Fort Larned Breeders Cup Success For Local Sire Just As Well(USA)
E Dubai, who falls under the second dam of Just As Well has sired another impressive Gr 1 winner with Fort Larned in the recent Breeders Cup Classic for a stake of $5 million.
Fort Larned led from gate to wire and held off a sustained stretch bid by Mucho Macho Man to win the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic (Gr. I) before a crowd of 55,123 at Santa Anita Park Nov. 3.
In one of the most thrilling races in Classic history, the Ian Wilkes-trained Whitney Invitational Handicap (Gr. I) winner raced the 1 1/4 miles in 2:00.11 on a fast track and gave jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. a treasured 27th birthday present.
A 4-year-old son of E Dubai produced from the Broad Brush mare Arlucea, Fort Larned earned $2.7 million to increase his bankroll to $3,681,236, and improved his record to 8-2-1 from 19 career starts.
The Classic was expected to play into the hands of Game On Dude, the Bob Baffert-trained son of Awesome Again who appeared to have a home track advantage by virtue of his 5-for-5 record at Santa Anita.
But it did not take long for the race to become a two-horse race as Fort Larned rolled to the front the first time down the stretch while being track by Mucho Macho Man and To Honor and Serve. Rounding the first turn, the leaders stopped the timer in a moderate :23.20 and continued to lead up the backstretch with a half-mile completed in :46.50.
The pace quickened rounding the turn as Much Macho Man took aim at Fort Larned and those two engaged in an exciting stretch duel. Fort Larned, on the inside, was not to be deterred on this day, and won by a half-length.
Ron the Greek was fourth, followed by Richard's Kid, Nonios, Game On Dude, Pool Play, Handsome Mike, To Honor and Serve, Brilliant Speed, and Alpha.
"We had to be there near the front and he was ready today," Wilkes said. "He had galloped great over the track. I knew we were good when he broke sharp. That's where Brian (Hernandez) won the race. We broke sharp and Game On Dude broke bad. I trust Brian because the horse trusts Brian."
"It's the greatest birthday ever," said Hernandez. "I always had a lot of confidence in him. Ian and I talked about the race and he told me don't take him out of his game and let him do whatever he wants to do. He has a good cruising speed and I just let him go."
Bred in Kentucky by his owner, Fort Larned began his 2012 campaign with a fourth in handicap company and a win in the listed Challenger Stakes, both at Tampa Bay Downs. Elevated in class, Fort Larned won the Grade III Skip Away Stakes before finishing second to Successful Dan in the Alysheba Stakes (Gr. II) at his home track of Churchill Downs.
After an eighth-place effort in Churchill's Stephen Foster Handicap (Gr. I), Hernandez got back aboard Fort Larned for a grade III win the Cornhusker Handicap (Gr. III) at Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino. Previous to the Breeders' Cup was the Whitney victory and a third to Flat Out in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (Gr. I).
E Dubai is by Mr Prospector, a half-brother to the dam of Just As Well. Interestingly, the broodmare sire of E Dubai is also Lord At War, the same as Raven's Pass. E Dubai has already sired the likes of Gr 1 Breeders Cup Turf Sprint winner, Desert Code.