Modern Games (IRE)
Juvenile Turf Division
DamModern Ideals (GB)
Godolphin’s Modern Games (IRE) unleashed a blistering turn of foot down the stretch to win the 14th running of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) to wrap up Future Stars Friday for 2-year-olds to kick off the 2021 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar. Trained by Charlie Appleby and ridden by William Buick, Modern Games covered the mile on a firm Jimmy Durante Turf Course in 1:34.72. Prior to the start of the race, Albahr (GB), also owned by Godolphin, flipped in the starting gate and was scratched and Modern Games initially was ruled a scratch but allowed to run for purse money only.
Racing in midpack early on, Modern Games was sixth turning for home, angled out six wide and surged to the front at mid-stretch blowing past Grafton Street. Tiz the Bomb rallied from far back under Brian Hernandez Jr. to finish 1 ½ lengths back in second. For pari-mutuel purposes, Tiz the Bomb rewarded his backers with a $17.60 win payoff. A winner of four of six starts, the Godolphin homebred added $520,000 to his bankroll and increased his earnings to $595,348. Modern Games is a son of Dubawi (IRE) out of the New Approach (IRE) mare Modern Ideals.
“Modern Games pulled it through for us,” said Appleby. “William (Buick) gave him a great ride. It’s fantastic for the whole team. “Modern Games was hugely impressive in the race. I’ve been delighted with his work all week. He traveled over very well and taken everything in his stride. I was fairly confident coming in the race but to win like he did was quite special. He’s very exciting for next year. Congratulations to all the team over here and back home and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed.”
“To be honest I didn’t know what happened in the gates,” said winning rider Buick. “I heard walkie talkies saying they were going scratch me. The gate opened for me by one of the stall handlers so I could get away from Albahr. He broke electric the first time (through the gate, prior to the race) and then when they put him back in he was a little bit restless and he broke slow. But because I was in the one-hole, I managed to have a bit of time and get a good position. Then going to the three-eighths pole, I managed to switch out and get running and he really finished for me. Modern Games is a real pro. To be able to deal with that.”
Modern Games broke his maiden on July 4 at 7 furlongs at Newmarket, and following a second-place finish in the Longines Irish Champions Weekend EBF Novice Stakes at Leicester, he won the Sept. 8 Nursery Handicap at Doncaster. Prior to the Breeders’ Cup, Modern Games captured the 7-furlong Somerville Tattersalls Stakes (G3) at Newmarket on Sept. 23.