The victory closed out a big day for a Coolmore operation that claimed two of the three turf races on the “Future Stars Friday” card as Tabor, Derrick Smith, and Susan Magnier’s Meditate captured the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf earlier in the day before Westerberg, Susan Magnier, and Tabor’s Victoria Road prevailed by a nose over Godolphin’s Silver Knott after a stretch duel that saw the lead change hands a couple of times.
That final margin provided bragging rights for Coolmore on a day that European-trained horses would sweep the three grass races. Godolphin’s Mischief Magic delivered a stirring run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, which opened the day’s World Championships races. Mediate’s score set-up the day’s rubber match for bragging rights of the top international racing owners. Neither would receive a quick answer.
Longshot Mo Stash, who tracked early leader Curly Larry and Mo from second through a half-mile in :48.29 and six furlongs in 1:13.04, seized the lead in the stretch but would yield to the two late international runners. Silver Knott, who saved ground throughout under William Buick, would slip through tight quarters along the fence in midstretch to briefly seize the lead. But Victoria Road, under Ryan Moore, had split foes three wide in upper stretch and surged on the outside to pass Silver Knott.
But Silver Knott fired right back before Victoria Road found something deep down in a final winning surge.
Ryan Moore, celebrating his fifth Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf win, smiled as he recalled the stretch confrontation.
“There wasn’t much room but there was enough of a gap and my horse showed a really good attitude and he quickened and he got through,” Moore said. “I think when he [made that move to the lead], he shut down a little bit and just drifted out into the middle of the track slightly. He left the door open for the runner-up.
“But my horse did respond or maybe the other horse peeked on his run slightly. But I thought in the lane he had won.”—Frank Angst