Photo: Eclipse Sportswire
An inspired stretch duel between Stormy Liberal and World of Trouble ended with a title defense of the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, with the Rockingham Ranch charge edging ahead late over “good” turf at Churchill Downs.
The favored World of Trouble moved to a pace-setting role, while Stormy Liberal made up ground through the turn when running on the outside. After a half mile in 45.83 seconds, those two separated from the pack, dueling to the wire as Stormy Liberal moved just by late.
Trained by Peter Miller, Stormy Liberal won his fourth straight race and 12th overall in 30 career starts. This victory under Drayden Van Dyke came in 1:04.05 for seven furlongs — and marked the first score in the championships for Van Dyke.
“The horse was just so cool, calm and collected,” said Brian Trump, racing manager for Rockingham Ranch. “It just speaks volumes for what Peter is doing over there getting this horse prepared for the race — just couldn’t be happier.”
Stormy Liberal was off at 7-1 in the field of 14.
“He ran good — no complaints,” said trainer Jason Servis, who saddled World of Trouble.
“I did not expect to be favored in there,” added owner Michael Dubb. “He gave it all he had. I think down the lane, maybe being on the inside, there’s a little more give there. But what are you going to say?
“The horse just ran his eyeballs out. He’s a 3-year-old. We’ve got it all in front of us, and we’ll be 1-20 in the Claiming Crown at Gulfstream next month.”
Disco Partner ran a distant third and Ruby Notion fourth.
Miller said another overseas trip for Stormy Liberal, who ran both in Hong Kong and Dubai following last year’s Turf Sprint score at Del Mar, is possible.
— Breeders’ Cup (@BreedersCup) November 3, 2018