Trainer Bobby Frankel provided an encore for his Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) victory Saturday when Leroidesanimaux took over from pacesetter De Valmont in the stretch with Jon Court aboard and pulled away to win the Morvich Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the hillside at the Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita.
Leroidesanimaux, which means "The King of the Animals," is a 4-year-old Brazilian-bred son of Candy Stripes–Dissemble (Ahonoora). He came off a six-month layoff to win for the fourth time in a row, all in the United Stakes, and collected his second straight grade III win. He took the 1 1/6-mile Inglewood Handicap at Hollywood Park May 1.
The downhill turf test found the Australian-bred De Valmont, the 2-1 second choice with Mike Smith, nosing out the slight 8-5 favorite Cayoke and Gary Stevens for second. The final time was 1:11.76 for the about six-and-a-half furlong distance contested on firm going. Six competed after the scratch of Coded Message.
Leroidesanimaux was third, six lengths behind De Valmont as they crossed the dirt path of the turf course and began to straighten out for the stretch run. De Valmont stepped through lively early fractions of :21 2/5 and :43.
"He punched it in down the lane and he got there," Court said.
Two hours earlier, Frankel, who collected his sixth Morvich victory, won the Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge when Frank Stronach's Ghostzapper sped away from the field for a three-length triumph.
The margin of victory for Leroidesanimaux was 1 1/4 lengths.
The victory, worth $60,000 to owners T N T Stud, the nom de course of Goncalo Torrealba of Rio de Janeiro. It increased Leroidesanimaux's record in 2004 to four wins in five U.S. starts overall and his earnings to $196,860. The chestnut won one of three starts in his native Brazil at 3, earning $7,477.
He paid $8, $4 and $2.60. De Valmont returned $3.20 and $2.40 to complete a $27.40 exacta. The French-bred Cayoke's show was $2.40.