Mike Smith shines as Tamarkuz claims Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile
Mike Smith produced Tamarkuz with a well-timed challenge to claim an authoritative success in the Las Vegas Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita.
Runhappy took the field along for much of the journey but began to falter before the home turn, leaving hot favourite Dortmund and the consistent Gun Runner to dispute the lead at the top of the straight.
However, all the while Smith was biding his time aboard the Kiaran McLaughlin-trained Tamarkuz and after hitting the front in the final furlong, he powered clear to win by a big margin.
Gun Runner was second, with Accelerate coming home well to beat Dortmund to third place.
It was a 23rd Breeders' Cup winner for Smith.
He said: "He was a little bit reluctant to load, but he was brilliant after that.
"He was well within himself and well in hand the whole time. When I asked him down the lane he just gave me that run like he's been doing."
It was a timely first ever winner at Santa Anita for McLaughlin ahead of Frosted's appearance in the Breeders' Cup Classic on Saturday.
"It feels great and at least we've got the monkey off our back for tomorrow," said the trainer.
"But more than that, it's great to win for Sheikh Hamdan, who has been a great supporter of mine for 23 years.
"Turning for home he looked like he was moving very well. You're never confident in these big races until you get to the wire, but Mike rode a great race."
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Source: At The Races