In what will go down as one of the most dominant performances of 2012, 9-1 underdog Fort Larned stole the show and the $5 million prize by getting out to an early lead and never relinquishing it.
Fort Larned's wire-to-wire win made the victory even more impressive.
After Game on Dude entered the race as the unquestioned favorite to win it all (7-5 odds), it was Fort Larned that started the race perfectly and held off every horse until eventual second-place finisher Mucho Macho Man made the last stretch very interesting.
There was no question that Fort Larned was the class of this field, utterly dominating the competition out of the gates and getting the perfect spot in front against the rail. After keeping close to the field for the majority of the race, the Ian Wilkes-trained horse made his biggest move at the last corner and pulled away from the rest of the horses.
Mucho Macho Man made it interesting in the last furlong, but Fort Larned was strong enough to hold him off. Flat Out was fortunate enough to move past traffic late and take third place.
Legendary trainer Bob Baffert brought odds-on favorite Game on Dude to the Breeders’ Cup, but the seventh-place finish was devastating to a man that has lost some of the biggest races of his life in 2012 (second place at the Preakness and Kentucky Derby).
As hard as it was for Baffert to watch, the underdog Fort Larned stealing the show is what the Breeders’ Cup is all about. Both the winner and Mucho Macho man are huge horses with long strides, and when they get running well, there is no stopping them.
While Fort Larned wasn’t a favorite coming into this event, the stallion will be a household name after winning the richest purse in horse racing.
Breeders' Cup Classic | Grade 1 | Purse: $5 Million | Distance: 10 furlongs
Winning Time: 2:00.11|
|4||Fort Larned||Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.||20.80||9.80||6.80|
|11||Mucho Macho Man||Mike E. Smith||6.60||4.60|
|2||Flat Out||Joel Rosario||5.20|
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