2008 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile

Albertus Maximus wins the 2008 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile with Garrett Gomez aboard.

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Albertus Maximus powered past longshots Two Step Salsa and My Pal Charlie inside the final furlong to win the $1-million TVG Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (VIDEO) by 1 1/4 lengths over the late-closing Rebellion.

Photo: Rick Samuels

Brandon and Marianne Chase’s Albert Maximus was ridden by Garrett Gomez. Vladimir Cerin trains the Dirt Mile winner, a 4-year-old son of Albert the Great.

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

The final time was 1:33.41 over the Pro-Ride surface.

Photo: Skip Dickstein

Gomez said Albert Maximus wasn’t at first comfortable with the crowd of horses he encountered going into the first turn.

Photo: Bill Luster

“He wanted to get out a bit on the first turn,” Gomez said. “He’s just a horse who hasn’t been back in traffic much. He’s almost like riding a green horse back in the pack. Once I lined up down the backstretch, and got him into a kind of rhythm, he was traveling really well for me.

Photo: Bill Luster

Photo: Rick Samuels

It was the first Breeders’ Cup win for Albert Maximus’ trainer and owner. Cerin, a native of Crotia, took over the training of Albert Maximus in September. In his first start for Cerin, Albert Maximus won the ungraded Windy Sands Handicap at Del Mar Sept. 1.

Photo: Skip Dickstein

“Garrett (Gomez) had him in a perfect position on the first turn,” Cerin said. “I was a little concerned when he went inside, but the red sea parted. It was a superlative performance by a superlative athlete. It feels great; unbelievable to win my first Breeders’ Cup.”

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

Photo: Skip Dickstein

Photo: Wally Skalij

Jockey Garrett Gomez enjoyed the win.

Photo: Skip Dickstein

Here the connections celebrate with the winning trophy.

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt

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