After two disappointing efforts in the previous two renewals, Tourist finally came good in a big way to defeat Tepin in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita.
A field of fourteen assembled for this race, including six European challengers.
One of the most keenly anticipated races of the day got underway with What A View leading from Midnight Storm and Midnight Storm, with Limato settled in fourth as the opening quarter flew by.
Racing down the back stretch What a View opened a decent lead from Midnight Storm and Miss Temple City, with Photo Call and Limato and then Tourist and Tepin.
Into the home straight Midnight Storm took it up as the field fanned wide. But the danger lurked on the inside where Tourist and Joel Rosario began a big run, taking the lead with a furlong to race.
Midnight Storm was unable to respond, but last year’s winner Tepin began to sprout wings on the wide outside, cutting into the lead.
However, Tourist had first run and under a strong drive got to the wire in time. Tepin ran a super race to claim a closing second, with Midnight Storm third and the fast-finishing Ironicus fourth, as the Europeans failed to figure.
The Bill Mott trained 5 year old Tourist is a son of that Breeders’ Cup legend Tiznow.
Winning trainer Bill Mott said: “I looked at the horses in the field and I thought this is one of the most competitive races they have on this day.
“You wonder if you are coming in with a horse that is good enough, and he was good enough. But you have to have the trip (clear run).
“The trip is so imperative, he got an inside trip, saved ground and opened up going for home.”
Tepin’s trainer Mark Casse said: “I’m just proud of her, this filly has been good for so long.
“Unfortunately we just came up a touch short, but we are going to go away with our head held high. She’s just an unbelievable horse.
“I wouldn’t bet on that (run last last race), she has trained as well as she has ever trained. She can come back again next year.”
Candy said of Limato: “He was a little bit free early on, everything went right except for that and it is nothing to do with the (mile) trip, as he wasn’t going to win from two out.
“It is too late in the year, really. I’ve enjoyed the experience of coming here immensely and there are plenty of good days ahead to look forward to.”
Bentley added: “He flew the gates, in fact he came out so fast I had to take him back. But if anything he was a little keen and then just approaching the final bend he was not quite going in his usual way.”
O’Brien said of Alice Springs: “Alice was a little bit flat, she has had a long, hard season. We will freshen her up and look forward to next year.”