The “Impazible” dream came true for Twin Creeks Racing Stable, trainer
Todd Pletcher and his assistant Michael Dilger when
Mission Impazible proved clearly best by a length and a half in Saturday’s
Grade II $400,000 New Orleans Handicap.
A year ago Mission Impazible won the
2010 Louisiana Derby to
register his signature victory of the season before being injured in the
Kentucky Derby, but this year the future looms a lot brighter for the
son of Unbridled’s Song based on the authoritative
nature of his length and a half score.
“That other horse (Preston Stable’s
Birdrun, who alternated
with the winner for the early lead) stayed right on top of me up front,
so it made my job a little bit harder,” said winning jockey
Garrett Gomez. “Every
time I tried to slow it down he slowed it down, too, but about the
three-eighths pole my horse found a real comfortable mode and went about
his business on his own.”
Pletcher completed the same
Louisiana Derby-New Orleans Handicap double three seasons ago with Michael and Doreen Tabor’s
Circular Quay, but Mission Impazible had finished second in the
Grade III Mineshaft Handicap here Feb. 19 and appeared to have a tougher assignment in his quest for the year-to-year parlay.
“(Mission Impazible) has just been very relaxed all week since he got here,” said Dilger, who traveled to
on behalf of the Pletcher stable. “I think that was the key. When we
came on that last trip it took him a couple of days to settle in.”
his New Orleans Handicap score, Mission Impazible increased his career
earnings to $798,854 with his third win in nine lifetime starts,
ran the nine furlongs in 1:49.02 and returned mutuels of $5, $3.20 and
Apart, winner of the
Grade II Super Derby and Grade III Ack Ack Handicap last fall but third
in the Mineshaft five weeks ago, ran a game runner-up race to withstand
the late run of Virginia Tarra Trust’s favored
Giant Oak by a head. That rival simply lacked the needed late response.
paid mutuels of $6.20 and $3.60 for the runner-up spot and Giant Oak
returned $2.40 for the show position. Birdrun weakened to fifth
after establishing early splits of 24.05 and 48.46.