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Mandella Wins Four Breeders’ Cup Races

October 25, 2003 GMT

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) _ Richard Mandella touted Action This Day throughout Breeders’ Cup week, impressed by the way the 2-year-old colt improved this summer.

Turns out, the trainer should have been promoting himself.

Mandella became the first trainer to win four races on a Breeders’ Cup card.

Six of his seven horses earned money Saturday and his $4,564,040 total was the most by a trainer in a single day of racing in North America. Trainers receive a standard 10 percent of the purse, meaning Mandella took home $456,404.

``I never thought lightning would strike twice, but it struck harder,″ he said.

The betting public sent Action This Day off at 27-1 odds.

``Like I said all week, `He’s the man,‴ Mandella said. ``He was the ugly duckling this spring and now he is the swan.″

Action This Day’s victory in the Juvenile doesn’t bode well for the first Saturday in May. No winner of the first 19 Juveniles has gone on to win the Kentucky Derby.

Last year’s winner, Vindication, not only didn’t make it to the Derby because of injury but never raced again and was retired to stud.

``It’s rare that a young colt would give you confidence like that,″ said Mandella, whose birthday is Nov. 5. ``But when you got him and you’re 53-years-old, you’ve got to go. You might not have tomorrow.″

Minister Eric, one of Mandella’s three entries, finished second, triggering a $188.40 exacta on the Hall of Fame trainer. His other horse, Siphonizer, was 10th.

Earlier, Mandella won the $1 million Juvenile Fillies with Halfbridled. His horse, Johar, dead-heated with High Chaparral to win the $2 million Turf.

Then Pleasantly Perfect scored a 1 1/2-length victory in the $4 million Classic, the day’s richest race. D. Wayne Lukas had three winners in 1988.

Mandella’s success came on the 10th anniversary of his other big Breeders’ Cup score.

In 1993, also at Santa Anita, Mandella won the Turf with Kotashaan and the Juvenile Fillies with Phone Chatter. He won two other stakes on the undercard and earned more than $1.6 million that day.

``I didn’t believe this could happen again, but it happened bigger and better,″ Mandella said. ``I think they should just move it here.″

Ridden by David Flores, Action This Day covered 1 1-16 miles in 1:43.62. He returned $55.60 _ the second-highest payout in the Juvenile’s 20-year history. Anees paid $62.60 to win in 1999.

Chapel Royal was another five lengths back in third.

Action This Day has two victories and a second in three starts this year. He was beaten by seven lengths in his debut at Del Mar on Sept. 3. He returned barely three weeks later and won by a nose at Santa Anita, where Mandella’s barn is based.

The Juvenile was missing four top 2-year-olds and another is out with an injury. Champagne Stakes winner Birdstone, Lane’s End Futurity winner Eurosilver and Ruler’s Court, winner of the Norfolk Stakes, skipped the race. Cactus Ridge has a knee injury.

Trainers Bob Baffert and D. Wayne Lukas were shut out. Consecrate, trained by Baffert, was fifth; Lukas’ horse, Race for Glory, led the first quarter-mile and then faded to ninth.

Cuvee, the 8-5 favorite, was pulled up in the stretch and finished last in the 12-horse field.

In the Juvenile Fillies, Halfbridled won by 2 1/2 lengths, making Hall of Famer Julie Krone the first female jockey to win a Breeders’ Cup race.

Pleasantly Perfect, a 14-1 shot, charged past Medaglia d’Oro and Dynever, who were hooked up in a duel along the rail, in mid-stretch and went on to the upset victory.