Bricks And Mortar too strong in Turf as Anthony Van Dyck is left short of room
Bricks And Mortar enhanced his claims for the American Horse of the Year accolade by sweeping to Breeders' Cup Turf glory as Anthony Van Dyck's run was checked badly at a crucial point in the straight.
As Ryan Moore angled his Investec Derby-winning mount off the rail, he looked to manoeuvre through a gap between Bandua on his inner and United on his outer.
However, the door was promptly shut, and his partner's run was impeded just as the race was beginning to unfold.
At the time, Bricks And Mortar was in behind Anthony Van Dyck.
With what was reckoned to be his main rival in bother, Irad Ortiz swept wide on the Chad Brown-trained five-year-old with a decisive move to maximise the opportunity he was presented with.
Bricks And Mortar was trying 12 furlongs for a first time, but the son of Giant's Causeway never looked like he would want for stamina. He ran right through the line to extend his unbeaten run in 2019 to six, holding off the persistent challenge of United with a little more authority than the head margin suggests.
It was a third win of the two-day meeting for Ortiz, who then went on to make it four when plundering the Classic aboard Vino Rosso.
Anthony Van Dyck was a length and a quarter further back in third, and Aidan O'Brien indicated afterwards that the colt would remain in training next year. Bricks And Mortar, on the other hand, is off to stud in Japan.
"A mile and a half was a big question mark but he'd trained so well," said turf specialist Brown, who was welcoming his third winner of the week following those of Structor and Uni.
"It looked like he was losing a little bit of ground in the final turn there, I was worried that maybe he wasn't kicking on, but once he got in the clear he picked up the bit again and ran on."
The nature of Anthony Van Dyck's defeat seemed to epitomise what has been a luckless couple of days in California for the European runners, save for Iridessa's famous victory in the Filly and Mare Turf.
Mount Everest, the other Ballydoyle runner, also kept on to be sixth.
"The two of them ran well," O'Brien said. "It was a little bit rough but that's the way. Sometimes you get the breaks and sometimes you don't. Sometimes things open up for you and sometimes they don't.
"Anthony Van Dyck was where he was comfortable during the race. They started to quicken then and things have to fall for you then, and they just didn't really. They will both be lovely horses for next year."
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