Vyjack, at 6-years-old, is one of the elder statesmen at this year’s Breeders’ Cup.
The durable gelding is heading into the big dance fresh off a track record performance in the October 8 City of Hope Mile at Breeders’ Cup host track Santa Anita. He scored in 1:31.69 for the eight furlongs, breaking Wise Dan's 2012 record of 1:31.78 for a mile on the turf.
With eight wins from 27 lifetime starts and earnings over $1.3 million, Vyjack gave his connections a dilemma between the Mile and the Dirt Mile with the record-breaking grass win, but in the end they opted for the Dirt Mile.
A two-time grade two winner on dirt, the City of Hope was Vyjack's first stakes win on turf and first stakes win overall since the 2014 Kelso Handicap.
Vyjack won a stakes at two, both the Jerome and Gotham at three, the Kelso at four for trainer Rudy Rodriguez. He failed to visit the winner’s circle last year at age five, but won a turf allowance at Keeneland this spring, and was second in the Red Bank Stakes at Monmouth this summer.
He moved from Bill Mott’s barn to Phil D’Amato in California this summer, and was second in the Pat O’Brien Stakes in his first start for his new conditioner. The Pat O’Brien was a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.