Battle of Midway
OwnerDon Alberto Stable and WinStar Farm LLC
BreederThor-Bred Stables LLC
WinStar Farm and Don Alberto Stable’s Battle of Midway ($30.40) prevailed by a half-length over pace-setting Sharp Azteca after a stretch-long duel to win the 11th running of the $1 million Las Vegas Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) for 3-year-olds and up on Breeders’ Cup Friday at Del Mar racetrack.
Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer and ridden by Flavien Prat, Battle of Midway covered the mile on a fast main track in 1:35.20. The victory was the third for Hollendorfer in the Breeders’ Cup and second in the Dirt Mile, having won previously with Dakota Phone at Churchill Downs in 2010. It was the second Breeders’ Cup win for Prat and first in the Dirt Mile.
Battle of Midway, a 3-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Smart Strike remained perfect in two starts over the main track at Del Mar. He previously won the one mile Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar by 6 ¼ lengths on August 26. Following that race, Battle of Midway finished second in the Oklahoma Derby at Remington Park on September 24, prior to his Dirt Mile score.
“He’s a horse for the course,” said Hollendorfer. “He loves Del Mar. He had run a huge number here (when winning the Shared Belief Stakes). We had a lot of confidence in him coming into this race. “I talked to Flavien (Prat) and we agreed there was a lot of speed in the race. At the break he was able to follow John Sadler’s horse (Accelerate) and got a good position. This horse has always been a fighter and he showed that today. He showed a lot of courage in winning this race.”
“I let him break and find position and was wide early,” said Prat. “I thought there would be more pace. Then down the backside he relaxed well and gave me a really good kick. He was training really well in the morning.”
Battle of Midway, a $410,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga 2015 sale purchase, began his career as a 3-year-old in 2017, racing 10 times and winning five of them, including the Grade 3 Affirmed Stakes at Santa Anita. He finished second in the Santa Anita Derby (G1) and was third in the Kentucky Derby (G1).
Following the Breeders’ Cup, Battle of Midway was retired and began standing stud at WinStar Farm in Kentucky in 2018.