Modern Games Takes 'Win and You're In' Woodbine Mile As Godolphin Strikes For Second Grade 1 Win On Card - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Modern Games Takes ‘Win and You’re In’ Woodbine Mile As Godolphin Strikes For Second Grade 1 Win On Card

William Buick guides Modern Games to G1 Woodbine Mile triumph

Godolphin tallied a second Grade 1 win at Woodbine Saturday when Modern Game stormed down the stretch and annexed the $1-million Ricoh Woodbine Mile by 5 1/4 lengths.

Two races earlier on the card, the connections, including trainer Charlie Appleby and jockey William Buick, captured the Pattison Summer Stakes (G1) with Mysterious Night.

In the Woodbine Mile, Modern Games rated along the rail near the back of the field early before Buick brought him between horses to rally nearing the stretch. With clear running room on the outside, the son of Dubawi drew off down the lane for his sixth win from 11 career starts.

Ivar was second, and Finest Sound was third

Modern Games covered the distance in 1.32.77 on turf rated as firm and returned $3.50. With the victory, he earned an automatic, fees-paid berth to the FanDuel Breeders' Cup Mile (G1) Nov. 5 at Keeneland as the Woodbine Mile is part off the Breeders' Cup Challenge “Win and You're In” series.

Get Smokin, one of two (March to the Arch was the other) Mark Casse trainees, seized early control of the Mile, as a trio of local starters, War Bomber, Mighty Heart and Town Cruise rounded out the top four through an opening quarter reached in :23.08, as Buick and Modern Games settled into eighth of 11.

It was still Get Smokin calling the shots after a half in :45.79, the 5-year-old son of Got Stormy holding a half-length advantage over War Bomber, as Modern Games remained eighth, with a wall of horses in front of him.

As the field navigated the turn for home, Buick roused his charge and they found daylight, methodically picking off their rivals with ease before taking command and sprinting away from the field.

“He was back in the pack a little bit and he had to make a bit of room,” Buick said. “But you saw he has that speed for a mile, you know, that you need to get yourself out of trouble, so, he picked up really fast and really good. It was a very good performance.”

Modern Games, who won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) last year, posted his first win since capturing the Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) (G1) May 15 at Longchamp. Subsequently third in the Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby) (G1), he finished fifth as the favorite in the Prix Jean Prat (G1) at Chantilly on July 10, then was second on short rest July 27 last time out in the Sussex Stakes (G1) at Goodwood behind the unbeaten Baaeed, widely considered to be the world's best grass runner.

Buick said he would love to get another chance at Breeders' Cup glory with the multiple graded stakes winner.

“Very excited,” he said. “Of course, he's obviously a Juvenile Turf winner already last year, so you know he loves North American racing. We are very much looking forward to it.”

An Irish-bred out of the New Approach mare Modern Ideals, Modern Games is the first 3-year-old to win the Woodbine Mile.

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