By Rory Carroll
ARCADIA, Calif. (Reuters) – Storm the Court fended off a late challenge from fellow longshot Anneau d’Or to win the Breeders’ Cup $2 million Juvenile by a neck in a stunning upset at Santa Anita Park on Friday.
Dennis’ Moment, the 4-5 favorite, stumbled as he left the gate from his position on the inside post and ended up finishing last.
That opened the door to the other 2-year olds and 45-1 Storm the Court took full advantage as jockey Flavien Prat managed to maintain the lead he built up early in the race even as 25-1 Anneau d’Or closed quickly down the stretch.
Wrecking Crew finished third in the 1-1/16 mile race on dirt, which is often seen as a preview of contenders in next year’s Triple Crown races.
“All of us are extremely excited about this,” Storm the Court owner Justin Border said.
“Special thanks to Flavien for sticking with a horse with such a big heart and on behalf of all the owners and partners of Storm the Court, we’re proud to be on his team,” he said.
“He just represents a lot of good things with racing.”
Santa Anita Park has been under scrutiny for a spate of horse deaths this year but no horses were injured during the nine races on Friday, which played out before a crowd of 41,243.
Racing resumes on Saturday, highlighted by the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.
(Editing by Sandra Maler)