TrainerAidan P. O'Brien
Inconsistency had marked his 2-year-old season in Europe, but Derrick Smith, Mrs. John Magnier and Michael Tabor’s favored Mendelssohn ($11.60) swept past Sands of Mali at mid-stretch and then held off a late bid from Untamed Domain by a length to win the 11th running of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) for 2-year-olds on the first day of the World Championships at Del Mar.
Trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden by Ryan Moore, Mendelssohn covered the mile on a firm turf course in 1:35.97. Mendelssohn, a Kentucky-bred son of Scat Daddy and a half-brother to three-time Breeders’ Cup winner Beholder, won his second race in five career starts.
The victory was the fourth in the race for O’Brien and Moore with previous triumphs coming with Wrote (2011), George Vancouver (2012) and Hit It a Bomb (2015). It was the 13th Breeders’ Cup victory for O’Brien and ninth for Moore.
“He’s progressed with every race,” said O’Brien. “We were afraid to change him up, so we kept him on the grass. He’s stepped up every time. This is marvelous. It’s been a big team effort this year.”
Mendelssohn, the $3 million sale topper at the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, has some big horse shoes to fill. Not only did he come with a hefty tag, but the chestnut colt is a half-brother to Beholder, two-time Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff winner and four-time Eclipse Award winner.
“He is an unbelievable individual with a great disposition and mind that you dream to have,” said his breeder, Fred Mitchell, of Clarkland Farm, after the sale. “He had a special look in his eye from the time he was two months old.”
In his first race, in July of 2017 at The Curragh in Ireland, Mendelssohn dwelt at the start finished eighth, racing seven furlongs. In his next start, one month later and also at the Curragh, rider Ryan Moore sent him to the lead in a one-mile race, and despite veering in deep stretch, he broke his maiden by a length as the 7-5 favorite.
“He was green here the first day and was still very green here,” trainer Aidan O’Brien said after the win. “He’ll probably take another run or two before he starts to click into gear mentally.”
O’Brien’s assessment was prescient as Mendelssohn did not progress in his first stakes attempt, the seven-furlong Champagne Stakes (G2) at Doncaster, where he was seventh. However, Mendelssohn was more focused the next time, turning in a good effort in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes (G1) at Newmarket in mid-October, coming under the wire second behind stablemate US Navy Flag, who would finish 10th in the Sentient Jet Juvenile on dirt, while Mendelssohn went on to Breeders’ Cup glory.
|No Replay Available||May 05, 2018||Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve||CHURCHILL DOWNS||1||20|
|No Replay Available||March 31, 2018||UAE Derby Sponsored By Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group||MEYDAN RACECOURSE||2||1|
|No Replay Available||March 09, 2018||32red Patton S.||DUNDALK||1|
|No Replay Available||November 03, 2017||Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf||DEL MAR||1||1|
|No Replay Available||October 14, 2017||Darley Dewhurst S.||NEWMARKET||1||2|
|No Replay Available||September 16, 2017||Howcroft Industrial Supplies Champagne S.||DONCASTER||2||7|
|No Replay Available||August 13, 2017||Anglesey Lodge Equine Hospital Irish European Breeders Fund Maiden (Plus 10)||CURRAGH||1|
|No Replay Available||July 15, 2017||Club Godolphin Irish European Breeders Fund Maiden||CURRAGH||8|