Fantastic Finish to Turf; Winner May Race in Japan Cup
Updated: Wednesday, October 31, 2001 2:32 PM
Posted: Saturday, October 27, 2001 5:23 PM
Photo: Mike Corrado
Fantastic Light scores a confident win in the Breeders' Cup Turf.
Fantastic Light, who set a course record in the Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), may go to Japan to race one more time before being retired.
"He can travel anywhere and compete in all the top races," said Simon Crisford, Godolphin racing manager. "We'll talk to Sheikh Maktoum about taking him to the Japan Cup before he retires."
"Everyone wondered why we switched races for him and Sakhee, but he's (Fantastic Light) a different horse this year, stronger and more professional," said winning trainer Saeed bin Suroor. "A mile-and-a-quarter to a mile and a half is perfect for him. In the last two furlongs, Milan had a chance to catch him, but it got too late.
Fantastic Light and Frankie Dettori got a great trip, sitting right behind the speed all the way on the hedge, then blowing by like a 7-5 favorite should.
Fantastic Light covered the 12 furlongs in 2:24.36, breaking the course record of 2:24.50 set by Sky Classic in 1992. He is owned by Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin and trained by Saeed bin Suroor.
Godolphin also ran one-two in the Juvenile Fillies (gr. I) with horses trained by Eoin Harty.
Fantastic Light, by Rahy -- Jood, by Nijinsky II, had won three of five starts this year in England, Ireland, and Dubai. He won the Irish Champion Stakes (Ire-I) in his Breeders' Cup prep.
As expected, With Anticipation made the lead from the rail and was joined by other speedsters Timboroa and Quiet Resolve. They went moderate fractions of :24.40 and :48.02 when Timboroa went to the lead as they traveled six furlongs. Timboroa held the lead into the turn, but Dettori had him measured. He went by and held off the late run of Milan under Mick Kinane. The other splits were 1:36.34 and 2:01.15.
Fantastic Light won by three-quarters of a length and Milan was another 5 3/4 ahead of Timboroa.
Fantastic Light paid $4.80, $4.20 and $3.10 while Milan returned $7.10 and $4.50. Timboroa paid $4.60. The exacta was $33 and the trifecta $211.
"He has a good turn of foot," Dettori said. "Like fine wine, he improves with age."
The Turf marked the career finale for Mutamam, the 11th place finisher who will to stand at England's National Stud.
Trainer Bobby Frankel said Timboroa might run in the Hollywood Turf Cup or Japan Cup. "He ran great and two great horses beat him," Frankel said.Turf Chart, From EquibaseBreeders' Cup Turf notes from the Breeders' Cup site
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