Los Angeles (AFP) - Frankie Dettori piloted Expert Eye to victory in the final strides of the $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, on Saturday.
Trainer Michael Stoute admitted the sight of Expert Eye languishing near the back of the pack early had made him nervous.
But Dettori guided his mount through a masterful stretch run to seize the victory.
"Frankie was great on him," Stoute said. "He scared me a bit, but he was brilliant on him. He knew what was under him -- got there in time."
Analyze It, Divisidero and Catapult were battling it out through much of the stretch. Just when it seemed that Catapult and Divisidero would settle it between themselves Expert Eye -- eighth heading into the final turn -- powered past at the wire.
"He didn't break very good, but I managed to get on the good patch of ground," Dettori said. "He found a nice rhythm. I had a mountain to climb, but then the turbo kicked in."
Catapult finished second -- yet another Breeders' Cup disappointment for trainer John Sadler, who endured a 44th Breeders' Cup start without a winner.
Analyze it, trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Irad Ortiz, was third.
The race was without the widely touted Polydream, the 5-1 early favorite who was scratched on Friday at the insistence of the veterinarians over the objections of French trainer Freddy Head.
Head said their perception that the filly was lame in a foreleg after training on Friday was incorrect and she was fit to run in a race he won twice as a jockey on Miesque and three times as a trainer with the great Goldikova.
"It's a disgrace," he told the Daily Racing Form. "You think I'm taking a horse to America that's not ready to run? She trots in an awkward way because she has offset knees."