All the while his chief adversary, Heart to Heart, was trying his very best to go wire-to-wire or coast-to-coast all the way to the bitter end, the French-bred Suedois and rider Danny Tudhope never gave up Hope to Hope.

And, at the end of the Grade 1 Shadwell Mile, it paid off handsomely as the duo jumped ahead just a yard or two from the finish line and not only win one of the best grass races in North America, but also punch his ticket to the Breeders’ Cup.

Trained by David O’Meara, Shadwell Turf Mile winner Suedois earned a berth in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) to be run Nov. 4 at Del Mar. He was one of four winners Saturday afternoon to secure trips to California.

Other Win and You’re In victors were Empyrean Stables’ Zipessa in the $400,000 First Lady (G1), Albaugh Family Stables’ Free Drop Billy in the $500,000 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) for 2-year-olds and Carl R. Moore Management’s Finley’sluckycharm in the $250,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2).

Also securing a graded stakes win Saturday afternoon was Ironhorse Racing’s Bucchero who scored a 1¾-length victory in the $200,000 Woodford Presented by Keeneland Select (G2), rewarding his backers with a $55.20 win payoff.

But the highlight of the day was the Shadwell.

“We’ve been here (in the U.S.) a couple of times before. We were here for the Breeders’ Cup with Mondialiste (IRE), who finished second (in the 2015 Mile-G1), and here in this race last year (when he) finished fourth,” said the trainer. “(Keeneland) puts on really good prize money. It was a toss-up over taking him to France for 7 (furlongs) or here for a mile. His previous start at a mile, he won it, and we were keen to keep him at the same distance.”

“We’ll chat with the owners and see what they want to do (about their earned spot in the Breeders’ Cup Mile).”

The winning rider was just as impressed.

“I thought I had a nice position (toward the rear of the pack). He travels really well, and I didn’t want to get (to the front) too soon.,” said Tudhope. “He finished really strong. He handled the track really well. I was happy with the way it went.”

In the Shadwell Turf Mile, Heart to Heart shot to the lead and led the field of 14 through fractions of :23.96, :48.17 while under pressure from longshot Applicator.

On the far turn, Heart to Heart shook off his early challengers only to be confronted by defending champion Miss Temple City and Ballagh Rocks with jockey Danny Tudhope swinging Suedois to the outside just behind Ballagh Rocks for clear running.

Heart to Heart dug in and repulsed all rivals until the final 50 yards when Suedois surged past to complete the mile on a firm turf course in 1:35.94.

“You feel for the horse because he runs his eyeballs out every time, but you have to be humble and gallant in defeat as hard as he tries every time,” said Brian Lynch, the trainer of Heart to Heart. “If he had had a breather down the backside, he might have been able to finish better but that is racing. He is not Breeders’ Cup eligible and there is a big supplement fee so I don’t think he will go. For sure he will come back to race next year.”

A 6-year-old French-bred gelding, Suedois is a son of Le Havre (IRE) out of the Singspiel (IRE) mare Cup Cake (IRE). The victory was worth $600,000 and increased Suedois’ earnings to $1,366,012 with a record of 32-8-8-7.

Suedois returned $21.40, $8.60, $6.40. Heart to Heart, who finished second in a Keeneland Grade 1 race for the third time, returned $4 and $3.40 as the favorite under Florent Geroux. Ballagh Rocks, ridden by Jose Lezcano, was another head back in third and returned $4.40 to show.

Divisidero was another 1¾ lengths back in fourth and was followed in order by Mondialiste (IRE), Miss Temple City, Offering Plan, Le Ken (ARG), Flatlined, American Patriot, Christian C, Applicator, Tyler U and Dimension (GB).

In the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity, the 2YO colt Free Drop Billy sent a message from Keeneland to the West Coast that there may be a race in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Del Mar. Bolt d’Oro may be as good as his record — which is unblemished and impressive. But he will have to do some running to beat this rapidly improving colt.

Free Drop Billy stamped his ticket to Del Mar with a huge, impressive, rapidly closing, kick-butt run around the final turn and through the stretch to run-away with the G1 Breeders’ Futurity.

“He’s been inside basically in all of his starts,” said winning rider Robby Albarado. “He’s been in a lot of trouble in all of his starts, and he’s got a lot of hair on his chest for a young horse. When I got him outside, he ran home nicely. Once he got in front, he got a little lazy. I expected that. He’s never run that far before.”

And, this all occurred after the colt got a little agitated, and heated up in the paddock.

“I’d rather him not do that,” said winning trainer Dale Romans, “but he does it, and that’s just him. I think if he changed, I’d worry about it at this point. He’s done it in all four of his races. He gets hot – it’s not nerves, he just sweats.”

There was no sweating in the stretch and at the finish line for the owners, the Albaugh Family Stalbes, who seems to have a firm field of possible 2YOs that will take aim at the 2018 Kentucky Derby.