Breeders' Cup 2012: Highlighting Notable Performances in the Classic

Mike ShiekmanFeatured ColumnistNovember 4, 2012

ARCADIA, CA - NOVEMBER 03:  Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. celebrates atop Fort Larned after winning the Breeders' Cup Classic Race during the 2012 Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita Park on November 3, 2012 in Arcadia, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

The 2012 Breeders' Cup Classic held a competitive group of horses for a $2.5 million win, but only two horses had a shot down the stretch.

Five horses were posted with single-digit odds at race time, but a 9-to-1 shot left no doubt from start to finish.

How did the top horses fare in the Classic? Let’s examine the notable names from the main event in Santa Anita.

Fort Larned - Winner

Jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. got the best 27th birthday present he could’ve asked for: his horse running the race of his life.

Fort Larned led at the first turn and never gave in, beating Mucho Macho Man by a half-length and the $2.7 million prize.

The four-year-old colt took a sizable advantage in the far turn, which proved to be the difference. Trainer Ian Wilkes beat out two Hall of Famers Bob Baffert and Bill Mott for his first Classic victory.

Fort Larned goes to 8-2-1 overall with the biggest win of its racing career.

Mucho Macho Man - 2nd Place

It seemed Mucho Macho Man would overtake Fort Larned in the final act, but the colt could never overtake the gem of a race jockeyed by Hernandez Jr.

The Kathy Ritvo-trained horse gained traction following the far turn, only a half-length away from the leader with the other competitors left in the dust.

Unfortunately, jockey Mike Smith would not become the Classic’s all-time winningest jockey on this day. He’ll settle for a second-place finish.

Game On Dude - 7th Place

The Classic’s heavy favorite came off a step slow at the start and dropped from contention after final turn.

The Baffert-trained colt had been lauded as a $1.30 payout at post time, but you would’ve never known from the race he ran.

The Classic was thought to be a cinch for Baffert’s Game On Dude, as they were racing at the trainer’s hometown track in Santa Anita. However, for those expecting the Horse of the Year candidate to come on strong were greatly disappointed.


Want to see the full results of the Breeders' Cup Classic? Check out the order of finish here.