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Fort Larned wins Breeders' Cup Classic

By ROBERT KIECKHEFER, UPI Racing Writer   |   Nov. 3, 2012 at 9:20 PM   |   Comments

ARCADIA, Calif., Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Fort Larned opened up a big lead in Saturday's $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic and held off Mucho Macho Man late for the victory.

Flat Out was a distant third in the 1 1/4-mile race over the Santa Anita main track. The favorite, Game On Dude, made a mild bid entering the stretch but quickly faded from contention.

Fort Larned, a 4-year-old E Dubai finished in 2:00.11 with Brian Hernandez Jr. celebrating his birthday in the irons for trainer Ian Wilkes.

Ron the Greek finished fourth and Richard's Kid got home fifth.

Fort Larned was a 6-1 long shot in the Classic but not for lack of previous success. He had won four of eight starts this year coming into the Breeders' Cup, with the wins including the Grade I Whitney at Saratoga. In his most recent start, Fort Larned finished third in the Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park.

Saturday, he got the job done leading most of the way on an honest pace. As Fort Larned swung into the stretch, Mike Smith got Much Macho Man into gear on his outside, quickly closed the gap and slowly inched up on the eventual winner.

The two raced almost as one for the final furlong but Fort Larned never let his rival reach equal terms and he won by a half length. It was 6 1/2 lengths farther back to Flat out.

Game On Dude came into the race with a chance to make a case for Horse of the Year honors with a win. His flop in the Classic easily could leave that honor to Wise Dan, who defeated a field of international stars in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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