Trainer Dale Romans reported that all of his Breeders’ Cup
starters came out of their respective races in good order.
Romans saddled Little Mike to victory in Saturday’s $3
million Turf and visited the winner’s circle with friends, Carlo and Priscilla Vaccarezza,
the breeder and owners of the popular 5yo gelding.
“‘Mike’ is a special horse for us and Carlo is one of my
close friends. It was a great day for everyone,” Romans said.
Little Mike, a front-running specialist who won the
Arlington Million and Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on the lead, found himself
in the unfamiliar position of racing off the lead in the 1 1/2m turf race. The
son of Spanish Steps rated nicely in third behind Turbo Compressor and
Optimizer before gaining the lead leaving the turn into the homestretch and
holding off favored Point of Entry by a half-length.
“He’s faster than most horses. We had a plan for the first
100 yards to give him a shot to go to the front, but I thought those two horses
might outsprint him to the lead, and they did,” Romans said. “We told Ramon
(Dominguez) just be ahead of the real contenders, because any horse that would
get in front of him would have to go too fast to finish anyway.”
Romans stated Little Mike’s case for being voted the Eclipse
Award for male turf performer.
“I don’t see how anyone can beat ‘Mike’ for turf champion. I
know that Wise Dan is a great racehorse, but I don’t think his resume stacks up
to ‘Mike’s’. He won one of the major races in America and the Arlington Million
and the Turf Classic.”
Romans will ship Little Mike back to Kentucky before continuing
on to Florida for the winter.