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Vino Rosso dominates in $6M Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1)

November 3, 2019

Vino Rosso | 2019 Breeders' Cup Classic-G1 | Eclipse Sportswire photo

Vino Rosso becomes Curlin’s all-time leading earner | Eclipse Sportswire photo

Vino Rosso’s 2019 ended with a high note on Saturday when the 4-year-old colt ran past McKinzie in mid-stretch to win the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Santa Anita Park.

Based on the East Coast with trainer Todd Pletcher, Vino Rosso had ventured to Santa Anita in May, when he won the Gold Cup (G1). A third in the Whitney (to McKinzie) and a disqualification to second in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) followed, but those were distant memories for part-owner Mike Repole after Saturday’s 4 ¼-legnth win.

“This is unbelievable. Indescribable,” Repole said. “We’ve won so many graded stakes, but this one feels different. This is the one. This is the pinnacle.”

Vino Rosso, in post 10, made his way up to fourth after the first quarter-mile and held that spot through six furlongs, about six lengths from the lead. He began to gain ground on the turn, and was fighting with McKinzie for the lead in upper stretch. McKinzie gave way in the final furlong as Vino Rosso strode clear to finish the 1 ¼-miles in 2:02.80.

Vino Rosso, who won the Wood Memorial S. (G2) last year, is now 6-1-3 in 15 starts and has earned $4,803,125. Owned by Repole with St. Elias Stable, he was bred by John Gunther.