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HRN Original Blog:
The Kentucky Derby Post

2013 Breeders' Cup Juvenile: It's New Year's Day

New Year's Day BC 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire - Alex Evers

On a day that could not have started any worse for Bob Baffert he rebounded to score his first Breeders’ Cup victory in quite some time. Coming into the day team Baffert had high hopes and expectations for entries in multiple divisions, including the overwhelming Classic favorite, Game On Dude. Tap it Rich was also one of those horses. However, it was a different Bob Baffert entry that would earn the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile title.


At post time three horses stood out as the likely winners. Rightfully earned, these three contenders also deserved the attention they received at the betting window. Although Tap it Rich had only raced one time in his career prior to today, that win was impressive enough to make him the second choice. Close behind was Strong Mandate while the morning line favorite Havana remained the number one choice.


After the post position draw there was speculation regarding how Havana and Strong Mandate would do considering they would be starting from the far outside, post position 12 and 13. However, after they broke clean and out towards the lead, they were racing in a position very similar to their Graded Stakes wins.


Heading into the first turn Conquest Titan took to the lead from post position seven and drew down to the rail. Between horses was Rum Point with Havana to his near outside.


Amongst the two Havana had the clear edge over Strong Mandate going into the first turn as he broke brilliantly from the gate. Strong Mandate was caught wide through the first turn before Joel Rosario urged him pass Havana heading into the backstretch. Strong Mandate continued to push the leaders Conquest Titan and Rum Point before overtaking them as they headed into the final turn. He also led the field through a blistering pair of fractions, 22.66, 45.38.


Nestled in right behind the leaders through the backstretch was We Miss Artie who found great position through the first turn along the rail and Havana on his outside. As the turn towards home progressed it was Havana that made his move. We Miss Artie chased while Conquest Titan and Rum Point began to fade.


As they hit the top of the lane Havana moved by Strong Mandate on the outside. But, because Strong Mandate was fighting hard not to let him get away completely, it looked like it would be a two horse race between the morning line favorites.


It wasn’t long before John Velazquez's replacement, Gary Stevens, and Havana proved they were stronger. As they gained more than a one length advantage New Year’s Day came barreling down stretch along the rail.


On a speed favoring track all weekend, the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile proved there was still a place for a horse racing mid pack. Hanging between 9th through 6th from the start and along the backstretch, New Years’ Day improved to 4th through the final turn before he found another gear when it mattered most.


Havana looked to be in control of this race and the strategy was flawless. But, in an unexpected effort it was New Year’s Day that drove it home the hardest and got the best of him.


Strong Mandate was able to hold on for third as We Miss Artie weakened down the stretch and Bond Holder made the jump to complete the superfecta and finish 4th. Tap it Rich proved too anxious in the beginning of the race and possibly not ready for Grade 1 stakes as he didn't make much of an impact and finished 6th. 


The final margin of victory for New Year’s Day over Havana was 1 ¼ length and the winning time was 1:43.52.  


The win was the second Breeders’ Cup Juvenile score for Bob Baffert (Midshipman 2008) and first for owners Mary and Gary West and jockey Martin Garcia.



$200,000 Breeders' Cup Juvenile | One And One Sixteenth Miles

Dirt Track | Condition: Fast


Pgm    Horse                     Jockey                  Win       Place    Show

4        New Year's Day     Martin Garcia        23.00    9.20    6.60

13      Havana                 Gary L. Stevens                4.60    3.40

14      Strong Mandate      Joel Rosario                               6.00


Also ran: 5 - Bond Holder , 6 - Tap It Rich , 3 - Mexikoma , 10 - We Miss Artie , 2 - Dance With Fate , 12 - Diamond Bachelor , 1 - Smarty's Echo , 11 - Medal Count , 9 - Rum Point , 8 - Conquest Titan


Scratched horses: Cleburne


  • $1 Exacta      4-13              $53.90
  • $1 Superfecta 4-13-14-5      $3,807.60
  • $1 Trifecta     4-13-14         $476.10


Winning Connections

Winning Breeder: Clearsky Farms

Winning Owner: West, Gary and Mary

Winning Trainer: Bob Baffert


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About Me

Meet Bryan Brinkmeyer – Chicago, IL


Growing up I spent a lot of days in the Bluegrass State. Although I was born and raised north of the mighty Ohio River in Southwest Indiana, I was still next door to thoroughbred racing; Ellis Park, Henderson, KY 


Likewise, the first Saturday in May was always a celebrated family event. As my two brothers and I got older the battle for picking the next winner began to heat up. In 2000, I made my inaugural Kentucky Derby appearance. Since then I’ve made it an annaual tradition because there’s no other city or weekend in the racing world like Louisville, KY on Derby Day. 


Although the story of a Kentucky Derby winner is legendary, following a champions trail is what The Kentucky Derby Post is all about. The coverage begins when the 2-yr-old preps commence but it does not quit racing until all results are official, the field is set, the picks are made and the roses are worn. But that’s not all because the road doesn’t stop on the First Saturday in May. The elusive quest for the next Triple Crown has reached 35 years so I invite my readers to remain in the saddle through all three legs as we await the next Champion of Champions. Cheers.





2013 Kentucky Derby

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