The one mile turf contest for two-year-olds, a Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ event, drew a well-matched field of eight, with Best Play, the only maiden in the race, sent postward the surprising 5-2 choice.
At the wire, I’m Boundtoscore had fended off a closing Are You Kidding Me by a diminishing half-length, with Indiano Jones third and Best Play fourth, while clocked in 1:37.75 over a yielding E.P. Taylor Turf Course.
The final time was .48 seconds slower than Spring Venture’s mark in the Natalma, the filly equivalent and also a Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’ event, earlier in the card.
Co-owned and trained by Troy Rankin, the son of Even the Score came into the Summer off a closing second place finish in the Tyro at Monmouth Park. Still, in his four outings at Keeneland, Presque Isle Downs, Colonial Downs and Monmouth, the colt hadn’t travelled further than five and one-half furlongs. Saturday, he proved he could stretch out.
“That was the colt’s idea, actually (about taking the lead),” explained Rook. “We broke on top and I was trying to get him to settle a little bit more than he did. But that’s what he wanted to do and ultimately, if I fought with him any more, it wasn’t going to work out. So, I just got him to relax as much as I could and once the other horses started coming to us, I let him roll on. He’s a very game horse.”
Added Rankin, “We were coming home from the Chenery (Stakes, July 21 at Colonial) and we were picking our races where we would go and we started out coming here for the Swynford Stakes. But after he came out of the Tyro, the way he trained, he just showed us he wanted the grass. I felt for sure he could do the mile. I didn’t really know he could do it as strong as he did. He’s always surprising me. Every time I ask him, he steps up.”
“The Breeders Cup was on there (the radar) all along. His first start at Keeneland, we knew he was good. But each time he stepped up and showed us how much better he was.
But we didn’t think we’d go to the front and hold it all the way. We were very surprised but he’s got a mind of his own and living up to his name.”
In addition to an all-expenses paid (entry fees and travel costs) trip to Santa Anita for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on November 3, I’m Boundtoscore earned $150,000 for the victory.
He paid $23.50, $10.40 and $5.80, combining with Are You Kidding Me ($7.90, $$4.50) for a $171.10 (3-5) exactor. A 3-5-8 (Indiano Jones, $3.50 to show) triactor was worth $630 while a $1 superfecta [3-5-8-2 (Best Play)] came back $1,341.20.