Conduit joined High Chaparral as the only repeat winners of the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) when the strapping chestnut colt rallied from dead last to overtake pacestting Presious Passion in deep stretch to capture the $3 million event at Santa Anita Nov. 7 (VIDEO).
Under aggressive right-handed urging by jockey Ryan Moore, Conduit edged past the stubborn front-runner in the final 100 yards to post a half-length win in the 1 1/2-mile event.
The winning time, 2:23.75, was a tick off the 2:23.42 clocking the Irish-bred 4-year-old son of Dalakhani turned in last year when he posted a 1 1/2-length triumph for Moore, his regular rider. Conduit went over the $5 million mark in career earnings.
High Chaparral won the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf in 2002 and in 2003 (in a deadheat with Johar) for trainer Aidan O'Brien.
Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, Conduit earned his second grade or group I victory this season. The Ballymacoll Stud homebred was coming off a fourth-place finish in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) at Longchamp Oct. 4.
Stoute won his fifth Breeders' Cup race to lead all European trainers, moving ahead of Andre Fabre on the all-time list. Besides his two wins with Conduit, Stoute also captured the 2003 Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT) with Islington and the Turf in 2000 with Kalanisi and in 1996 with Pilsuski.
“It’s always a big day for the world championship," Stoute said. "It’s a very important race and it was great to see him go and do it two in a row."
Conduit tailed off to last in the field of seven as Presious Passion flew out of the gate and opened a three-length advantage in the opening strides. With Elvis Trujillo aboard, the two-time United Nations (gr. IT) winner poured it on early, leading by at least a dozen lengths while Spanish Moon, also trained by Stoute, and the John Gosden-conditioned filly Dar Re Mi stalked from well back. Fractions were swift — :45.14 for the half, 1:09.24 for six furlongs and 1:34.58 for the opening mile.
But Presious Passion was shortening stride approaching the final turn and looked for all the world like he would be swallowed up as the field made its way across the synthetic track portion of the turf course and prepared to straighten away for the run to the wire. Conduit had rallied into third by that point, just behind Dar Re Mi, with Spanish Moon in close pursuit.
Conduit, on the outside, went on with it through the lane but had to work extremely hard to draw even with the gutsy 6-year-old Presious Passion, who was under left-handed urging from Trujillo. The two dueled down the lane before Conduit got the advantage in deep stretch and held on gamely.
Dar Re Mi, a three-time grade I winner as a 4-year-old this year, finished third, 1 1/4 lengths behind Presious Passion. Spanish Moon, who hung in deep stretch, settled for fourth. Red Rocks, Monzante and Telling followed.
Though he hasn't been quite as sharp this season, Conduit earned his seventh win in 14 lifetime starts in impressive fashion. He earned $1,620,000 for the victory, pushing his career bankroll to $5,378,357.
“I was stuck behind a lot of horses early but that didn’t worry me," Moore said. "I got a nice spot down the backside, and I went inside to move up. Last year went about as planned but this year wasn’t according to plan. But I knew I was going to get there.”
Conduit is out of the Sadler's Wells Irish mare Well Head
Sent off at 9-10 odds, Conduit paid $3.80, $3 and $2.20.
Presious Passion ($5, $3.80), who was coming off a 2 1/2-length win over the course in the 10-furlong Clement L. Hirsch, earned $540,000 for his game second-place effort.
“The horse didn't want to relax," Trujillo said. "The first part was a little fast. I know this horse very good. He fights. Doesn't matter how fast we go. The last quarter he'll fight everybody. It's tough to build a big lead like that and try to hold on. Even when he (Conduit) came up to me I thought I was going to win. The other horse just got past me in the last sixteenth.”
The 4-year-old filly Dar Re Mi, ridden by Frankie Dettori, was $3 to show in her first start since running fifth in the Arc.
“The race unfolded about the way I thought it would," Dettori said. "She really ran super. Conduit beat me a length in the Arc, and he beat me a length again here today, so the form is there."
Dalakhani is a four-time group I winning son of Darshaan who stands at the Aga Khan’s Giltown Stud in Ireland. He is also the sire of group I winner Moonstone. Dalakhani is a half-brother to Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Daylami.
Conduit is out of the unraced Sadler’s Wells mare Well Head, who like Conduit was bred in Ireland by Ballymacoll Stud. Well Head produced one other stakes winner, Hard Top, by Darshaan, a group II winner in England.