British trainer John Gosden won his third Breeders’ Cup race in the past two years when jockey Frankie Dettori rallied the aptly named favorite Pounced between horses in the lane to post a three-quarters of a length win in the $1-million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Nov. 7 (VIDEO).
The most successful European jockey in Cup history, Dettori won for the ninth time. He and Gosden teamed last year to win the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) with Raven's Pass. The affable conditioner Gosden, who trained in Southern California for many years, has four victories in the Breeders’ Cup in his career. He won the Juvenile Turf last year with Donativum.
“It’s fantastic to win this race for the second straight year and to do it at Santa Anita, my second home,” Gosden said.
Pounced enjoyed a sweet trip, rating slightly off the rail while mid-pack. Bridgetown set solid fractions for Canadian jockey Robert Landry for the one-mile distance (:23.61, :48.50, 1:12.47) while getting pressure from Interactif.
As they came off the final turn, Bridgetown spurted clear of Interactif, who was ridden by Kent Desormeaux, and appeared to be a threat to take them all the way. But Dettori rallied Pounced into contention between the two leaders in upper stretch, and he gradually collared the leader well inside the eighth pole.
The Kentucky-bred son of Rahy–Golden Cat (by Storm Cat) inched away in deep stretch to win in 1:35.47 over firm going for the jubilant Dettori. The rider celebrated by pulling flowers from the winner’s blanket and flinging them in the air before doing his familiar flying dismount in the winner’s circle.
“I had a box seat,” Dettori said. “Very pleased that we got the split (between horses), and he fought really hard for me. I was worried about getting clear but the gap was big enough for me to go through and my horse was very brave.”
Bridgetown headed second choice Intgeractif for the place spot. Awesome Act came flying late on the grandstand side for fourth. Buzzword, Dean's Kitten, Gallant Gent, Viscount Nelson, Becky's Kitten, King Ledley, Zip Quik, and Codoy followed.
“When I asked at the top of the lane, he dropped his head and really dug in,” Landry said of the runner-up. “(Pounced) just ran past him. He ran a courageous race. He’s a really good horse who is only going to get better.”
“We quickened so fast going into the turn that I couldn’t quite compensate for the turn and that left some room for the others,” Desormeaux said of Interactif. “I hope this horse can ‘dirt’ because he acts like he wants to be my Derby horse.”
Owned by Lady Serena Rothschild, Pounced was a three-length maiden winner at Newbury in his second start Aug. 14. At Longchamp on Arc day, Oct. 4, the chestnut colt finished second by 1 1/2 lengths to Siyouni in the seven-furlong Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Fr-I).
Pounced earned $540,000 for his second victory in four starts and paid $6.80, $4.80, and $3.20 while topping a $62 exacta. Bridgetown, coming off a victory in Woodbine’s Summer Stakes (Can-IIIT) Sept. 19 for trainer Ken McPeek, returned $6.60 and $4.20. The Todd Pletcher-trained grade III winner Interactif was worth $3.20 to show.
Pedigree: Bred in Kentucky by Carwell Equities, Pounced is by the top grass sire Rahy out of the 14-year-old Storm Cat mare Golden Cat. He is one of 10 foals produced by the broodmare and her only blacktype winner from eight starters, including five winners. Her progeny have earned $1,023,171.
Celtic Cat, a 2001 foal by Danehill, was stakes-placed in England and earned $245,519 with five wins in 67 starts through 2008. Pampas Cat, a son of Seeking the Gold who died in 2008, won two of five starts and was group-placed in England while earning $51,753. Big Bound, a colt by Grand Slam foaled in 2006, is also group-placed in England with total earnings of $49,095.