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Mile distance appeals to trio of TRJ territory runners

November 3, 2012     E-mail this page to a friend!

Second City, shown here after his Thursday morning jog, will have the first-time services of "Super Mario" Gutierrez in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.
(photo by Robert Cooke, Jr.)
Story by Karen Svea Johnson

Three horses with racing experience at tracks in TRJ territory are entered in the $1,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile on Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Championship card. (See for more information about these runners.)

Jersey Town, breaking from the three gate for his run at the million, has the most experience overall and the most in TRJ territory. The horse, now six years old, debuted at Gulfstream Park before moving up the coast to Belmont and Monmouth Park with trainer Barclay Tagg. With a strong record of three wins and two second-place finishes in six lifetime starts, Jersey Town’s connections pointed him north, toward the Grade III 2009 British Columbia Derby.

Barbara Heads took over training at Hastings Park, and saddled the horse for his Derby run. Jersey Town led at every call until the last one, when Winning Machine prevailed by a length at the end of the mile and an eighth. The horse wintered over in the Northwest and returned to training at Emerald Downs with trainer Tim McCanna in preparation for the 2010 Longacres Mile. In that Mile, he finished second behind super horse Noosa Beach.

After that good run, Jersey Town returned to Tagg’s barn and raced in a string of graded races, compiling a record that secured his place in today’s race.

Another runner who used the coast-to-coast route to get to the Breeders’ Cup is Second City. He debuted as a three year old at Penn National and then traveled to Charlestown for two races. After three races and three wins, his connections decided to send the three-year-old to Hastings Racecourse for the 2012 British Columbia Derby—a very smart decision that gave them another victory and the graded-race earnings needed to qualify for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. Ben Cecil is his trainer for this race.

Owner Paul Reddam of Reddam Racing LLC has given the call to his “lucky charm,” Mario Gutierrez. Reddam and “Super Mario” made history this year in their attempt to win the Triple Crown with I’ll Have Another, which was derailed when the horse suffered a career-ending injury. This will be the first time Gutierrez has ridden Second City in a race.

After debuting with two quick wins at Woodbine this summer, Delegation invaded TRJ territory in July to run in Canterbury Park’s inaugural Mystic Lake Derby. The three-year-old took second in that race and then returned to Woodbine for three more races, including a win in the Grade III Durham Cup that secured his place in the Breeders’ Cup lineup. This will be Delegation’s first race on a dirt surface after running three on turf and another three on Woodbine’s artificial surface. Jockey Patrick Husbands, who has ridden Delegation in four previous races, will again have the mount for the Dirt Mile.