New Year's Day Pops Cork in BC Juvenile
Gary and Mary West's New Year's Day, a 10-1 shot from trainer Bob Baffert, rallied strongly up the rail to catch favored Havana inside the final sixteenth and win the $2 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I). The bay colt by Street Cry covered the 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita Park in 1:43. 52 (VIDEO).
"My horse doesn't have that too much pace," Garcia said. "I was exactly where I wanted to be. The rail was open and I took it; I didn't panic."
He was making his first start on dirt after making a pair of starts at Del Mar this summer. In his Aug. 17 debut he rallied from ninth to finish third going 5 1/2 furlongs. Stretched out to a mile Aug. 31, he pressed the pace, then drew clear in the lane win going a mile by 1 3/4 lengths in 1:36.93. Second in his maiden-breaker was Bond Holder, winner of the FrontRunner Stakes (gr. I) Sept. 28 at Santa Anita. Garrett Gomez was aboard New Year's Day for both mounts at Del Mar. Garcia got the call in the $2 million Juvenile.
"He showed us a lot in his two races at Del Mar," said Baffert. "I know he's a 2-year-old horse and he's been showing us a lot here in the morning. He's been telling us in the mornings that he's ready.
Tap It Rich, Baffert's other runner and the 3-1 second choice, ran fifth and was followed by Mexikoma, We Miss Artie, Dance With Fate, Diamond Bachelor, Smarty's Echo, Medal Count, Rum Point, and Conquest Titan.
"I thought he ran super," said trainer Todd Pletcher of runner-up Havana. "He just came up a little tired in the very last part there. I'm really happy with the way he positioned himself. Gary said he got a little bit lost when he made the lead turning for home."
Gary Stevens replaced John Velazquez, who was injured earlier in day, on Havana.
"It was a great try," Stevens said. "This is a serious horse."
New Year's Day was a $425,000 Keeneland September sale graduate. The Wests' bloodstock agent, Ben Glass, bought the colt out of the sale's first session from Clearsky Farms, agent.
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