Count Again wins Shoemaker Mile, earns Breeders’ Cup berth

May 31, 2022 GMT
In this image provided by Benoit Photo, Count Again, with Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard, wins the Grade I, $500,000 Shoemaker Mile horse race Monday, May 30, 2022, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. (Benoit Photo via AP)
In this image provided by Benoit Photo, Count Again, with Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard, wins the Grade I, $500,000 Shoemaker Mile horse race Monday, May 30, 2022, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. (Benoit Photo via AP)
In this image provided by Benoit Photo, Count Again, with Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard, wins the Grade I, $500,000 Shoemaker Mile horse race Monday, May 30, 2022, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. (Benoit Photo via AP)
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In this image provided by Benoit Photo, Count Again, with Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard, wins the Grade I, $500,000 Shoemaker Mile horse race Monday, May 30, 2022, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. (Benoit Photo via AP)
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In this image provided by Benoit Photo, Count Again, with Irad Ortiz, Jr. aboard, wins the Grade I, $500,000 Shoemaker Mile horse race Monday, May 30, 2022, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. (Benoit Photo via AP)

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — Count Again rallied from last to win the $500,000 Shoemaker Mile by 2 1/4 lengths on Monday to earn an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup.

Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr., who came in to Santa Anita from New York, won his second straight Grade 1 race on the card.

Count Again ran the distance on turf in 1:32.40. Sent off as the 5-2 second choice, he paid $7, $2.40 and $2.10.

The 7-year-old Canadian-bred gelding earned a berth in the $2 million BC Mile at Keeneland on Nov. 5.

Trained by Phil D’Amato, Count Again reeled in 2-5 favorite Smooth Like Strait with a furlong to go.

“I just followed instructions,” said Ortiz, who won the Hollywood Gold Cup in his previous race with longshot There Goes Harvard. “Phil told me to let him do his thing and don’t rush him. He had a big turn of foot.”

Smooth Like Strait returned $2.10 and $2.10. Masteroffoxhounds, also trained by D’Amato, was another 3 1/2 lengths back in third and paid $2.20 to show.

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In the $400,000 Hollywood Gold Cup, 8-1 shot There Goes Harvard won by a length for trainer Mike McCarthy in the 4-year-old colt’s first graded stakes race.

There Goes Harvard ran 1 1/4 miles in 2:02.66 and paid $19.60, $7.40 and $4.20. Defunded returned $6.60 and $4. Royal Ship was another 3 1/4 lengths back in third and paid $2.60 to show.

“I had a perfect trip,” Ortiz said.

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