starts. That puts the Stud TNT homebred's overall winnings at $1,553,930. He has been in training with Frankel all summer.
Frankel, who won the Yellow Ribbon with Light Jig earlier on the Oak Tree card, collected his first Goodwood victory after three runner-up finishes.
Total Impact turned in another sharp effort while settling for second. The Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) winner in July was coming off a third-place finish behind Pleasantly Perfect in the Pacific Classic (gr. I).
"In hindsight after it's all said and done I might have just put him on the lead and seen what happened," Smith said.
Supah Blitz was making a solid move when he was forced to take up and he lacked enough room to mount another challenge.
The winner paid $6.60, $2.60 and $2.20 as the 2-1 co-second choice. Total Impact returned $2.20 and $2.10. Supah Blitz's show was $2.20.
Truly a Judge and Californian trailed.