Cody’s Wish prevails in the Dirt Mile under Junior Alvarado (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)
Breeders’ Cup Press Release
ARCADIA, Calif.— Godolphin’s homebred Cody’s Wish ($3.60) survived a late stretch duel with National Treasure and a claim of foul to successfully defend his title by a nose in the 17th running of the $1 million Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) for 3-year-olds and up to kick off the second day of the World Championships at Santa Anita.
Trained by Bill Mott and ridden by Junior Alvarado, Cody’s Wish covered the mile on a fast track in 1:35.97. Cody’s Wish joins Goldencents (2013-2014) as the only back-to-back winners of the race. It is Mott’s 14th Breeders’ Cup victory and the third for Alvarado and the second of the weekend for both.
National Treasure, winner of this year’s Preakness (G1), set an uncontested pace as Cody’s Wish trailed the field of seven early. On the backstretch, Alvarado began to close in and by the time the field was in the far turn, Cody’s Wish had moved into third.
National Treasure maintained his advantage until inside the eighth pole when Cody’s Wish ranged up alongside with the two racing as a team and exchanging bumps to the wire where Cody’s Wish narrowly prevailed.
It was another 3 ¾ lengths back to Skippylongstocking in third.
The victory was worth $520,000 and improved Cody’s Wish’s earnings to $2,965,230 with a record of 16-11-1-4 with five Grade 1 victories.
Cody’s Wish is a Kentucky-bred son of 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner Curlin out of the Tapit mare Dance Card.
Winning trainer Bill Mott, Cody’s Wish – “A great story, it’s a great story, an inspiration for a lot of people. To see what it has done for Cody Dorman and his family and a lot of people around him. Look, I have a wrist band (he shows it) and it says “Cody’s Wish. Sometimes wishes do come true. I think Junior got his head in front and the way he felt, he said that horse was never going to get by him. The other horse (National Treasure) drifted out into us and came out a couple paths and I think there was a slight brush and we probably brushed him back but it did not knock either of them off stride.”
Winning jockey Junior Alvarado, Cody’s Wish – “He broke OK again, better than the last couple of races. I had to save every inch of ground with him. I didn’t have the luxury of swinging him outside because I knew this was a tough race. He always is there for me. He is just a big fighter for me.
(on the inquiry) “The other horse (National Treasure) came out first and initiated contact. Once that happened, I knew I had one green light for me to go back at him. I just needed to keep him as straight as possible.”
Second-place jockey Flavien Prat, National Treasure – “The plan was to send him today. He ran very well, it was a comfortable pace. I was right where I wanted to be and he was really giving it to me. There were a couple of bumps in the stretch.”
Third-place trainer Saffie Joseph Jr., Skippylongstocking – “He ran big. The best horse won and it’s a great story. If I could not win, that is the horse I wanted to win. Tyler gave him a great trip and got him into position. I am proud of him.”