Structor Nails Billy Batts In The Stretch Jose Ortiz Up
Jeff Drown and Don Rachel’s Structor ($12.60) split horses in deep stretch and collared Billy Batts late to win by a three-quarters of a length in the 13th running of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Presented by Coolmore America at Santa Anita Friday afternoon.
Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Jose Ortiz, Structor covered the mile on a firm turf course in 1:35.11.
The victory for Brown is the 13th in the World Championships but first in the Juvenile Turf. For Ortiz, it is his third Breeders’ Cup victory and second in the Juvenile Turf to go with a triumph by Oscar Performance in 2016.
Ortiz gave Structor a ground-saving trip in the run down the backstretch as Graceful Kitten set the pace with Billy Batts in closest pursuit. At the head of the stretch, Ortiz swung Structor off the rail and rallied four-wide to surge past Billy Batts for the victory.
The victory was worth $550,000 and improved Structor’s earnings to $709,500 with three victories in as many starts.
Structor is a Kentucky-bred son of Palice Malice out of the More Than Ready mare Miss Always Ready.
Winning Trainer Chad Brown (Structor) – “He’s just improving so much every week, this horse. We’ve always thought a lot of him and he’s come in here and been improving week to week. His last race was very impressive to me. We thought he was sitting on another good race. Irad (Ortiz) opted for the other horse and that’s how it goes. Jose was obviously a very capable replacement having been one of the leading jockeys now for the last couple years. We had a lot of confidence in him and I can’t tell you how proud I am of him. Yes, he had a great post but he made all the right calls. He just rode an outstanding race and the horse ran an outstanding race. My staff did a great job bringing this horse along. I’m going to try this horse on dirt at some point. He trains very well on it. He deserves it and he’s got the right running style to potentially run on both surfaces.”
Winning Jockey Jose Ortiz (Structor) – “He broke alertly and I was able to save ground all the way around. I wanted to ask him to run sooner, but I had nowhere to go at the three-eighths pole. Once we got into the clear, he really finished strong. He’s a very nice horse.”
Billy Batts trained by Peter Miller and owned by Rockingham Ranch looked like a winner coming home under Paco Lopez. Peter definitely had Billy Batts in top shape for this performance. Take nothing away from his 2nd place performance as it appears Rockingham Ranch and Peter Miller have a future star in the making.
Second-Place Trainer Peter Miller (Billy Batts) – “He ran huge. I knew he was coming into this race doing great and the key today was (Paco Lopez) got him to relax. He wasn’t fighting the jock. I knew he could get the trip. Coming into the lane, I was screaming to myself “he’s got horse!” and he only gave it up in the last 10 or 20 yards. He kicked and (Structor) just ran him down. He ran awesome.”
Check out other Breeders’ Cup results here.