Flat Out: on the scoresheet dropped down in trip at AqueductPICTURE: Jessie Holmes/EquiSport Photos
Flat Out lands Cigar
Mile with late run
Report: USA, Saturday
Aqueduct: Cigar Mile Hcap (Grade 1) 1m, dirt, 3yo+
AFTER one of the worst performances of his life on an unfavourably fast strip at Santa Anita, Breeders' Cup Classic eighth Flat Out (Bill Mott/Junior Alvarado) won the Cigar Mile dropped down in trip, coming wide along the straight to swamp leader Private Zone close home.
The Grade 1 event featured Breeders' Cup winners Goldencents, who took the Dirt Mile, and Groupie Doll, who won the Filly & Mare Sprint, but they had to settle for supporting roles.
Groupie Doll made ground round the turn on the inside but found herself desperately short of space at the head of the straight, effectively ending her challenge.
Goldencents moved into second turning for home but could make no impact on Private Zone, the Breeders' Cup Sprint tenth, who had them all beat but for the veteran Flat Out, who came with a punishing run to take the lead and notch a comfortable victory by a length and a quarter. Coolmore's Verrazano took third a couple of lengths back ahead of Groupie Doll.
Trainer Bill Mott had nothing but praise for Flat Out after the seven-year-old added another Grade 1 to his pair of Jockey Club Gold Cup successes.
"This horse, I can't say enough about him," said Mott, whose career will always be synonymous with the horse after whom Saturday's race is named.
"He's just been a real tough, durable horse, a horse that I've always felt may be as good at a flat mile as he is at 10 furlongs. Although he has won the Jockey Club Gold Cup twice at 10 furlongs, [he's] versatile enough to get up and get the job done at a mile."
Flat Out was returned a 13-2 chance for the $750,000 contest.