Capping an extraordinary comeback story, Stud Misterio's Ordak Dan (ARG), the winner of 2013 edition of the Gran Premio 25 de Mayo (G1), did it again on Monday before more than 40,000 fans at San Isidro, with a gritty 1 1/2-length victory over favored Alma de Acero, and earned a “Win and You're In” berth into the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf through the international Breeders' Cup Challenge.
The Breeders' Cup Challenge is series of 78 stakes races whose winners receive automatic berths into a corresponding race of the Breeders' Cup Word Championships, which will be held at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky on October 30-31. The Gran Premio 25 de Mayo was the second of five South American Breeders' Cup Challenge races to be conducted this year.
People say that the same train never stops twice, but for Ordak Dan, it did. At age six, and after overcoming a tendon injury he suffered in the United States while preparing to run the 2013 Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita, the son of Hidden Truth returned to top form and became the fourth horse in history to twice win the Gran Premio 25 de Mayo.
Under the steady hand of the brilliant Jorge Ricardo, Ordak Dan and “Ricardinho” displayed tremendous heart in a difficult race. Breaking from the No. 1 post position in the 15 horse field, Ordak Dan proved he was best of all in the straight, take the lead with 300 meters to go and outfought Alma de Acero to win in 2:27.14 over a turf course listed as good. Oregon (ARG) finished third.
The large crowd which came to San Isidro on Monday for the 2015 renewal to witness one of its most historic races. After some down years, the Gran Premio 25 de Mayo has regained its standing since joining the Breeders' Cup Challenge “Win and You're In” program in 2012.
As a part of the benefits of the Challenge series, the Breeders' Cup will pay the $60,000 entry fee for Ordak Dan to start in the Turf, which will be run at 1 ½ miles. Breeders' Cup will also provide a $40,000 travel allowance for all starters based outside of North America to compete in the World Championships.
Ordak Dan, bred by Haras Caryjuan, is handled champion trainer Juan C. Etchechoury, who said after the race that the there is a chance for a run in the Turf again this year. “We need to meet with his owners and talk about it, but in principle, it is our intention to try,” said Etchechoury. “The horse has a lot of heart and is this race was a great memento to total soundness. Jorge Ricardo did wonderful job riding him. It is my first win in the 25 de Mayo, and I'm really very happy.”
Much of credit for Ordak Dan's recovery goes to veterinarian Carlos Carabajal, who trained the winner in his triumph of 2013. An eminence in Argentina, Carabajal recommended Etchechoury for the horse's preparation post injury stage and the results were evident.
Ordak Dan was off for 1 ½ years until last December when he finished 18th in the 1 ¼ mile Carlos Pellegrini (G1) at San Isidro. He improved, though, in his first three starts of 2015 for Etchechoury, which included a solid runner-up finish in the ¼ mile Premio Matinez de Hoz (G1) at San Isidro in February behind Alma de Acero. Ordak Dan finished fifth most recently in the Gran Premio Republica Argentina (G1) at Palermo on dirt.
The Gran Premio 25 de Mayo was the second of five Breeders' Cup Challenge races to be run in South America this year. Furia Cruzada won the May 1 Gran Premio Criadores (G1) at Palermo in Argentina to earn an automatic berth into the Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff. Following the Gran Premio 25 de Mayo, the next two South American races will both be held on June 21: the Gran Premio Brasil (G1) at Hipodromo da Gavea in Rio De Janeiro for an automatic berth in the Turf, and the Clasico Cesar del Rio (G3) (Distaff) at Hipodromo de Monterrico in Lima, Peru. The final South American Breeders' Cup Challenge race will be the Copa De Oro Vinas De Chile (G2) at Club Hipico de Santiago in Chile on June 26 for a bid into the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile.
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