Prince Earl, back from layoff, enters Breeders' Cup Mile picture

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

August 20th, 2019

Old Bones Racing Stable and Todd Marshall's Prince Earl returned from a layoff exceeding eight months to capture the $200,000 Del Mar Mile (G2) on Sunday. The four-year-old was three-parts clear under the wire when clocking eight panels in 1:33.13 on the firm turf at Del Mar. Trained by Phil D'Amato, the California-bred son of Paddy O'Prado saved ground early, moved out when clear in early stretch and powered home to his initial graded stakes victory. In doing so, the gelding defeated multiple Grade 1 winners and put himself squarely in the mix of the top milers on the West Coast with his win. His long-term target is the $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) at Santa Anita on November 2, with one prep race prior to that contest. While it is common belief that European invaders dominate the Breeders' Cup turf events, the Mile is a totally different story. Since 2011, six of the past eight Mile winners were U. S. campaigned horses -- Court Vision (2011), Wise Dan (2012-13), Tepin (2015), Tourist (2016) and World Approval (2017). And from a 20-year run spanning from 1998-2017, horses that previously raced on U. S. green come out on top on 14 occasions. It is my belief that the top in this division in 2019 are from across the pond, but it would be unwise to sleep on the North American runners as recent history suggests. Here is my current top six in the Mile division (North America only): 1. Got Stormy -- Dominant Fourstardave (G1) heroine trying to be the next Tepin 2. Lucullan -- Lure S. star is an under-the-radar contender with a high ceiling 3. Uni -- Mare gives the ladies two in the top-three at this juncture 4. Delta Prince -- Blue-blood gets a pass for his Shoemaker Mile (G1) flop 5. Sacred Life -- Brown pupil made inspired rally in his U. S. debut at Saratoga 6. Prince Early -- Cal-bred was sharp in Del Mar Mile (G2) off long absence   (c) Benoit Photos