Fantastic Light wins BC Turf

Oct. 27, 2001 at 5:22 PM
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ELMONT, N.Y., Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Fantastic Light was detoured by his owners from the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic to the $2 million Turf but he made no detour on his way to the winner's circle at Belmont Park Saturday.

The 5-year-old son of Rahy, who has raced around the globe in the past year, tucked down on the rail under jockey Frankie Dettori until the field turned for home. Then Dettori sent Fantastic Light to the lead and withstood a late challenge from another European, Milan. Timboroa was a distant third.

Fantastic Light covered the 1 ½-mile grass course in 2:24.36 -- a course record. Milan was second by ¾ length, Timboroa, third, and Blazing Fury, fourth.

It was the second win of the day for Godolphin Stable, which ran 1-2 in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies.

Fantastic Light paid $4.80, $4.20 and $3.10; Milan, $7.10 and $4.50; and Timboroa, $4.60. The $2 exacta paid $33.60.

Fantastic Light, trained by Saeed Bin Suroor, has been racing in Europe and was coming off a Sept. 8 win in the Ireland Food Island Championship. Fantastic Light has been in the money in eight of his last 10 starts and Saturday's win more than doubled his lifetime earnings, bringing them to $2.5 million.

The decision whether to send him to the Classic or his stablemate, Arc de Triomphe winner Sahkee, provided most of the intrigue around preparations for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. It was only on the morning of the post position draw on Wednesday that Godolphin announced its decision.

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