Mendelssohn (9/2 2f) provided Aidan O’Brien with his 27th Group/Grade One winner of the year when winning the Juvenile Turf at Del Mar, California, on day one of the 2017 Breeders’ Cup meeting.
The two year-old son of Scat Daddy, drawn in stall one, broke well and followed Irish-born trainer Richard Fahey’s Sands Of Mali throughout the race until the latter began to fade.
Jockey Ryan Moore then pushed the Coolmore partners-owned Mendelssohn on in the home straight to run out a comfortable winner from Untamed Domain in second and Voting Control in third.
The winner had previously finished second to fellow Ballydoyle runner US Navy Fleet in the Dewhurst last month at Newmarket.
Winning trainer, Aidan O’Brien, who was claiming his 12th Breeders’ Cup success, said of the winner: “He was still a little green and he’d been getting better all the time. It was brilliant; he’s stepped up again today so it’s marvellous.”
Speaking to American TV as he returned to the winner’s enclosure, winning rider Ryan Moore stated:
“He’s a beautiful horse but he’s just been a bit backward. Everything went our way today. He’s been slow mentally but he was professional today but even when he hit the front he wasn’t sure what to do.”
Mendelssohn, due to this dirt pedigree, may now be aimed at the Kentucky Derby next May at Churchill Downs, the first leg of the American Triple Crown.
Gordon Elliott, whose representative Beckford, was last in the Juvenile Turf field coming out of the back straight, finished strongly for an eye-catching fourth place.