Moreno Wins Whitney Handicap At Saratoga, Earns Spot In Breeder’s Cup Classic – VIDEO
Moreno captured the $1.5 million Grade 1 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga Racecourse on Saturday, the richest race in the track’s historic 146-year history.
The 4-year old gelding bears the same name as Southern Equine Stables’ owner Mike Moreno, who grew up in Morgan City, went to college at UL, and owns Dynamic Industries, whose corporate headquarters is located in Lafayette.
Moreno, the man, not the horse, who owns trainings farms in Louisiana and Kentucky, owns Bodemeister, who finished second in both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes in 2012.
Trained by Eric Guillot and ridden by Junior Alvarado, Moreno, who went off at 10-1, went to the front out of the gate and never looked back, going wire-to-wire, covering the half-mile in 47.50, six furlongs in 1:11.31, and the mile 1/8 in 1:48.05, to beat Itsmyluckyday by 1 1/4 lengths.
Will Take Charge, who beat Moreno by a nose in the Travers Stakes last summer, ran third, while Palace Malice, the 3-5 pre-race favorite, finished a disappointing sixth.
Moreno, who won $800,000, his winner’s share of the purse, pushed his career earnings to $1,709,940 in 20 lifetime starts, and also earned him an automatic berth in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, set for Nov. 1 at Santa Anita, by winning the race.