Mastercraftsman is Strong Dirt Mile Favorite

Mastercraftsman is Strong Dirt Mile Favorite
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
Mastercraftsman finished only a length behind Sea the Stars in the Juddmonte International.

European Mastercraftsman, who finished only a length behind Sea the Stars in the Juddmonte International (Eng-I) in England, will be the shortest-priced morning-line favorite of the 14 Breeders’ Cup races in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (gr. I). Cross-entered in the Dirt Mile and the Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I), Mastercraftsman has opted for the mile race and is listed at 6-5 on the morning line.

The Aiden O’Brien 3-year-old drew the rail in the Dirt Mile, which attracted 10 entrants. Originally, 21 horses pre-entered the Dirt Mile, but several entered other Breeders’ Cup races instead. Johnny Murtagh, who has been aboard in all seven of Mastercraftsman’s victories, is set to pilot the colt. Those wins include four group I events, two of those at a mile. In his lone effort over a synthetic surface, Mastercraftsman won the Diamond Stakes (Ire-III) in Ireland.

Bullsbay  , winner of the Whitney Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga, will start from post four in the Dirt Mile and is the second choice at 3-1. Regular jockey Jeremy Rose will ride.

The field includes a returning Breeders’ Cup winner in Midshipman  , who drew post three. Midshipman won the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I). Garrett Gomez, who rode him to victory in the Juvenile, returns for the Dirt Mile.

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Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile
Post Horse Jockey Trainer Odds
1.  Mastercraftsman  John Murtagh  Aidan O'Brien  6-5
2.  Furthest Land  Julien Leparoux  Michael Maker  20-1
3.  Midshipman    Garrett Gomez  Saeed Bin Suroor  6-1
4.  Bullsbay    Jeremy Rose  Graham Motion  3-1
5.  Neko Bay  Mike Smith  John Shirreffs  20-1
6.  Mambo Meister  Manoel Cruz  Philip Gleaves  30-1
7.  Pyro  John Velazquez  Saeed Bin Suroor  7-1
8.  Mr. Sidney    Kent Desormeaux  Bill Mott  12-1
9.  Chocolate Candy  Joel Rosario  Jerry Hollendorfer  15-1
10.  Ready's Echo  Calvin Borel  Todd Pletcher  20-1

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