Ridden by Rajiv Maragh, the 4-year-old Birdrun stalked pacesetter Riversrunrylee, turned back Duke of Mischief in upper stretch, and easily ran away from the odds-on choice for his first stakes win. The son of Birdstone—Run Like Martha, by Jolie’s Halo ran 1 1/8 miles on the fast dirt in 1:54.47. Bill Mott trains the colt for Oxbow Racing. He was bred by the late Arthur I. Appleton.
“He took a huge jump winning his last race at Belmont (optional claiming win Sept. 22) with a big number (105 Beyer) and we decided to take the step up to this race,” owner Art Preston said. “He beat a very nice horse today (favorite Duke of Mischief), so he’s come a long way and we look forward to the winter with him.”
Birdrun, who improved to 5-5-1 from 15 starts with earnings of $259,194, paid $4.60, $2.60, and $2.20 Duke of Mischief returned $2.20 and $2.10, and third-place Dream Maestro paid $3.
In other Florida Million day races, Rose Family Stable’s Joanie's Catch rallied to win the $150,000 Heubeck Distaff by a neck at odds of 12-1, Leo Azpurua’s Manicero romped by 8 1/4 lengths in the $125,000 Jack Price Juvenile, Cairoli Racing Stable’s Devilish Lady ran away with the $1250,000 Joe O'Farrell Juvenile Fillies at 17-1, Martin Cherry’s Pickapocket nipped favored Bim Bam by a neck in the $125,000 Bonnie Heath Turf Cup, Luis Olivares’ Tackleberry went wire-to-wire in the $125,000 Jack Dudley Sprint Handicap, Donald Dizney’s Racing Aptitude scored the $100,000 Appleton Juvenile Turf as the favorite, and Commonwealth Stable’s Salsa Bullet went all the way in the $100,000 John Franks Juvenile Fillies Turf.