By Andrew Atkinson
Charlie Appleby-trained Modern Games under William Buick won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf in Del Mar, California – to the boos of spectators!
“The booing was disappointing – he put up a very good performance,” said Buick.
Drama at the stalls ended with stablemate Albahr becoming upset and withdrawn.
Modern Games, who was in the next stall, was also pulled out after coming out of the front of the stalls – but declared fit to race- for prizemoney only and not for betting purposes.
Buick went clear to win by 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Tiz The Bomb; with Mackinnon finishing third to punters’ boos.
Albahr sustained superficial cuts in the incident with jockey Frankie Dettori unscathed.
“It was a very peculiar chain of events – mentally very challenging for the horse – but I always felt he had the experience,” said Appleby
Godolphin trainer Appleby chalking up a third win in the race, said: “The most important thing is that both horses are all right. Fortunately Modern Games pulled it out of the fire for us.
“We will ship him back to the UK and winter away with him, and he will join our Guineas squad for next year.”
Buick added: “There was a lot of confusion back there – but the horse did nothing wrong. “They opened the front gate and he jumped out. He should have come ojf the back instead of the front.
“The guy that opened my gate pulled me out of the front and he told the officials what he did. Maybe there was a bit of confusion and panic, but my horse wasn’t harmed in any way. He was never touched.
“You could see how professional he was and he took everything in his stride.
“I don’t know why he was scratched, I was told afterwards.
“I knew he was going to run so I don’t want to focus on the whys and wherefores. It was out of my control.”
In what is one of the biggest weekends in horseracing the 2021 Breeders’ Cup two-day 14-race meeting, during November 5-6, attracted jockeys and horses worldwide, with $31 million and awards up for grabs.
Caption: William Buick wins Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf in Del Mar, California on Modern Games.