FOR GOLDENCENTS IT WAS SIMPLE
How many times in the wonderful world of sports is it the simple things that spell success? Probably more often than not when we really think about it. That absolutely was the case for the 2014 Breeders’ cup Dirt Mile winner.
Goldencents has always been a colt considered long on talent. This son of Into Mischief had turned in strong performances throughout his career including wins in the 2013 Santa Anita Derby, 2013 Dirt Mile, and a dominating win in the 2014 Pat O’Brien Stakes at Del Mar in late August of this year. Full of run and entering the Dirt Mile as the defending champ, Goldencents had a lot going for him, but questions also surrounded him. Consistency had been a shortcoming as 6 wins in 17 lifetime starts had proven he had not been the best at maintain a winning form. So what would be the winning formula for this fleet-footed colt?
Breaking from post number one at, jockey Rafael Bejarano immediately hit the gas and gunned Goldencents to the front. Challenged early by Vicar’s In Trouble, the spirited 4-year old refused to be behind anyone as he sprinted to the lead. After a smoking through the opening quarter mile in 22.06, Goldencents kept giving it gas and throttled through the first half mile in a fabulously fast 44.8. That told everyone the race strategy for trainer Leandro Mora was simple… Andale!
“Yes, that was the plan,” smilingly says Mora. “That’s the way he likes to run. He has won from off the pace earlier in his career but now he likes to fight a little bit more so we just decided to let him go.”
And go he did. Goldencents led gate to wire and fended off a late charge from Tapiture to win by 1 ¼ lengths. Covering the mile in 1:35.19, he was only 7 hundredths of a second off his winning time of a year ago. So that emphatically answers the consistency question that has dogged Goldencents especially when you consider the dirt at Santa Anita was changed before the fall meet began.
“To run a 44 second half mile and still win on this surface says a lot about Goldencents,” says Mora. “This is not speed favoring like the dirt was last year because it is a more clay based and sticky. It tires a horse much more so to see him put on that type of performance tells us he is a true champion.”