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Well Armed holds off Tiago in Goodwood

9/27/2008

ARCADIA, Calif. -- Trainer Eoin Harty and the WinStar Farm of Bill Casner and Kenny Troutt are going into the Breeders' Cup Classic Well Armed.

Well Armed joined stablemate Colonel John as a runner in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic on Oct. 25 by virtue of a gritty victory on Saturday in the Grade 1, $500,000 Goodwood Stakes at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting.

Well Armed ($5.40), the favorite, outfinished Tiago by one length, with Albertus Maximus another three-quarters of a length farther back in third in the field of 10. Aaron Gryder rode Well Armed, who was timed in 1:47.11 for 1 1/8 miles on Pro-Ride.

Of the other better-known runners in the field, Surf Cat was fourth, Spirit One fifth, and Mast Track eighth.

"He just saves all his energy for when it's needed," Gryder said. "He's just a good horse and he showed he doesn't need the lead to win."

The Goodwood completed a card on which six Grade 1 races were run, five of which offered automatic berths to Breeders' Cup races Oct. 24-25 via the Win and You're In program. The Goodwood provided a spot in the 1 1/4-mile Classic for Well Armed.

Well Armed sat third, just outside leaders Informed and Mast Track, through fractions of 23.26 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 46.81 seconds for a half-mile, and 1:10.31 for six furlongs. As the field moved around the far turn, Well Armed loomed up three paths wide to vie for the lead, and Surf Cat rallied in the four path.

Surf Cat flattened out inside the furlong pole, but Tiago came flying down the center of the track, with Albertus Maximus just inside him. But Gryder deftly guided Well Armed to the middle of the track, believing that Well Armed would reach down and find more when realizing his challengers were advancing.

Well Armed, 5, has won six times in 19 starts. He was second to Go Between in the Pacific Classic in his prior start, and earlier this year was third when chasing Curlin in the Dubai World Cup.

Oak Tree at Santa Anita, 10th Race - September 27, 2008