Corinthian easily captures Dirt Mile

Betting favorite `Cat' finishes way back

`Now' rallies to win

Breeders' Cup notebook

October 27, 2007|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Sun Reporter

Oceanport, N.J. -- The Breeders' Cup started with three new races yesterday run on a sloppy track at Monmouth Park and with none of the favorites winning.

The day's biggest race, the Dirt Mile, was won by second choice Corinthian in 1:39.06 by 6 1/2 lengths over Gottcha Gold.

Betting favorite Discreet Cat was another 8 1/4 lengths back.

"Fifty yards out of the gate, I was nine abreast," winning jockey Kent Desormeaux said. "I said, `This is ridiculous,' and pulled him up and ended up inside the whole field down on the fence. It turned out to be the perfect position to keep his face clean.

"This horse is a fireball. He just dragged me down the stretch."

Fair Hill Training Center-based Xchanger, owned in part by Baltimore's Domenico Zannino and trainer Mark Shuman, finished a distant sixth in the eight-horse field.

Nownownow prevails

In the 1-mile Juvenile Turf, Nownownow went from last to first over the final quarter of a mile for a half-length victory over favorite Achill Island, an Irish-bred.

Nownownow was 5 furlongs behind the field after breaking slowly from the gate. But he saved ground along the rail. He then swung out nearing the quarter pole and went six-wide entering the stretch before closing down the middle of the track, not reaching the front until the final 50 yards.

"The weather was an obvious worry," trainer Francois Parisel said. "But we knew he had the breeding on both sides to handle the soft going. Our plan was to relax behind horses and then make one run. It worked out. He's a very nice colt. I'm very happy."

Nownownow covered the soggy turf course in 1:40.48 for jockey Julien Leparoux.

`Mary' wins Sprint

Maryfield, claimed in January 2006 for $50,000 by trainer Doug O'Neill in partnership with Mark Verge, Nick Mestrandrea and James Perry, continued to reward those who showed faith in her by winning the 6-furlong Filly and Mare Sprint.

Maryfield showed her sure footing to close from seventh place for a half-length win over Miraculous Miss in 1:09.85.

Miss Macy Sue was third, and betting favorite La Traviata was sixth.

"She finished so strong," jockey Elvis Trujillo said. "They were going too fast on the front end. With them going so fast, I knew it was going to help us."

Jockey Jeremy Rose, riding Miraculous Miss, said he had the perfect trip.

"She ran her heart out, but she just got beat," he said. "The track was real good. Wet on top, but you could feel the bottom, and she was able to get hold of it."

O'Neill had planned to sell Maryfield, who has earned about $l.4 million for his owners, next month, but said he now expects more resistance.

Et cetera

Bob Juliano, Monmouth Park's director of facilities and track superintendent, said track conditions probably won't improve from sloppy and soft for today's Breeders' Cup races. "We're expecting a downpour [last night], with heavy rain continuing through 7 a.m. [today]," Juliano said. "If we're lucky, we could have sunshine for the Classic. But with an inch or more of rain expected overnight, the best we could hope for with wind and sunshine in the afternoon is good to muddy conditions, but I really don't expect it." ... The first day of the two-day Breeders' Cup drew a crowd of 27,803 despite the weather. ... The on-track betting handle was $5,038,975, and the total was a record $30,370,671.

sandra.mckee@baltsun.com

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