LOUISVILLE – Jockey Frankie Dettori caused trainer Sir Michael Stoute some worry, but it all worked out in the end as the famed European rider guided Juddmonte Farms’ Expert Eye to victory in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) on Saturday at Churchill Downs.
At the back of the pack for much of the race, Dettori coaxed a potent late burst of speed out of Expert Eye in the final sixteenth of a mile to rally widest and record a half-length victory that soothed Stoute’s nerves.
“He scared me,” Stoute said about Dettori’s 13th Breeders’ Cup victory.
Expert Eye, one of eight European-based runners in the Breeders' Cup Mile, was the 14th European to win the prestigious mile grass stakes in its 35-year history.
It was the third win in seven 2018 starts for the 3-year-old, who was a Group 2 winner in Great Britain earlier in his career.
“He was spinning his wheels and it took him 100 yards to figure out how to run,” Dettori said.
Analyze It led turning for home in the Breeders' Cup Mile but weakened in the final yards and could not hold off the late bids by Expert Eye and Catapult.
Catapult, trained by John Sadler, edged Analyze It for second by a neck. Divisidero at 43-1 was a nose behind in fourth.
The loss left Sadler, the trainer of $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) favorite Accelerate, with a 0-for-44 record at the Breeders’ Cup.
The win was the eighth in the Breeders’ Cup for Stoute. It was the sixth for Juddmonte and their first in the Breeders' Cup Mile. Their last victory at the World Championships came with Arrogate in the 2016 Breeders' Cup Classic.
Expert Eye paid $13.80 and raced the mile in 1:39.80.
By Bob Ehalt