New Year's Day (right) makes a late winning charge in the JuvenilePICTURE: Jeff Gross/Getty Images
No cigar for Havana as New Year's swoops late
Report: USA, Saturday
Santa Anita: Breeders' Cup Juvenile (Grade 1) 2yo, colts & geldings, 1m½f
COOLMORE colt Havana finished second after being caught late by the charge of New Year's Day, who came flying down the rail to give trainer Bob Baffert a first win at this year's meeting.
Havana, trained in the States by Todd Pletcher and ridden by comeback king Gary Stevens, looked to have the race sewn up after taking a commanding lead in the straight.
But New Year's Day finished far stronger than anything else and easily reeled in the leader in the final furlong, looking every inch a Classic contender for next year.
Coral installed him as 12-1 favourite for the Kentucky Derby.
Jockey Martin Garcia, 29, celebrating his first Cup win, said: "My horse doesn't have that much pace. I was exactly where I wanted to be - I saved ground at every corner.
"The rail was open and I took it. I didn't panic. My horse was ready to start running.
"I had never ridden him before in a race but I was getting on him in the morning most of the time. We're starting to get to know each other - it looks like a good team."
Baffert added: "Martin rode a terrific race on him. I told him to take advantage of the rail and he did and I'm glad he had a chance to shine on a day like this."
Strong Mandate, who led until the last furlong, stayed on to take third.