JockeyRicardo Santana Jr.
TrainerSteven M. Asmussen
OwnerWilliam and Corinne Heiligbrodt
BreederEdward A. Cox Jr.
Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt’s 4-year-old Mitole reinforced his status as North America’s top sprinter and closed out a marvelous career when he roared past favored Shancelot at the sixteenth pole and went on to a 1 1/4-length victory in the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita Park.
Trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr., Mitole, the 9-5 second choice, covered the 6 furlongs on a fast main track in 1:09. For Santana, it is his first Breeders’ Cup victory and the seventh for Asmussen, first in the Sprint.
Shancelot grabbed the lead shortly after the start and quickly opened a daylight advantage as Santana kept Mitole in the clear in fourth place in the field of eight.
At the head of the stretch, Shancelot was still in control as Matera Sky and Firenze Fire began to fall back with Mitole coming four wide. Mitole drew even at the sixteenth pole and then pulled away.
“I think that he is so easy to be around, nothing but class and the ability he has is just tremendous,” said Asmussen. “I don’t know that people realize from where he was in the spring to stretching out to beating the field that he did in the Met Mile, to retract from that and beat the best sprinters in the world and run in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint as opposed to the Mile, that’s twice as much money on his way out. But, it’s a very difficult job, one that a horse of his elite abilities is capable of doing.”
“I had a lot of confidence in my horse,” said Santana. “He’s a horse I’ve been riding since he was two-years old. I changed my mind today. A lot of people thought he’d go to the lead. I took him back and made one move and got to the wire first.”
Mitole, a bay son of Eskendereya out of the Indian Charlie mare Indian Miss was bred in Kentucky by Edward A. Cox, Jr. The Sprint was Mitole’s fourth Grade 1 victory of 2019 and increased his career earnings $3,104,910. His three other Grade 1 wins were the Churchill Downs Handicap in May, the Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park in June, and the Forego at Saratoga in August. He finished the year with five wins in six starts and was 10 of 14 overall.
Following the Breeders’ Cup, Mitole was retired to stud at Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky. He also was voted the 2019 Eclipse Award as Champion Male Sprinter.
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