Whitmore gets career-defining victory in Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1)
RSS Feeds Saturday, November 7, 2020
Fan-favorite and Eddie Woods training grad Whitmore earned an emotional victory for his connections and followers in Saturday's $2 million Breeders' Cup Sprint (G1) at Keeneland, coming from well off the pace for a 3 3/4-length victory in his fourth attempt in the six-furlong championship.

Whitmore had collected six graded stakes wins, including the Forego S. (G1), before Saturday's race, but had come up short three times in the Sprint.

That all changed with an ideal trip and well-executed ride by Irad Ortiz, Jr. on Saturday. He let Whitmore settle off the pace as he made his way to the rail for the run up the backstretch. Maintaining his spot on the fence around the turn, Whitmore was still ninth at the top of the stretch. Ortiz guided him through an opening in upper stretch, then went three wide and flew past Empire of Gold to take the lead with a furlong to run. He pulled away late to stop the timer in 1:08.61 and earn a Beyer Speed Figure of 104.

“I said in the pre-race interview that it's almost impossible to think a closer is going to do well,” said an emotional Ron Moquette, who has trained Whitmore his entire career. “For him to run against the bias the way he did and the patience of the rider, the willingness to listen, it all worked out. I'm so proud of the horse, proud for the connections. I'm proud for everyone out there that's thinking when you run last in the Kentucky Derby, kick them out, do right by the horse come back, and you have a shot to reach other dreams. You don't discard them. You just do right by the horse and it keeps working out.

“I'm just grateful. Grateful for the horse. Grateful to everyone that sends me well wishes and congratulations after the race. Just grateful.”

Whitmore is owned by his trainer along with Robert LaPenta and Head of Plains Partners LLC. Saturday's win upped his record to 15-11-3 and earnings to $4,247,850.