Mischief Magic wins the juvenile turf sprint as Aidan O’Brien completes a hat trick.
The three turf races on the first day of the Breeders’ Cup meeting at Keeneland were all won by European-trained horses, with Meditate’s convincing victory in the Juvenile Fillies’ Turf—Aidan O’Brien’s first victory in the race—being the highlight of a strong evening for the visiting team in Kentucky.
With the victory of his horse Victoria Road over Charlie Appleby’s Silver Knott in the Juvenile Turf, O’Brien achieved a hat trick. Earlier, Appleby had won the Juvenile Turf Sprint with Mischief Magic, breaking the previous Breeders’ Cup record of four straight victories with a runner.
Ryan Moore managed to hold Meditate back at the back of the pack after a tough draw in stall 10, but the horse quickly took the lead down the stretch to overcome Pleasant Passage by two and a half lengths.
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Although the pace was sluggish, Moore said, “I was chasing a filly I didn’t want to be following, and that carried me far enough. When the race was more than a furlong and a half away, she rapidly had them covered. I thought she still had a lot to give, and she was truly simply a level beyond everyone else.
In the Juvenile Turf, Victoria Road defeated Silver Knott by a nose, allowing O’Brien and Moore to complete their hat trick. This victory may have also been the result of chance being on their side.
Victoria Road gained a free run on the outside while William Buick was forced to wait for running room on Silver Knott in the straight. Buick ultimately managed to squeak over the fence, but in a nail-biting finale, he lost by a nose.
However, Mischief Magic blew through the leaders in the stretch to win the Juvenile Turf Sprint by a length, placing Appleby and Buick on the board earlier in the card.
Afterward, Buick remarked, “It sort of opened up just as we got onto the straight on the inside.”
It was necessary for me to swap out and choose my run, but he was always eager to go, so all that was needed was for him to complete the run after the split. He just soared when he swapped leads.
Mischief Magic’s achievement comes after victories by Modern Games, Space Blues, and Yibir in the Juvenile Turf, Mile, and Turf, respectively, in the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar the previous year.
In the two races on the card that were held on dirt, Wonder Wheel won the Juvenile Fillies to give her jockey Tyler Gaffalione his first Breeders’ Cup victory, while Todd Pletcher’s Forte triumphed in the Juvenile by edging out the hot favourite, Cave Rock, with a strong finish.
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