Tourist avenged last year's Breeders' Cup Mile loss on Saturday, turning the tables on a determined, late-closing Tepin in the Santa Anita Park stretch. Joel Rosario was aboard the Tiznow son for trainer Bill Mott and owners WinStar Farm, Wachtel Stable and Gary Barber. Tourist chased a sizzling early pace set by early leader What a View and took a closing route along the rail to win the Mile by a half length. The final time of 1:31.71 was just off Vyjack's track record of 1:31.69.
Midnight Storm finished third. Betting favorite and European shipper Limato placed sixth.
Tourist came to this year's Mile with just one win in the season, which came in the G1 Fourstardave at Saratoga in August. Most recently, he finished third behind Mile rivals Miss Temple City and Ironicus in the G1 Shadwell Turf Mile, which likely impacted his Breeders' Cup Mile odds of 12-1. He also ran in the 2014 Mile, where he finished a disappointing thirteenth behind Karakontie (JPN).
“He never looked like he weakened,” said Mott. “He looked like he came on. I think the others were running from behind him, but I don't think he was giving an inch. I think he was still, you know — the pedal was still to the medal, and I think he was still giving it when he approached the wire. I don't think he had given up when he hit the wire.”
Tourist was bred in Kentucky by WinStar and is out of Unbridled's Song mare Unbridled Melody.
The win gave Mott his tenth Breeders' Cup win, but his first victory in the Mile. Rosario has five previous Breeders' Cup wins, including the 2010 Mile aboard Dakota Phone.
Tepin's connections took the close finish as an indication the 5-year-old mare ‘has still got it.'
“We had a good race,” said jockey Julien Leparoux. “I was right behind the favorite and was in a good spot. She made a run but the winner got a dream trip on the inside. What else can you say about her? She had an incredible year. We were hoping she would end the year with a win but it's been a pleasure to ride her.”
Although his owners could not confirm his retirement, they did hint in a post-race press conference that this may have been Tourist's last race.
‘We're going to talk about it as a group, but when you win a race like that against the best milers in the world, and he's five years old, he'll probably go to stud,” said WinStar president and CEO Elliott Walden.
Trade media reported on Twitter no determination has been made on Tepin's future, but a 6-year-old campaign has not been ruled out for the Mark Casse trainee.
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