Albertus Maximus Wins Dirt Mile
Albertus Maximus powered past longshots Two Step Salsa and My Pal Charlie inside the final furlong to win the $1-million TVG Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (VIDEO) by 1 1/4 lengths over the late-closing Rebellion.
Brandon and Marianne Chase’s Albert Maximus was ridden by Garrett Gomez. Vladimir Cerin trains the Dirt Mile winner, a 4-year-old son of Albert the Great .
Two Step Salsa, the pacesetter, held for third, a half-length behind Rebellion. My Pal Charlie was fourth in the 12-horse field.
The final time was 1:33.41 over the Pro-Ride surface.
In his prep for the Dirt Mile, Albertus Maximus finished third in the Sept. 27 Goodwood (gr. I) at Santa Anita. Goodwood winner Well Armed finished ninth as the 6-5 favorite in the Dirt Mile.
Gomez said Albert Maximus wasn’t at first comfortable with the crowd of horses he encountered going into the first turn.
“He wanted to get out a bit on the first turn,” Gomez said. “He’s just a horse who hasn’t been back in traffic much. He’s almost like riding a green horse back in the pack. Once I lined up down the backstretch, and got him into a kind of rhythm, he was traveling really well for me.
It was the first Breeders’ Cup win for Albert Maximus’ trainer and owner. Cerin, a native of Crotia, took over the training of Albert Maximus in September. In his first start for Cerin, Albert Maximus won the ungraded Windy Sands Handicap at Del Mar Sept. 1.
“Garrett (Gomez) had him in a perfect position on the first turn,” Cerin said. “I was a little concerned when he went inside, but the red sea parted. It was a superlative performance by a superlative athlete. It feels great; unbelievable to win my first Breeders’ Cup.”
Albert Maximus was bred by his owners in Kentucky. His dam, Chasethewildwind, is by Forty Niner. Albert Maximus is Chasethewildwind’s fourth foal and her first stakes winner. With his win in the Dirt Mile, Albert Maximus has earnings of $968,230 from a record of 5-3-2 in 15 starts.
Albert the Great, a grade I-winning son of Go for Gin, began his stud career at Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky. He now stands at Pin Oak Lane Farm near New Freedom, Pa. His 2009 stud fee is listed at $2,500.
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