By Ben Everill
ARCADIA, California, Nov 2 (Reuters) - America's horse of the year and 4-5 favorite Wise Dan defended his $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita Park on Saturday despite using a replacement jockey.
John Velazquez was supposed to ride the gelding but had to have emergency surgery following an earlier race fall and was replaced by Jose Lezcano, who rode to a powerful win.
Sitting well poised behind the pace for the majority of the race, Wise Dan reeled in the leaders down the final straight with ease but was unable to match last year's track record.
It was the 19th win of the six-year-old's career from 27 starts. He has won 15 of his last 18 races.
Kentucky bred Za Approval, an 18-1 chance, claimed second while 31-1 outsider Silentio finished third. (Editing by Greg Stutchbury)