Mondialiste from Europe and the Clouds to win the Woodbine Mile

September 18, 2015 07:53am
Mondialiste Woodbine Mile 615 X 400
Photo: Woodbine / Burns

Settled into the back of the pack for most of the $1 million Ricoh Woodbine Mile, Mondialiste looked like anything but a winner with only an eighth of a mile to run. Demonstrating a high voltage turn of foot, the European invader quickly turned hopelessly beaten into rousing victory in deep stretch, and in so doing broke the heart of America’s classy pair of Lea and Obviously.

The eventual winner may have been near the back of the field early, but every other horse in the field, save one, was also well off the early lead. That’s because the California invader, Obviously, set sail soon after the break, and opened up a sizable advantage on the Woodbine backstretch. With Joe Talamo letting him run, the Grade 1 winning West Coaster played a dangerous game of catch me if you can, opening up five or six lengths through early fractions of :23.21 and :46.63 on a rain softened turf course.

The local runner, Reporting Star, was the only one to cut much into the lead on the far turn. As the field of nine reached the fourth and final quarter, it was Obviously ahead, with only Reporting Star, not far behind, within five lengths of the front. The testing fractions would eventually take their toll, though. As the field began to finally cut into the advantage of Obviously and Reporting Star in the stretch, it was the race favorite, Lea, who looked to be the biggest danger.

Making his first start on turf in more than two years, the Bill Mott trained Grade 1 winner was in prime position on the outside and gaining with every stride. Meanwhile, Mondialiste who stayed inside for much of the trip, found room in-between horses in mid-stretch, under rider Fergal Lynch. Lea forged to the front late, but free to roll, Mondialiste kicked it into high gear the last 50 yards. He quickly powered by Lea, who looked like he had a great shot to win inside the sixteenth pole.

On the wire, it was the David O’Meara trained Irish-bred a half-length winner. Lea ran a big race, and was a clear second, while the speedy Obviously gamely held the show spot over Kaigun and Reporting Star.

“I got a little bit far back early,” said Lynch. “I was a little bit concerned as how far back we were. We saved a lot of ground. We stuck to the plan to come late. It was going to be a long run down the stretch.  We just took our time and the horse had an awesome turn of foot. He just really galloped over top of them. It made my job easy.I was expecting it (the turn of foot). I knew the leaders would come back. It’s the longest stretch in Canada.  We have the turf horses in England that have got a turn of foot and can actually see out these trips really well.”


After the race, Mondialiste had to survive an inquiry, involving an incident with the third place finisher, Obviously and Reporting Star, but the decision was rightly allowed to stand. As a part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” series, Mondialiste became the sixth horse to qualify for the October 31 Breeders’ Cup Mile.

The victory for the five-year-old son of Galileo was only his fourth in 15 lifetime starts. It was, however, his third straight win, and he was coming out of a win at York in the same Group 3 race that produced last year’s Woodbine Mile winner, Trade Storm. The Geoff and Sandra Turnbull owned bay horse ran with Lasix for the first time in his career today at Woodbine.

Final time for the flat mile on the yielding turf was 1:36.66. The 7-2 third choice in the betting, Mondialiste returned $9.60 for the win, and the exacta over Lea was worth $39.40, for two-dollar wagers.


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Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, American Pharoah and Justify. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. His new racing partnership venture, Derby Day Racing, invites more fans to experience the thrill of racehorse ownership.

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, created the popular racing show, HorseCenter and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as hosting HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

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A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.

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