Los Angeles, United States | AFP | - City of Light powered to victory in the Dirt Mile at Churchill Downs on Saturday as favored Catalina Cruiser failed to fire.
City of Light, with Javier Castellano aboard, emerged with the lead from a four-horse scramble in the first quarter of a mile and fended off the challenge of Firenze Fire on the far turn before pulling away to a 2 3/4-length victory over Seeking the Soul in the $1 million race.
Seeking the Soul, trained by Dallas Stewart and ridden by Brian Hernandez, rallied from the back of the field to finish 2 1/2 lengths in front of the D. Wayne Lukas-trained Bravazo.
"I had a good trip," Castellano said. "I let him break out of the gate a little bit with speed. He set the pace, and it worked out great for me today."
Catalina Cruiser, the previously unbeaten favourite trained by Sadler, never kicked into gear and finished sixth in the 10-horse field.
"He ran just fine, but he just didn’t run his 'A' race," said Catalina Cruiser's jockey Drayden Van Dyke. "I think that's about all I can say."
Sadler, who has now come up empty in 43 Breeders' Cup races, sends out favorite Accelerate in the marquee event of the two-day, $30 million festival later Saturday -- the US$6 million Classic.