The connections of A. U. Miner, installed as the 3-1 favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon (gr. II), probably hope history doesn’t repeat itself.
The race last year produced some of the most exciting moments of the 2010 World Championships after Calvin Borel, who again is aboard the 6-year-old horse son of Mineshaft , became involved in a fight with jockey Javier Castellano. The tussle between the jockeys occurred following the Marathon in which there was a bumping incident in the stretch.
Borel was upset because A. U. Miner was bumped hard by the horse Romp and steadied. Borel contended that Castellano, aboard runner-up Prince Will I Am, had caused Romp to impede A. U. Miner. Prince Will I Am was disqualified and placed 10th, and A. U. Miner was moved up from fourth to third. Borel and Castellano were both fined for the post-race fight. Castellano was also suspended six days.
Trained by Clark Hanna for Don L. Benge, A. U. Miner has won four of 24 starts and earned $373,896. He crossed the finish line first in the July 1 Greenwood Cup at Parx Racing, a race he also won last year, but was later disqualified for a medication overage.
Birdrun, the 7-2 second choice owned by Preston Stable and trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, finished second in the Greenwood and then went on to finish sixth in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) behind Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) favorite Flat Out. A. U. Miner ran fifth in the Gold Cup. The redistributed winner’s purse went to Birdrun, who finished second.
Giant Oak , fifth in the 2010 Marathon, returns this year for trainer Chris Block after a 2011 campaign in which his lone win in seven starts came in the season opening Donn Handicap (gr. I).
An intriguing entry in the Marathon is Cease, from the same owner-trainer team that won the 2010 Classic with Blame. Trained by Al Stall Jr. for Claiborne Farm and Adele B. Dilschneider, Cease is a 4-year-old gelded son of War Chant who has made five career starts, with wins in maiden and allowance company. Previous to the Marathon, Cease finished a close-up third in the Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II).
|Breeders' Cup Marathon (gr. II) Nov 5 1:20 PM|
|1||Birdrun||John Velazquez||William I. Mott||7-2|
|2||Baryshnikov||Mike Smith||Michael J. Maker||12|
|3||Meeznah||Tom Queally||David Lanigan||12|
|4||Pleasant Prince||Joel Rosario||Wesley A. Ward||12|
|5||Giant Oak||Shaun Bridgemohan||Chris M. Block||9-2|
|6||Brigantin||Julien Leparoux||Andre Fabre||8|
|7||Harrison's Cave||Ryan Moore||Aidan P. O'Brien||30|
|8||Afleet Again||Cornelio Velasquez||Robert E. Reid Jr.||30|
|9||Cease||Garrett Gomez||Albert M. Stall Jr.||6|
|10||Eldaafer||Javier Castellano||Diane Alvarado||10|
|11||A. U. Miner||Calvin Borel||Clark Hanna||3|