Mitole runs down Shancelot to win $2M Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1)

November 2, 2019

Mitole becomes the only 4-time G1-winning male on dirt in 2019 | Eclipse Sportswire photo

Mitole becomes the only 4-time G1-winning male on dirt in 2019 | Eclipse Sportswire photo

Mitole capped off an incredible 2019 with a victory in Saturday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1), pushing the 4-year-old’s earnings past the $3 million mark.

Mitole is the only horse in North America to win four Grade 1s on the dirt in 2019 and is a certainty to be named the Eclipse Award winner as the top male sprinter after winning six of his seven starts this year.

Mitole, with Rafael Santana, Jr. in the irons, was taken back off the pace when Shancelot shot to the front. The pacesetter blistered a half-mile in :44.04, with Mitole coming with a three-wide move on the turn to close in on the lead. Shancelot was game, but Mitole ran past him inside the furlong marker and pulled clear late to win by 1 ¼-lengths in 1:09 flat.

“I had a lot of confidence in my horse,” Santana said. “He’s a horse I’ve been riding since he was a 2-year-old. I changed my mind today. A lot of people thought he’d go to the lead. I took him back and made one move and got to the wire first.”

Mitole is trained by Steve Asmussen for long-time clients Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt.

“I think he is so easy to be around. Nothing but class, and the ability he has is just tremendous,” Asmussen said. “I don’t know that people realize from where he was in the spring to stretching out to beating the field he did in the Met Mile (G1), to retract from that and beat the best sprinters in the world and run in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint as opposed to the Mile, that’s twice as much money on his way out.”

Besides the Met Mile, Mitole also won the Churchill Downs S. (G1) and Forego S. (G1) this year. His lifetime mark stands at 10-2-2 from 14 starts, with earnings of $3,104,910.