2012 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile: A Look Back

Caleb's Posse, ridden by jockey Rajiv Maragh and trained by Donnie Von Hemel wins the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on November 5, 2011.


The Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile has quickly become one of the most exciting races on Breeders' Cup weekend. Even though it has only been around a mere five years it’s provided some heart stopping finishes and some breathtaking performances.


Over the next five weeks leading up to the Breeders Cup we will be spotlighting The Dirt Mile hopefuls while giving you all the information you need to succeed in betting this race.


Monmouth Park was the setting for the inaugural Dirt Mile in 2007.  Under darkened skies and constant rain, a son of Pulpit gave us one of the most dominating performances of the weekend. The James Jerkins trainee Corinthian silenced all his critics while leaving no doubt to who was the best horse in this race. Corinthian went off as the 7/2 second choice while Discreet Cat was made the 3/2 favorite. Corinthian made a powerful move at the top of the stretch running right by Gotcha Gold like he was frozen in ice. Under the faithful hands of jockey Kent Desormeaux Corinthian buried his opponents by nearly 7 lengths.


Albertus Maximus stole the show in the 2008 addition of the Dirt Mile at Santa Anita Race Track. The Vladimir Cerin charge closed from tenth behind a blistering early pace to conquer the Dirt Mile field by 1 ¼ lengths under jockey Garret Gomez at odds of 6/1. 


In 2009, the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile earned a grade I status. Santa Anita was yet again the setting for this epic event. The Tote board nearly blew up when the Mike Maker trained colt Furthest Land crossed the finish line 3/4’s of a length in front of Ready’s Echo. Julien Leparoux guided the Smart Strike colt to an unexpected victory at odds of 21/1.


In 2010, the Breeders’ Cup returned to the fabled Twin Spires of Churchill Downs. In midstretch of the Dirt Mile it seemed we were going back in time as a son of Tiznow fought to the lead at Churchill Downs like his sire did some 10 years ago, but Dakota Phone wasn’t feeling any taste of De-ja-vu.  Dakota Phone was last in the early stages and was 10th at the top of the stretch before unleashing a ferocious rally which led the Jerry Hollendorfer trainee in a head bobbing finish with the aforementioned son of Tiznow, Morning Line. This time it would be the Tiznow colt that lost the photo as Dakota Phone scored a nose victory under Joel Rosario to blow up the tote board yet again at odds of 37/1.


Last Year’s running of the Dirt Mile gave us another breathtaking performance.  The 2011 Preakness winner Shackleford found himself 2 ½ lengths clear in the stretch while looking all but home, that was until the Donnie Von Hemel charge put on a show for the Churchill Downs patrons. Caleb’s Posse closed from 8th to draw off and run away in the stretch under jockey Rajiv Maragh to crush the field by 4 lengths at odds of nearly 7/1.




Looking back over the past five years and the first five Breeders’ Cup Mile races, a few stats stand out.


1. No favorite has won the Dirt Mile.


2. No trainer/jockey/owner/or horse has won the Dirt Mile twice.


3. No horse has won on the lead, in fact most horses have either came from the clouds or sat a middle stalking trip to win.


4. The average payout on the win is $32.52


5. The average win margin is 2 ½ lengths.




Stay tuned next week as we profile the main contenders in this division.



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Older Comments about 2012 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile: A Look Back ...

Pulling for a feel good, fan favorite...Rail Trip!
Personally, I can't wait to see Shackleford avenge himself this year.
The mile is tough to handicap with the sprinters stretching out and others entering from longer races. Caleb's Posse in 2011 was such an exciting race. Looking forward to watching this year from Santa Anita.
I think last years winner, Caleb's Posse, is the best horse so far to win the Dirt Mile and last years race had the best field yet. But with most American horses now bred for a mile to 1 1/8 miles this could be the most competitive and exciting Breeders Cup race in the future.
A little off topic, but speaking of dirt miles, the 67th running of the Little Brown Jug-Harness racing's second jewel of the triple crown takes place this Thursday in Delaware, Ohio.
Gotta love a race where the average win payout is $32.52!

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