Spun to Run wins Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile

The field breaks from the gate in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile won by Spun to Run at Santa Anita (AFP Photo/Frederic J. BROWN)
The field breaks from the gate in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile won by Spun to Run at Santa Anita (AFP Photo/Frederic J. BROWN)

Arcadia (United States) (AFP) - Spun to Run surprised in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile on Saturday at Santa Anita, holding off favored Omaha Beach as South Korean raider Blue Chipper hit the board in third.

Trainer Juan Carlos Guerrero notched his first Breeders' Cup win in just his second start as 9-1 shot Spun to Run, ridden by Irad Ortiz, powered directly to the front and held on in the $1 million Grade One race.

He was chased by the Kim Young-kwan-trained Blue Chipper, but South Korea's first ever Breeders' Cup runner -- ridden by Flavien Prat -- was overhauled in the stretch by a surging Omaha Beach, the even money favorite whose late charge under Mike Smith wasn't enough for the win.

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"I just followed instructions," said Ortiz, who also won the Juvenile Turf Sprint aboard Four Wheel Drive on Friday. "He told me to break running. I broke running, then I thought I broke too hard.

"On the turn, I knew I was going a little too fast so I tried to slow it down, but he didn’t want to come back to me for a little while. I had to keep it together."

Guerrero called it a "dream come true".

"This means everything to me," he said. "Everything. Since the minute we got him he's been a special horse to us. He loves to run."

Smith said a bad break from the gate cost Omaha Beach a couple of lengths.

"As importantly, it also cost us position," Smith said. "Then, I had to wait, wait, wait and kept losing position. When he got clear at the three-eighths pole, the horse in front was long gone.

"Hats off to the winner, but I think I rode the best horse today."

Prat said Blue Chipper just didn't have enough to hang onto second place.

"He was very brave to keep on going to get third," Prat said. "Entering the stretch, I thought I would definitely be among the first two, but he just got tired late."

Kim's representative Ryu Seungho voiced the delight of Blue Chipper's connections with his third-place finish.

"That was a great job," he said. "We had really hoped at best to finish third and we did.

"We’re really, really pleased."

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