Through the first half mile of the 2003 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita Park, Action This Day appeared to be fulfilling expectations as a 27-1 longshot as he lagged behind in last place. But he excelled on the turn for home and charged to the front in the final stages and drew clear for a 2 ¼-length score. The effort was further rewarded when he was honored with an Eclipse Award as champion two-year-old male and he became an early favorite for the Kentucky Derby. He launched his three-year-old season with two starts at Santa Anita Park before testing the Kentucky waters by racing in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland Race Course before his sixth-place finish in the Kentucky Derby. He was trained by Richard Mandella, who won two other Breeders’ Cup races the same afternoon, and campaigned for his breeder Jamie Carrion.