By Richard Rosenblatt
Bricks and Mortar completed a perfect season and staked his claim for Horse of the Year with a rousing victory in the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) on Saturday at Santa Anita Park.
With trainer Chad Brown cheering him on in the stands, Bricks and Mortar clawed his way to the front coming out of the final turn and then outkicked 50-1 long shot United to hit the wire a head in front.
In his first attempt at the longer 1 ½-mile distance, Bricks and Mortar won in 2:24.73 to raise his record this year to 6-0, and 7-0 since returning from a long layoff dating back to October of 2017.
“The mile-and-a-half was a big question mark,’’ said Brown, who won his 15th Breeders’ Cup, 13 of the turf, including three in this Breeders’ Cup. “Irad (Ortiz) rode a great race.”
With Midnight Bisou suffering her first loss this year in the Distaff, Bricks and Mortar appeared to have solidified his grip on Horse of the Year.
“After what you saw today, with his victory, and a couple (of losses), I think it’s a no-brainer,’’ said Brown.
Sent off as the even-money favorite, Bricks and Mortar returned $ 4 on a $2 win bet.
Anthony Van Dyck, trained by Aidan O’Brien, finished third as a 5-1 choice.
Owned by Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence, five of Bricks and Mortar’s six wins in 2019 have come in Grade 1’s – the Pegasus World Cup Turf, the Turf Classic, the Manhattan and the Arlington Million are the others.
|1||9||Bricks and Mortar||Chad Brown||Irad Ortiz Jr.|
|2||3||United||Richard Mandella||Flavien Prat|
|3||5||Anthony Van Dyck||Aidan O’Brien||Ryan Moore|
|4||1||Zulu Alpha||Michael Maker||Jose Ortiz|
|5||7||Alounak||Waldemar Hickst||Clement Lecoeuvre|
Over the years while working at The Associated Press, Rich Rosenblatt became a familiar name to legions of the horse racing fans and industry insiders with his award-winning articles on horse racing and his stories from the backstretch.
In addition to being an astute observer of sports, Rosenblatt is the co-author of The All-American Chili Cookbook. His work has been seen in just about every publication in the world, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Time Magazine.