Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith's Wrote got Europe on the board at the 28th Breeders' Cup when scoring a commanding victory in Saturday's $909,000 Juvenile Turf. Trained by Aidan O'Brien and ridden by Ryan Moore, the son of O'Brien's two-time Turf winner High Chaparral drove past the battling pair of Excaper and Farraaj to win by 2 1/4 lengths. The 11-1 chance paid $25.20, $13.80 and $8.60 and sparked the $964 exacta, $8,131.20 trifecta and $90,140.40 superfecta.
Wrote flattered his stablemate Daddy Long Legs, who was to take part in the Juvenile later on the card. Last time out, Wrote finished third to Daddy Long Legs in the Group 2 Royal Lodge at Newmarket.
In the early going at Churchill Downs, Majestic City dictated through fractions of :23 3/5 and :48 1/5. Excaper prompted in second, while English shipper Farraaj traveled beautifully in third, and Wrote was biding his time roughly five lengths back in seventh.
Excaper and Farraaj overtook a weakening Majestic City through six furlongs in 1:13 1/5, and they staged a rousing duel in the stretch. By that point, though, Wrote was produced wider out. Surging clear in a powerful display, he drew off to finish one mile on the good turf in 1:37 2/5.
"I had a nice trip -- good position all the way," Moore said. "When I got to the outside, he picked it up really well in the stretch."
"He traveled so well all the way, so he did," O'Brien said. "It's absolutely brilliant. I'm really, really pleased."
Excaper bested Farraaj for second by a nose.
"The race set up just the way we planned," said Emma-Jayne Wilson, who rode Excaper. "Sometimes, it does not do that, but today it did. He is a raw talent and been a good pupil, and learned his lessons well. (Trainer) Ian (Black) had been down here all week and he said the turf was a little softer down on the inside, so I kept him off the rail. He ran great, and only one horse beat us."
"It was a good race," Farraaj's jockey Neil Callan said. "I got a good pitch from the gate, traveled just off the speed. Just when I went for my split into the straight the second horse (Excaper) leaned on me a little. Ultimately he galloped out well to the line. He's a lengthening sort of horse. That's why I committed him at the top of the stretch. He ran very creditably. I was proud of him."
Lucky Chappy checked in another 1 1/4 lengths back in fourth, followed by Animal Spirits, Daddy Nose Best, 4-1 favorite Finale, Caspar Netscher, Shkspeare Shaliyah, Fantastic Song, Coalport, State of Play, Majestic City and the also-eligible Tequila Factor. Gung Ho was scratched.
John Velazquez was ruing the trip endured by Finale, a Todd Pletcher trainee who represents the same ownership as the victorious Wrote.
"The post (12) kind of hurt him," Velazquez said. "I tried to find a place to tuck in going to the first turn, but it was too crowded and he wanted to run. We were five-wide into the turn and we probably lost the race right there."
Wrote was third in his debut at Roscommon on August 15, then broke his maiden by a nose one week later at Cork. The bay wheeled right back with a two-length decision in a premier nursery at Galway, but didn't get the best of trips when third in the Royal Lodge. His Breeders' Cup heroics advanced his resume to 5-3-0-2, $600,899.
Bred by Speers Bloodstock in Ireland, Wrote failed to sell when attracting a bid of $38,078 as a Tattersalls December weanling. At the same venue the next October, he went to his current connections for $243,112.
Wrote was produced by the Green Desert mare Desert Classic. His third dam, the winning Durrah, is a full sister to multiple Grade 2 queen Number and Grade 1-placed stakes victress Bound, both noted matrons. Durrah is also a half-sister to world-renowned sire Nureyev and to champion Fairy Bridge, the dam of another super-sire in Sadler's Wells.
Another family member starred here last year -- champion older male Blame, who famously denied Zenyatta in the Breeders' Cup Classic.