It was a Mongolian Saturday in TwinSpires Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

October 31st, 2015

A season of disappointing photo-finish losses for Mongolian Saturday was made right in the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Keeneland on Saturday as the five-year-old gelding just held off three-year-old filly Lady Shipman to take the $920,000 event by a neck.

Second by a head in the Parx Dash (G3) and second by a nose in the Turf Monster H. (G3) earlier this year, Mongolian Stable had also placed in stakes at Gulfstream, Mountaineer, and Keeneland this term. The odds appeared against the son of Any Given Saturday when he drew post 14 earlier in the week, but it wound up having no effect.

Breaking sharply under Florent Geroux, Mongolian Saturday tracked in second as Ready For Rye set fractions of :22.19 and :45.09 over the good turf. Heading that rival turning for home, Mongolian Saturday opened up a two-length at the furlong marker and held off a late surge from Lady Shipman to score in a time of 1:03.19 for 5 1/2 furlongs.

Trained by Enebish Ganbat, Mongolian Saturday paid $33.80 as a 15-1 chance.

Lady Shipman had a half-length on Green Mask, who finished two lengths clear of 2014 Turf Sprint winner Bobby’s Kitten. Undrafted, the mild 7-2 favorite, found the distance too short in finishing fifth.

The only mild surprise in the Turf Sprint appeared to be that Ready for Rye, who wound up seventh, was the one setting the pace. Lady Shipman, for example, had shown more early gas in her races this year, but credit goes to jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. for keeping the filly off the pace and giving her the best chance to win.

Winning jockey Florent Geroux, who has evolved into a major star in the saddle, was winning his third Breeders’ Cup race. His first was in last year’s Sprint (G1) with Work All Week, and he kicked off Breeders’ Cup 2015 on Friday with a win aboard Catch a Glimpse in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).

“I love these races,” Geroux said. “Good horses make me look.”

There’s more great things to come from Geroux, if not today most certainly in the future.

Click for the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint quotes and transcript.

(Photo: Keeneland/Coady Photography)