In their first trip to the Breeders' Cup, Structor owners Jeff Drown and Don Rachel have already experienced what many owners never will — the taste of a Breeders' Cup victory. The son of Palace Malice, who cost the owners $850,000 seven months ago at the OBS March Sale, took an inside trip through the stretch and weaved through rivals with a huge closing kick under jockey Jose Ortiz.
“He broke really sharp for me in the perfect position, really nice and comfortable, he was very relaxed,” said Ortiz. “But then when we hit the second turn, I didn't really like where I were, so I decide to ease him back just a little bit and let Tyler [Gaffalione, on Gear Jockey] clear me. And when he did clear me, I came outside of him. And I had a lot of horse, he overcome everything. We had some traffic, but good horses overcome it, and he did it.”
Chad Brown trains the colt, who won the Grade 3 Pilgrim by a gutsy head in his last race at Belmont Park.
“He had been training really, really well,” said Brown. “I know he came into the race undefeated, but he — from his last win until today, the horse actually has matured and strengthened a lot, and he's really learned a lot.
“Even though he was drawing well on the inside, there's still a lot of decisions to make in there, and Jose, he made all the right decisions.”
Brown suggested after the race that Structor may be even better with a switch to dirt. The owners said it was something they'd be open to.
“I would like to try to get him on the dirt in the spring, but I think Jeff said it perfect: It's not to take away from this; if he wins the Belmont Derby next year, we're going to be just as happy,” said Brown. “But he does — I have been here before with other horses that have won these Juvenile Turf races, and I don't think I've ever said I'm going to run one on the dirt. So this horse, he gives me the feeling like he'll take to it, but we'll see.”
The race was not without drama — the stewards posted the inquiry sign at the finish after Hit the Road clipped heels with Deviant, causing the colt to stumble at the top of the lane. Deviant regained his footing but finished last, leading to the disqualification of Hit the Road, who was placed last. Farther along in the stretch, Graceful Kitten, who had been traveling along the rail, ducked in slightly and bounced off the rail but settled back and finished just ahead of Deviant.
The final time for the mile was 1:35.11. Structor paid $12.60 to win.
Structor was bred in Kentucky by Three Chimneys Farm, and is out of More Than Ready mare Miss Always Ready. Mike Ryan purchased the horse at OBS March, where he was consigned by Pick View. Previously, Structor was a $160,000 yearling purchase for Marquee Bloodstock at Keeneland September, where he was consigned by Gainesway.
Billy Batts prevailed in a photo for second, while Gear Jockey. The remainder of the order of finish was: Decorated Invader, Arizona (IRE), Proven Strategies,Fort Myers, Our Country, Andesite, War Beast, Peace Achieved, Graceful Kitten, Deviant.
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