Wise Dan, Fort Larned shine at Breeders'

Sat Nov 3, 2012 11:33pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

ARCADIA, California (Reuters) - Wise Dan cemented his credentials as America's top-ranked race horse while Game On Dude spectacularly failed as the 2012 Breeders' Cup ended in glorious sunshine at Santa Anita Park on Saturday.

Game on Dude, the overwhelming favorite for the marquee Breeders' Classic, finished a surprising seventh out of 12 runners after making a poor start, effectively ending his chance of securing Horse of the Year honors.

That accolade now seems certain to fall to Wise Dan after the five-year-old gelding bolted to a sizzling victory in the $2 million Mile, posting a track record on the way to his fourth consecutive win.

Also taking advantage of Game on Dude's unexpected fall from grace was Fort Larned, who stormed to a stunning upset win by half a length over Mucho Macho Man in the Classic, America's richest horse race.

A crowd of 55,123 was enthralled by the card on the second and final day of the Breeders' Cup, billed as the world championship of thoroughbred racing, as only three favorites triumphed in nine events.

In addition to Wise Dan's expected dominance over the mile, Groupie Doll stretched her unbeaten run to five races with victory in the Filly and Mare Sprint while Shanghai Bobby also made it a perfect five-of-five by winning the Juvenile.

The star of the day for most fans, however, was Wise Dan who broke from the pack on the home straight and held off 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom by a length and a half.

The gelding covered the mile in 1:31.78 to beat the track record set in 1997 by Atticus by .11 seconds, all the more impressive given that Atticus carried nine fewer pounds at 117.   Continued...

Jockey John Velazquez celebrates aboard horse Wise Dan after his first place win in the running of the Breeders' Cup Mile thoroughbred horse race at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California November 3, 2012. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok