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Breeders’ Cup: Fort Larned takes Classic

Fort Larned, with Brian Hernandez Jr. aboard, holds off Mucho Macho Man to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic

julie jacobson/associated press

Fort Larned, with Brian Hernandez Jr. aboard, holds off Mucho Macho Man to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic

ARCADIA, Calif. — Bob Baffert got beat again in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic. Bill Mott settled for half of a repeat sweep in the weekend’s two biggest races.

The Hall of Fame trainers could only wince as 9-1 long shot Fort Larned won North America’s richest race on Saturday night, capping a weekend of upsets in the world championships at Santa Anita.

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Fort Larned led all the way to win by a half-length over Mucho Macho Man.

The highly anticipated Classic was strictly a two-horse race to the finish in front of 55,123.

Game On Dude, the 7-5 favorite, ran what Baffert said was ‘‘probably the worst race of his life’’ in finishing seventh.

Mott’s trio of Flat Out (third), Ron the Greek (fourth), and To Honor and Serve (10th) came up short.

Mott, unlike Baffert, didn’t leave empty-handed. Royal Delta successfully defended her title in the $2 million Ladies’ Classic on Friday as one of only four favorites to win in 15 races over two days.

Fort Larned ran 1¼ miles in 2 minutes 0.11 seconds in the showcase race. The 4-year-old colt paid $20.80 to win.

Fort Larned went right to the lead, with only Mucho Macho Man picking up the chase. Those two pulled away from the pack.

Baffert went 0 for 9 on the weekend, with Game On Dude failing to deliver the Hall of Famer a first win in the Classic.

Upsets dominated six of the day’s nine races, with Little Mike pulling off the biggest stunner at 17-1 in the $3 million Turf.

Rosie Napravnik joined Julie Krone as the only female jockeys to win a Breeders’ Cup race when she guided 6-5 favorite Shanghai Bobby to a head victory over He’s Had Enough in the $2 million Juvenile.

Shanghai Bobby set himself up as the winter book favorite for the Kentucky Derby. The colt improved to 5-0 under trainer Todd Pletcher, who went 1 for 10 on the weekend.

Wise Dan, the 9-5 favorite in the $2 million Mile, came through with a 1½-length victory, covering the distance in a track-record 1:31.78. He paid $5.60 to win under jockey John Velazquez, who earned his 12th Cup victory.

The string of upsets continued with Little Mike winning the Turf by a half-length under jockey Ramon Dominguez. He paid $36.60, the highest win price for this year’s event.

Tapizar beat a talented field in the Dirt Mile that included 5-2 favorite Emcee and Shack­leford. He won by 2¼ lengths and paid $32.60.

Trinniberg won the $1.5 million Sprint by three-quarters of a length at 13-1 odds, triggering a win price of $29.40. Defending champion Amazombie, the 7-2 favorite, was eighth.

In the $1 million Juvenile Turf, 9-1 shot George Vancouver won by 1¼ lengths and paid $20.60. Trainer Aidan O’Brien, jockey Ryan Moore, and owner Coolmore Stud teamed to win for the second straight year.

Filly Mizdirection beat the boys by a half-length in the $1 million Turf Sprint off a six-month layoff.

Groupie Doll came through as the 3-5 favorite in the $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint, winning by 4½ lengths. Jockey Rajiv Maragh won his second race of the weekend, having taken the $500,000 Juvenile Sprint on 15-1 shot Hightail on Friday.

In the Juvenile, Shanghai Bobby ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.58 and paid $4.60, $3.40, and $2.60.

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