Wise Dan wins Breeders' Cup Mile under super sub Jose Lezcano
Last Updated: 03/11/13 12:19am
Wise Dan wins the Breeders' Cup Mile for the second successive season
American Horse Of The Year Wise Dan won the Breeders' Cup Mile for the second successive season under super-sub Jose Lezcano
With regular jockey John Velazquez injured in a fall earlier on the card and undergoing emergency surgery to remove his spleen, connections turned to Lezcano who was content to sit off a brutal early pace set by Obviously.
He still had work to do halfway down the stretch as Za Approval took over at the head of affairs but had the move covered and was in front 50 yards from the post.
Olympic Glory was never a threat having been under pressure turning in and finished ninth while Cristoforo Colombo, outpaced early, finished well but could never land a telling blow in seventh.
Wise Dan had suffered a shock defeat in Keeneland on his latest start and winning trainer Charlie Lopresti said: "If anyone thought this horse had lost a step, I'm sorry for them.
"I want to say one thing - this one is for John Velazquez, I'm so sorry that he got hurt today. He wanted so much to ride this horse, but we had all the confidence in the world in Jose.
"He stumbled badly out of the gate and he said 'I had to go Plan B, boss' and I said 'well Plan B worked, as long as we got to the winner's circle'.
"He's a very special horse, I'm sorry he got beat at Keeneland, he was just a victim of circumstance, but he's proved he's the best today."
Rider Richard Hughes said of Richard Hannon's QEII winner Olympic Glory: "I couldn't manage to fill him up and go again when the pace quickened, but then he did run on.
"I was going as fast as I could most of the race and I would say he needs a mile and a quarter on ground as good as that. Maybe it was just a bit quick for him."
Aidan O'Brien's Cristoforo Colombo was virtually tailed off in the early stages before making late progress into seventh.