By Steve Sherack
Shuffled between runners and outsprinted toward the back of the pack in seventh as heavily favored star sophomore Jackie's Warrior (Maclean's Music) was hounded through fractions of :21.91 and :44.11, Aloha West was ready to pounce in sixth as they approached the top of the stretch.
The 1-2 favorite was the first to blink as they turned for home as Dr. Schivel, unbeaten in three previous attempts at Del Mar, including this summer's GI Bing Crosby S., rolled up to hit the front with a four-wide sweep. Dr. Schivel looked long gone from there, but Aloha West had other ideas. Still with plenty to do as they approached the final furlong, Aloha West produced an impossible run on the outside beneath Jose Ortiz and just got there to defeat Dr. Schivel by a whisker at odds of 11-1.
It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to last out GII Vosburgh S. winner and 'TDN Rising Star' Following Sea (Runhappy) in third. Jackie's Warrior, an ultra-game neck winner over Saturday's smashing GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile hero Life Is Good (Into Mischief) in Saratoga's GI H. Allen Jerkens Memorial S., tired to sixth.
It was a fourth Breeders' Cup winner for the easy-to-root-for trainer Wayne Catalano.
“I liked everything,” Catalano said. “I liked where we were at early in the race and the head-bob was a tough one. But you know when the results come this way we're happy. Right now, it's a good time to win a race like this. We are low on horses and have been around a long, long time. I have been reinventing myself so many times. Fifty years and counting. I just want to settle down and have a handful of nice ones in one spot and enjoy my life with my three grandkids and one more on the way.”
Sharing (Speightstown) gave winning owner Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners its first Breeders' Cup win with an 13-1 upset in the 2019 GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita. Eclipse, quite impressively, has been represented in the two-day Championships in 11 straight years now since its inception in 2011. Eclipse has had its colors carried by GI Belmont S. winner Tapwrit (Tapit) as well as fellow Grade I winners Curalina (Curlin), Danza (Street Boss), In Lingerie (Empire Maker), et al.
“It's surreal to be here,” Eclipse frontman Aron Wellman said at the post-race press conference. “This is my home track. I live five minutes down the road from Del Mar racetrack, so to do it here with my family, this guy right here [Wayne Catalano], he's a treasure to the racing industry and a Hall of Famer in my book. And Jose [Ortiz] and I have had some incredible moments together. We won a Classic four years ago, and now to win a Breeders' Cup with him, I'm surrounded by class. And the horse, of course, deserves the most credit of all. He's an incredible specimen that there's no telling how good he can be.”
He continued, “Wayne has just done and incredible job developing this colt. He only ran for the first time in February this year as a 4-year-old, and 10 months later he's a Breeders' Cup Sprint champion. That takes master horsemanship to be able to accomplish something that monumental.”
Aloha West, purchased privately by this outfit earlier this season after making his first two starts at the age of four at Oaklawn, including a debut win Feb. 7, for Catalano clients Gary and Mary West, was fourth behind a pair of next-out winners while making his stakes debut in Churchill's Kelly's Landing S. June 25. He took his game to the next level, however, in a pair of wins at Saratoga this summer, including a breakthrough 102 Beyer Speed Figure performance in a seven-furlong optional claimer Sept. 2. He kicked home impressively, clocking an :11.82 final furlong, in his first try versus graded company, just coming up a nose short to the re-opposing Special Reserve (Midshipman) in the GII Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix S. at Keeneland last out Oct. 8.
“[Catalano] told me two weeks ago when this horse worked at Keeneland after he was the second in the Phoenix, and this man has had his hands on some pretty serious horse flesh in his day, 3,000 wins as a jockey, almost 2,000 as a trainer, this is his fourth Breeders' Cup win, and he told me this might be the best horse he's ever had his hands on,” Wellman said. “So we're coming in here with all kinds of confidence. The way he's managed and developed this horse is clearly brilliant, so we had so much confidence going in. [Aloha West] never even won a stakes race, so to do what he did today is just magical.”
Aloha West becomes the second Breeders' Cup winner for Hard Spun, also represented by GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile hero Spun to Run. He becomes the 15th Grade I winner/45th graded stakes winner/87th stakes winner for his sire. Aloha West's broodmare sire Speightstown– winner of the 2004 GI Breeders' Cup Sprint–is now responsible for five Grade I winners/14 graded winners/38 stakes winners. Island Bound, winner of the 2012 GIII Winning Colors S. for Robert Manfuso, produced a Good Samaritan filly of 2020 ($47,000 RNA '21 FTIOCT) and a Divining Rod filly of 2021. She was bred back to Golden Lad. Her 3-year-old filly Moquist is unbeaten in four career starts, most recently capturing an optional claimer for trainer Dale Capuano in the Laurel slop Oct. 29. Aloha West co-breeder Manfuso also bred GI Kentucky Oaks heroine Cathryn Sophia (Street Boss).
Saturday, Del Mar
QATAR RACING BREEDERS' CUP SPRINT-GI, $1,820,000, Del Mar, 11-6, 3yo/up, 6f, 1:08.49, ft.
1–ALOHA WEST, 126, c, 4, by Hard Spun
1st Dam: Island Bound (GSW, $277,790), by Speightstown
2nd Dam: Indy Mood for Luv, by A.P. Indy
3rd Dam: Lovington, by Afleet
1ST BLACK TYPE WIN, 1ST GRADED STAKES WIN,
1ST GRADE I WIN. ($160,000 Ylg '18 KEESEP). O-Eclipse
Thoroughbred Partners; B-Robert Manfuso & Katharine M.
Voss (MD); T-Wayne M. Catalano; J-Jose L. Ortiz. $1,040,000.
Lifetime Record: 9-5-2-0, $1,311,068. Werk Nick Rating: A+.
Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Dr. Schivel, 124, c, 3, Violence–Lil Nugget, by Mining for
Money. ($37,000 RNA Ylg '19 KEEJAN). O-Red Baron's Barn
LLC, Rancho Temescal LLC, Reeves Thoroughbred Racing and
Branch, William A.; B-William A. Branch & Arnold R. Hill (KY);
T-Mark Glatt. $340,000.
3–Following Sea, 124, c, 3, Runhappy–Quick Flip, by
Speightstown. O/B-Spendthrift Farm LLC (KY); T-Todd A.
Margins: NO, 1HF, 3/4. Odds: 11.30, 4.30, 20.70.
Also Ran: Special Reserve, Matera Sky, Jackie's Warrior, C Z Rocket, Firenze Fire, Lexitonian.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by TVG.