It looks like November will give Breeders’ Cup fans another chance to fight back modern games the colt that won the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1T) while his frustrated supporters settled for refunds as he was only running for purses.
The home bred colt of Godolphin, a son of Dubai , earned his way back to the World Championships with a dominant win on September 17 at the Ricoh Woodbine Mile (G1T). The CA$1 million race was a Breeders’ Cup Challenge event for the November 5th FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1T) at the Keenland Grass.
Modern Games came as no surprise honeysucklewho was sent off as a heavy favorite when he finished second to only the mighty in the Qatar Sussex Stakes (G1) at Goodwood, England Baaed . Earlier in the season he was victorious in the Emirates Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French Two Thousand Guineas, G1) at ParisLongchamp.
At the start of Woodbine Mile, it seemed like jockey William Buick would have to do a little magic to get his favorite house to the top. Racing far back in the 11-horse field and near the inside rail, Modern Games made a wide swing into the track to find daylight. Then he was pushed even further out by a rally Finest sound .
Buick said he wasn’t concerned.
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“He was very comfortable throughout. He traveled well and the pace was good. I really just needed to find a route. But I had a lot of horses and he was brave when I had to,” said the jockey.
William Buick lifts the Woodbine Mile trophy
Once he got daylight, Modern Games was pretty bold indeed. He quickly put some distance down the field and sprinted away to win by 5 1/4 lengths and won for the sixth time in 11 career starts.
Ivar also found late speed to get up for second with Finest sound third. Shirl’s Speight finished fourth. city cruise who stole the race at the top last year was prominent early in this year’s edition but failed to finish the effort and finished fifth.
Ivar, third in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Mile and fourth a year earlier, remains a viable candidate for a third try and trainer Paolo Lobo lamented that his schedule was disrupted this year, resulting in a detour Horseshoe Indianapoliswhere he won a 1 1/16 mile grass race in a course record time, then traveled to Canada for a Breeders’ Cup preparatory race.
“Unfortunately, he was ready to walk at Churchill Downs earlier this year,” said Lobo. “But he had a little problem with a hoof. That was a setback for us.”
The Indiana performance, he added, “set us up. They went very fast. It was perfect.”
Despite its European successes, Modern Games sticks in American memories with the controversial mix-up behind the starting gate Del Mar. The stallion was first scratched, then “unscratched”, but not before being thrown out of the betting pools.
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As a result, his backers received refunds or replacements on exotic bets and watched in frustration as he was a 1 1/2 length winner.
If Modern Games does travel to Keeneland in November, fans will find an upgraded horse there, Buick said.
“He’s gotten bigger. He’s full. He’s very strong, a very strong horse. He was last year but he’s gotten bigger and stronger this year. He retains all the skills in the world.
“He’s a really fast horse,” said Buick. “The faster the better for him. As you saw there, he has a lot of speed when he changes gears. So, yeah. He’s a really fast mile runner.”
Modern games from which New beginning mare Modern ideals , completed the Woodbine Mile in 1:32.77 on a steady speed, just over 1 second off the course record. In the final sixteenth he was not required to perform at his best.
The win capped a perfect afternoon at the Toronto suburbs racetrack for Godolphin, Buick and trainer Charlie Appleby, despite the trainer’s absence.
With two runners that day, they secured two wins and two win and you’re in places in the Breeders’ Cup Mysterious night was equally impressive when he hit a 5 3/4 lengths score at the Pattison Summer Stakes (G1T).