Darley Stable’s Midshipman was ridden by Garret Gomez, who won the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile aboard Albertus Maximus earlier on the card during the Oct. 25 Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The winner is trained by Bob Baffert, who notched his sixth Breeders’ Cup victory and his second in the Juvenile.
Square Eddie, the slight favorite over Midshipman, finished second. Both the winner and runner-up were sent off at 7-2 in the 12-horse field.
Street Hero finished third, a half-length behind Square Eddie.
The final time for the 1 1/16 miles was 1:40.94, a stakes-record in the 25th running of the Juvenile.
Gomez said his job was made easy by Midshipman.
“He broke running,” Gomez said. “He’s a big, long-striding horse; he’s a young horse and a little timid. My main objective was to get along with him as good as possible and give him the smoothest trip I could. Actually, I had a little trouble on the first turn.
“I was trying to get him to settle down a little bit. He was a little keen, and every time I tried to touch his mouth, he threw his head in my lap a little bit. I had to finesse him a little bit around the first turn. When I got him slowed down, I just slowly gave it to him and let him do his own thing and find a good rhythm and get into a nice long stride.
“Turning for home, I asked him to start accelerating, he answered all the right questions. He went about his business really well and hung on against a really nice racehorse.”
Baffert said Midshipman’s post 11 was a help.
“The plan worked to get him out there,” Baffert said. “I liked his draw. He’s broken well in all of his races. It put him in the race early. It got him cruising. There wasn’t a ridiculous pace or anything like that.
“You don’t know, but you’re just hoping that when he kicks for home that he’s the real deal and he showed he was.”
Midshpman was bred and initially raced by Stonerside Stable, who recently sold its racing and farm assets to Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley Stable.
Midshipman won a maiden race for Baffert in his career debut Aug. 17 at Del Mar. He followed with a win in the Sept. 1 Del Mar Futurity (gr. I). In the colt’s prep for the Juvenile, he finished second to Street Hero in the Sept. 28 Norfolk (gr. I) at Santa Anita.
The colt’s win in the Juvenile likely sealed the 2-year-old championship for him.
Midshipman is a son of Unbridled’s Song, the 1995 Juvenile winner. Midshipman’s dam, Fleet Lady, was a six-time stakes winner bred in California by John and Betty Mabee, winning the La Canada (gr. II) and El Encino Stakes (gr. II) in 1998. Midshipman is a half-brother to grade II winner Fast Cookie (by Deputy Minister).
|Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I)|
|2. Square Eddie||$5.00||$3.80|
|3. Street Hero||$4.40|