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Tamarkuz springs surprise as Dortmund disappoints

Tamarkuz powers clear of the field under Mike Smith for his first-ever US success in the Dirt Mile
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Report: USA, Friday

Las Vegas Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile | (Grade 1) | 1m | dirt | 3yo+

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin had never had a winner of any kind at the track prior to Tamarkuz's shock victory in the Dirt Mile, as the Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned six-year-old blazed home.

Favourite Dortmund was unable to enjoy an uncontested lead, having been pestered by Gun Runner throughout, and the pair set the race up for a finisher, with Tamarkuz's jockey Mike Smith needing no second invitation.

Dortmund's effort to stay in front told in the straight as the odds-on favourite failed to make the frame, finishing fourth.

Gun Runner held on for second, with Accelerate coming from off the pace to grab third.

Jockey Mike Smith said: “I had really a good trip. It set up as there was a lot of pace. Tamarkuz has speed himself and right away I knew they were going fast. After that it was just a matter of getting him into a comfortable rhythm and a happy place. When I called on him, he finished like he’s been finishing for me. I really thought he had a good shot today."

Bob Baffert confirmed that the strong pace had compromised Dortmund's chances, and said: "We were hoping to go to the front and didn’t, but got into a good position. It was a pretty hot pace. He looked great down the backside. When I saw the fractions, I got a little worried. The track is demanding today. He just didn't bring it like he has before."

I put myself where I wanted to be, right behind the speed. Approaching the half-mile pole I felt I had a lot horse underneath me

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