Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile: Cody’s Wish Does It Again

This one’s for you, Cody. Again.

The heart-warming story of Cody’s Wish built to a heart-pounding crescendo in the final strides of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Santa Anita Pak on Saturday.

With his pal Cody Dorman and family stationed near the finish line, 4-5 favorite Cody’s Wish surged to the front around the turn for home and outdueled Preakness (G1) winner National Treasure by a nose to repeat in the Dirt Mile and bring his racing career to a dramatic finish.

The celebration had to wait several minutes due to

Cody’s Wish,wins the Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile|Shamela Hanley//Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup

an inquiry as each horse had drifted slightly into the other in the stretch, but the result stood, and the roar of the crowd brought smiles to everyone – and some tears.

“I can’t talk and cry at the same time,’’ said Kelly Dorman, whose 17-year-old son Cody has a genetic disorder called Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome which confines him to a wheelchair and prevents him from speaking. “There’s no quit in that horse, and there’s no quit in that young man.”

Unforgettable Story: Cody’s Wish and Its Impact on Many Lives

Owners Godolphin named the horse for Cody Dorman when the family visited its Kentucky farm five years ago, and the two seemed to form an instant bond. Cody has been to many of the Cody’s Wish’s races this year.

“A great story, it’s a great story, an inspiration for a lot of people,’’ Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott said. “To see what it has done for Cody Dorman and his family and a lot of people around him. Look, I have a wrist band and it says “Cody’s Wish. Sometimes wishes do come true.”

The Dirt Mile was the first of nine Breeders’ Cup races on Saturday, with the $6 million Classic (G1) the centerpiece later in the day.

Cody’s Wish: Two-Time Dirt Mile Champion’s Stellar Career

Not only did Cody’s Wish win the Dirt Mile for a second year in a row, but the 5-year-old son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin also closes his career with 11 wins in 16 starts, with a second and four-thirds for earnings of $2,965,230. Cody’s Wished won eight of his last nine races, including five Grade 1s.  The next chapter in his career is stud duty at Darley’s Jonabell Farm.

Cody’s Wish ($3.60), under Junior Alvarado, started at the back of the seven-horse pack but began to make up ground on the inside as National Treasure tried to go gate-to-wire. Cody’s Wish passed National Treasure and it looked like he’d win by a wider margin, but the Bob Baffert-trained colt fought back and just got beat.

The winning time was 1:35.97.

On the inquiry, Alvarado said: “The other horse came out first and initiated contact. Once that happened, I knew I had one green light for me to go back at him. I just needed to keep him as straight as possible.”

Skippylongstocking was third, followed by Charge It, Zozos, Stage Raider, and Shirl’s Bee.

Algiers was scratched earlier in the week, while Practical Move collapsed after a “cardiac event’’ during a Tuesday morning workout and was euthanized.

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