All Gong took control while racing on the backstretch for the final time to win the $250,000 Breeders' Cup Steeplechase (NSA-I) by 3 1/4 lengths over Popular Gigalo Saturday at Far Hills Races. The 6-year-old son of Kris completed the 2 5/8 miles in 4:53.90 over firm turf. Allgrit finished third, followed by Master McGrath, Rowdy Irishman, Ninepins, Spring Salute, Double Leaf, and Campanile. Flat Top was scratched Friday due to injury.
Bruce Miller trains All Gong, and Blythe Miller, his daughter was in the irons. Chip Miller, son of the winning trainer, trained and rode the second-place finisher.
"I was rooting for Blythe because she was on my horse," said Bruce Miller, who also won the last renewal of the Breeders' Cup Steeplechase in 1993 with Lonesome Glory. "But it's nice to see Chip finish second -- you couldn't ask for anything better for the family."
All Gong earned $137,500 for the win, his sixth in 16 career starts. Prior to the Breeders' Cup win, he finished fourth in his prep for the race after taking the summer off. He began the 2000 season in April with a win in the Atlanta Cup (NSA-I).
"Down the backstretch, I let them push me along a bit, but he was very determined on the last turn," said the winning rider. "He's learning that when I say wait I mean wait. I wanted to wait as long as I could before I asked for his run, but I kicked on (before the last fence) to get the jump on them."
The Breeders' Cup Steeplechase will be televised Sunday by ESPN as part of a 90-minute "NTRA Racing to the Breeders' Cup" program beginning at 1:00 p.m. (EDT).