Albertus Maximus captures Dirt Mile


ARCADIA, Calif. -- Albertus Maximus, who switched stables during the summer, won the biggest race of his career in Saturday's $1 million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Garrett Gomez, Albertus Maximus overcame a touch of trouble on the final turn to outfinish Rebellion by 1 1/4 lengths. Two Step Salsa, who set the early pace of 22.24 and 45.02 seconds, held third in the field of 12. Well Armed, the 6-5 favorite, was in traffic on the first turn, raced wide on the backstretch, and faded to finish ninth.

Albertus Maximus ran a mile in 1:33.41, just missing El Gato Malo's track record of 1:33.37 set in January.

Albertus Maximus was at the back half of the field for the first six furlongs. Gomez kept him behind horses on the final turn, waited briefly for space, and then guided the 4-year-old colt to the outside in early stretch. Albertus Maximus responded quickly and took the lead in the final furlong.

Owned by breeders Brandon and Marianne Chase, Albertus Maximus ($14.60) was trained by Gary Mandella until the summer, when he was switched to Vladimir Cerin. Albertus Maximus, who has won 5 of 15 starts, made his third start for Cerin in the BC Dirt Mile.

Oak Tree at Santa Anita, 3rd Race - October 25, 2008