Elite Power Upsets Jackie's Warrior In Sprint

Elite Power | Horsephotos

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LEXINGTON, KY – Now that's an 'Elite' sprinter.

Juddmonte's streaking Elite Power (Curlin) came storming down the center of the course with massive strides to blow past longshot C Z Rocket (City Zip) and heavily favored champion Jackie's Warrior (Maclean's Music) to capture Saturday's GI Breeders' Cup Sprint at Keeneland. The 5-1 winner punched his ticket to the bluegrass with a visually impressive score in Belmont's seven-furlong GII Vosburgh S.

Hall of Famer Bill Mott was also in the winner's circle with another son of Curlin two races earlier on the card with Cody's Wish in the GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.

“The cut back today was always a little concerning when you are running against a horse as good as Jackie's Warrior but hey, he come down in the middle of the racetrack and ran them all down,” Mott said after saddling his 12th winner at the Championships.

Seventh as 41-1 longshot Super Ocho (Chi) (Dubai Sky) led with Jackie's Warrior sitting the trip in second through an opening quarter in :22.12, Elite Power appeared to have his work cut out for him as they approached the quarter pole.

Super Ocho cornered very wide and forced Jackie's Warrior into the six path, but the 3-5 favorite still had dead aim. Elite Power was just getting warmed up though. Irad Ortiz, Jr. tipped the blaze-faced chestnut out into the clear and he came over the top like an absolute freight train down the lane to win going away by 1 1/4 lengths.

Off the board in a pair of attempts at three, Elite Power has been perfect in five attempts since kicking off the 2022 season with a third-place finish behind the promising 'Rising Star' Strobe (Into Mischief) at Churchill on Derby Day. A nine-length maiden winner beneath the Twin Spires June 5, he added two more victories in come-from-behind fashion, capturing a first-level allowance going a mile in Louisville June 30 and an optional claimer going six furlongs at Saratoga Sept. 3. The deep closer showed a new dimension last time in the five-horse field Vosburgh, sitting right on the pace in a race lacking any true early speed.

“I had the perfect trip,” Ortiz, Jr. said of his third Breeders' Cup win of the weekend and 17th overall at the Championships. “He broke real sharp and I let him settle. I let the speed go. I was able to cut the corner around the turn. When I tipped him out, he was there for me. He kept going forward. He gave me a really good kick from the quarter-pole to the wire. He's a nice horse. I rode him with a lot of confidence.”

Just like Juddmonte's brilliant and gone-to-soon Classic winner Arrogate (Unbridled's Song), Elite Power was also acquired at Keeneland's auction house as a yearling for $900,000. Juddmonte has now won eight Breeders' Cup races.

“Going back to when Prince Khalid was with us, he wanted to start buying some horses at the sales,” Juddmonte's Garrett O'Rourke said. “Obviously, we got off to a good start with Arrogate and followed up with horses like this guy, beautiful horse from the very beginning.

He continued, “The satisfaction of racing at the top end and ultimately winning is what we're all–there's a huge crowd here today and every participant is having the same dream, and we're lucky enough to be here.”

The tough-as-nails 8-year-old gelding C Z Rocket was also second in 2020 Sprint over this same course.

“I'm pretty happy,” trainer Peter Miller said. “Other than winning, I couldn't be happier for this guy, at 8 years old, to run like this. It took a really big effort from the winner to beat us, I couldn't be more proud of the team, and of the horse, and Flavien [Prat] gave him a great ride.”

Five-time GISW Jackie's Warrior, also beaten as the favorite in the 2020 GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile and last year's Sprint, is slated to join the stallion barn at Spendthrift Farm in 2023.

“It's just amazing that a horse as great as he is has never won a Breeders' Cup race,” Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen said. “He's a very special horse–physically, mentally and his ability. It's a disappointment. I don't like the outcome, but hail to the victor.”

Pedigree Notes:

Elite Power gave Curlin his second of three Breeders' Cup winners on the card. He later was represented by heart-stopping Distaff heroine Malathaat upping his total to five. The 2007 GI Breeders' Cup Classic winner is also the sire of Classic winner Vino Rosso and Juvenile hero Good Magic. His Stellar Wind was a painful second in the 2015 Distaff at Keeneland. Elite Power is Curlin's 20th Grade I winner.

Broodmare sire Vindication concluded his four-for-four career with a win in the 2002 GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Arlington. Elite Power is bred on the same Curlin/Vindication cross as GI Preakness S. winner Exaggerator. Elite Power's dam Broadway's Alibi, a MGSW & GI Kentucky Oaks runner-up and Robsham homebred, brought $2.15 million from Alpha Delta Stables while in foal to Smart Strike at the 2013 KEENOV sale. Broadway's Alibi is also represented by a Curlin colt of 2021. She was bred to City of Light for 2023.

Elite Power's fourth dam is champion 2-year-old filly and GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies heroine Eliza (Mt. Livermore). This is also the family of GISW and young sire Dialed In (Mineshaft).

Saturday, Keeneland
QATAR RACING BREEDERS' CUP SPRINT-GI, $1,840,000, Keeneland, 11-5, 3yo/up, 6f, 1:09.11, ft.
1–ELITE POWER, 126, c, 4, by Curlin
                1st Dam: Broadway's Alibi (MGSW & GISP, $521,500), by Vindication
                2nd Dam: Broadway Gold, by Seeking the Gold
                3rd Dam: Miss Doolittle, by Storm Cat
1ST GRADE I WIN. ($900,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP). O-Juddmonte;
B-Alpha Delta Stables, LLC (KY); T-William I. Mott; J-Irad Ortiz,
Jr. $1,040,000. Lifetime Record: 8-5-0-1, $1,405,711. Werk
Nick Rating: A+++. *Triple Plus*
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Click for the
free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree.
2–C Z Rocket, 126, g, 8, City Zip–Successful Sarah, by
Successful Appeal. ($800,000 2yo '16 OBSOPN). O-Altamira
Racing Stable, Madaket Stables LLC, Gary Barber & Tom
Kagele; B-Farm III Enterprises (FL); T-Peter Miller. $340,000.
3–Jackie's Warrior, 126, c, 4, Maclean's Music–Unicorn Girl, by
A.P. Five Hundred. ($95,000 Ylg '19 KEESEP). O-J. Kirk & Judy
Robison; B-J & J Stables (KY); T-Steven M. Asmussen.
$180,000.
Margins: 1 1/4, HF, 3/4. Odds: 5.55, 31.45, 0.77.
Also Ran: Manny Wah, O Besos, Super Ocho (Chi), Kimari, American Theorem, Flash of Mischief, Willy Boi, Aloha West.
Click for the Equibase.com chart and the TJCIS.com PPs. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.

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