Although Fire At Will entered off two consecutive stakes victories, the off-the-grass With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga, followed by the Pilgrim Stakes at Belmont Park, bettors paid him scant respect. The 2-year-old son of Declaration of War was dismissed at 30.20-1 odds.
There was no overlooking him in the race itself. Once the gates opened, Fire At Will showed he belonged. He quickly secured a forward position under Ricardo Santana Jr., sitting an inside pocket trip in third as Outadore set the pace.
Angled a few paths off the rail for the stretch, Fire At Will asserted his superiority. He caught Outadore in midstretch and powered away by three lengths, covering the distance in 1:35.81 on good turf, a tenth of a second slower than Aunt Pearl's clocking in the Breeders' Cup Juveniles Fillies Turf about an hour later (see recap below).
"Last year we were unlucky to lose with Chimney Rock, and Fire At Will made us forget all about it," Maker said.
The colt gave his trainer his third Breeders' Cup victory following champion Hansen's front-running score in the 2011 Grey Goose Breeders' Cup Juvenile and Furthest Land's triumph in the 2009 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.
Fire at Will is not a difficult horse to ride, Maker said, and Santana made it look easy.
"I got a beautiful trip. I had plenty of horse in the tank," said the jockey, who notched his second Breeders' Cup win after Mitole's score in the Breeders' Cup Sprint last year.
The 3.80-1 favorite Battleground, bidding to give trainer Aidan O'Brien, jockey Ryan Moore, and his Coolmore-affiliated ownership their fifth Juvenile Turf victory, rallied to grab second, a neck ahead of Outadore.
Fire At Will improved to three wins from four starts and boosted his earnings to $657,932.