Mongolian Saturday

Mongolian Saturday

Mongolian Saturday gave the Breeders’ Cup another true international showcase.

The Turf Sprint was the 10th start of the year for the 5-year-old gelding by Any Given Saturday, the first Breeders' Cup starter owned by connections from the nation of Mongolia. He had raced in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Illinois and, in the fall, Kentucky. While winning just two optional claiming races during the year, he turned in a sharp effort in the five-furlong Turf Monster Stakes at Parx in September, beaten just a nose. He ran second in the off the turf 5 ½ furlong Woodford Stakes (G3) at Keeneland on October 3.

Trainer Ganbat Enebish had his 16-1 shot ready for the Turf Sprint. Breaking from the extreme outside post position in a 14-horse field, jockey Florent Geroux skillfully guided Mongolian Saturday out of the gate and down to a prominent position off the rail behind pacesetter Ready for Rye through the far turn. Now angling to the outside Ready for Rye, Mongolian Saturday surged to a two-length lead in mid-stretch. Geroux urged Mongolian Saturday to give all he had approaching the wire, and got him home first by neck over the fast-closing Lady Shipman.

It was the first grade one win for Mongolian Saturday, and he completed the 5 ½ furlongs in 1:03.49 over a good turf course.

“I was able to save some ground at the three-eighths pole, and when I asked him turning for home, he gave me a good kick and showed me how much heart he has,” said Geroux. “He was very professional.”

Mongolian Saturday paid $33.80 in winning the Turf Sprint, the highest price of any winner in the 2015 World Championships. It was his seventh career win in 33 starts.

“Being a Mongolian, this is a big dream just to participate in this big event,” said Ganbat. “I was expecting him to run well; he’s been doing very, very well. We came here to win a Breeders’ Cup, and we did.”

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