By Horse Racing Nation
Who said horses coming from Breeders’ Cup races were dull next out?
Well, that sentiment couldn’t be more off when it comes to Sharp Azetca, who was, yes, plenty sharp when winning Saturday’s Grade 1 Cigar Mile after his near miss in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.
With this win, Sharp Azteca now adds another grade one name to the roster of the ever-evolving Pegasus World Cup (GI), where will be looking to spoil the swan song of Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, Gun Runner. Trainer Jorge Navarro said the colt is “95 percent” certain to go in the Jan. 27 race at Gulfstream Park.
It was good to see the son of Freud come back in such fine fettle, especially when it earned him his first Grade 1 victory. Before this weekend, Sharp Azteca had competed in three races at that level, each time finishing second, and each time running a winning race only to get eclipsed by another horse’s Herculean effort.
Ironically, in the Cigar Mile, he even faced one of the horses, Mind Your Biscuits, who got the best of Sharp Azteca in the closing strides of last year’s Grade 1 Malibu. That wasn’t the case Saturday.
Photo credits Robert Mauhar / Coglianese Photos