(Bricks and Mortar wins at Churchill Downs / Photo by Holly M. Smith)
From the Breeders’ Cup Media Team:
Klaravich Stables and William Lawrence’s even-money favorite Bricks and Mortar ($4) outdueled 50-1 longshot United by a head to win the 36th running of the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf for 3-year-olds and up Saturday afternoon at Santa Anita.
Trained by Chad Brown and ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., Bricks and Mortar completed the mile and a half on a firm turf course in 2:24.73. The victory was the third of the weekend for Brown and Ortiz and the first in the Longines Turf. It is Brown’s 15th Breeders’ Cup victory and the eighth for Ortiz.
Acclimate set the pace with United tracking in third next to the rail and Bricks and Mortar a few lengths further back in mid-pack. Coming into the stretch, United cut the corner while Bricks and Mortar launched a six-wide move.
Those two burst clear of the pack at the sixteenth pole with Bricks and Mortar prevailing in the run to the finish line.
Bricks and Mortar is a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Giant’s Causeway out of the Ocean Crest mare Beyond the Waves. A winner of seven consecutive starts and all six in 2019 with Ortiz aboard, Bricks and Mortar picked up $2,200,000 for the victory and boosted his earnings to $7,085,650 with a record of 13-11-0-2 with five Grade 1 victories.
Winning trainer Chad Brown (Bricks and Mortar) – “This horse is remarkable. This is the biggest win of my career, and the biggest for my team, for sure. He has a lot of guts. What an awesome horse. We’re so, so fortunate he’s in our barn.
“I have to thank Mike Ryan, my partner, for finding the horses and picking them out. We do this together. Without Mike, we would have never bought this horse.
“It takes a remarkable team of really talented men and women to hold a horse together like this (remain undefeated with five Grade 1 wins). I can’t say enough about the individuals who worked with this horse throughout this campaign. Without them we wouldn’t be here.
“We just went race to race and when we got through each one it was, ‘OK, what are we going to do next? There were a lot of things to decide. A mile and a half, do we run him after the Arlington Million, can I get this horse ready after 13 weeks? I just reached down and talked to Bobby (Frankel). I have to thank him, too. We found the knowledge. I wouldn’t be here right now without Bobby Frankel. He launched me and to get to a training fest like this, you have to go into his textbook and pull out bits and pieces that maybe he used in the past. It certainly helped me today.
Any doubts the horse would win: “ I wasn’t sure until he hit the wire. He needed every inch of the mile and a half. I was worried when he was in between horses. I talked to Irad and he said he was pulling the whole way so he gave him his head and let him get in the clear, and once he saw daylight he just went.”
Winning jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. (Bricks and Mortar) – “This is a special horse. Hè might be the best I’ve ever ridden. Today, hè was a little keen with me, so we were closer to the pace than normal. So, I just tried to get him to relax. When I asked him to run, I looked behind me and saw we were clear. Hè saw that other horse in front of us and hè fought all the way to the wire. I knew it was very close, but I thought we won it. I’m so happy!”
Second-place trainer Richard Mandella (United) – “He just needed a chance and he sure came through and gave it his all. It says a lot (about his ability). We knew it was a tough race but I just thought that other quarter of a mile would really help him and we had a little excuse going in our last race so we thought it was worth stepping up and he paid us back. I thought we were going to win there for a minute.”
Second-place jockey Flavien Prat (United) – “He ran huge. We had a good trip. We raced right behind the pace. He made a huge run. I mean I thought I was going to win turning for home. A great horse beat us, but it was an amazing race from my horse.”
Third-place and Sixth-place trainer Aidan O’Brien (Anthony Van Dyck and Mount Everest) – “Both my horses ran well, Sometimes the race goes for you and sometimes it goes against you. He’s (Anthony Van Dyck) a really nice horse and he’ll be a lovely horse next year.”
Third-place jockey Ryan Moore (Anthony Van Dyck) – “It was quite rough out there.”
11th-place Trainer Charlie Appleby (Old Persian (GB)) – “Unfortunately, they’ve not gone the gallop that most of us expected. They went steady fractions and everyone was in a heap, whereas we normally know that they usually, down that backside, would have been starting to get strung out a little bit. They were all stacking up like they were going into that far turn and he got back into that position. To be fair, once they went past us the first time and I saw where we were, well, I thought there just wasn’t going to be anything positive today. And, there we are—unfortunately this is racing and hopefully the horse comes out of it fit and well and we will regroup with him. I’m sure he’ll probably make his way back to Dubai for the Carnival.”