By Steve Sherack
ARCADIA, CA – Parx invader Spun to Run (Hard Spun) shot out to the front from his inside draw and never gave them a chance, powering home to a 2 3/4-length victory over favored Omaha Beach (War Front) in the GI Big Ass Fans Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile. Korean raider Blue Chipper (Tiznow) outran his odds to finish third.
On the engine through fractions of :23.05 and :46.51 with Blue Chipper tracking from second, the 9-1 chance passed the quarter pole in command and kept rolling down the stretch while wandering some, despite several right-handed reminders from Irad Ortiz, Jr., to pull off the upset.
After leaving the stalls a bit slow, Omaha Beach, as far back as seventh, began to wind up five wide beneath Mike Smith off the far turn, but left himself with too much to do over a track carrying speed, and was never a threat to the winner.
Spun to Run broke his maiden in career start number five at Parx this January. A well-beaten third at 34-1 while making his stakes debut with first-time blinkers in the GI TVG.com Haskell Invitational S. at Monmouth July 20, he followed up with a game decision in the GIII Smarty Jones S. at Parx Sept. 2. A close fifth after a wide trip in the GI Pennsylvania Derby Sept. 21, Spun to Run cut back in distance for a runaway decision in the M.P. Ballezzi Appreciation Mile S. at Parx Oct. 12, good for a gaudy 110 Beyer Speed Figure, the highest two-turn rating earned by a sophomore in 2019.
“This is a dream come true for me, this means everything to me,” trainer Juan Carlos Guerrero said after saddling his first career Grade I winner at the Championships.
“Since the minute we got him, he's been a special horse to us. He's so good about everything. He loves to run. He's a dream horse. When I put the full cup blinkers on him [before the Haskell], the next day he galloped so perfect I thought 'Wow, this is going to be a fun road with him.' He was a different horse after I put the blinkers on. I really expected him to go wire-to-wire today. I just wanted my rider to let him run and show how he can run. This means so much to me. It puts me at a different level as a trainer.”
Omaha Beach, meanwhile, so impressive in his GI Santa Anita Sprint Championship S. comebacker Oct. 5 after being forced to miss the GI Kentucky Derby with an entrapped epiglottis, is expected to return in next month's GI Malibu S. at Santa Anita. Spendthrift Farm acquired the breeding rights to the MGISW earlier this spring.
“Very proud, very much so,” Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella said. “Just had a little bad luck at the start. But, throughout this whole summer, if we didn't have bad luck, we wouldn't have had any luck at all. You could see he didn't get out of there running with good momentum. Mike [Smith] did the right thing, he let him get it together, didn't try to rush him off his feet. And, he came on and ran a great race. The winner ran a great race also. In the Breeders' Cup, you don't get many second chances in these races. These are champions going in.”
Mandella continued, “We'll let [the owners] talk about that [possibility of staying in training for next year]. Right now, we'll probably point to the Malibu S. the day after Christmas.”
Spun to Run is the first Breeders' Cup winner and 12th Grade I winner for sire Hard Spun, runner-up in the 2007 GI Breeders' Cup Classic at Monmouth Park. Spun to Run was purchased by Bob Donaldson for $64,000 after breezing an eighth in :10 1/5 at last year's Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale. Spun to Run is a half-brother to the stakes winner Tap It All (Tapizar). The stakes-winning New York-bred Yawkey Way is also responsible for a Frosted filly of 2018 (brought $180,000 from Hartley/DeRenzo at KEESEP) and a Practical Joke colt of this year. She was bred back to Malibu Moon. Yawkey Way brought $200,000 from David Seguias in foal to Violence at the 2014 KEENOV Sale.
Saturday, Santa Anita
BIG ASS FANS BREEDERS' CUP DIRT MILE-GI, $920,000, Santa Anita, 11-2, 3yo/up, 1m, 1:36.58, ft.
1–SPUN TO RUN, 123, c, 3, by Hard Spun
1st Dam: Yawkey Way (SW, $127,400), by Grand Slam
2nd Dam: Is Kylie Good, by Touch Gold
3rd Dam: Assombrie, by Timeless Moment
1ST GRADE I WIN. ($64,000 2yo '18 EASMAY). O-Robert P.
Donaldson; B-Sabana Farm, LLC (KY); T-Juan Carlos Guerrero;
J-Irad Ortiz, Jr. $550,000. Lifetime Record: 11-5-1-3,
$1,010,520. *1/2 to Tapit It All (Tapizar), SW. Werk Nick
Rating: A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Omaha Beach, 123, c, 3, War Front–Charming, by Seeking
the Gold. ($625,000 RNA Ylg '17 KEESEP). O-Fox Hill Farms,
Inc.; B-Charming Syndicate (KY); T-Richard E. Mandella.
3–Blue Chipper, 126, g, 4, Tiznow–Dixie City, by Dixie Union.
($95,000 RNA Ylg '16 KEESEP). O-Byungboo Choi; B-Diamond A
Racing Corp. (KY); T-Kim Young-Kwan. $90,000.
Margins: 2 3/4, 1 1/4, 3 1/4. Odds: 9.10, 1.00, 16.10.
Also Ran: Snapper Sinclair, Improbable, Coal Front, Mr. Money, Diamond Oops, Ambassadorial, Giant Expectations. Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.