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Afleet Again closes late to win Grade 2 BC Marathon

Saturday, November 05, 2011 |
Afleet Again ran down Birdrun in the late stages to roll home to a 2 1/4-length victory in the $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon (G2) Saturday at Churchill Downs. The 4-year-old son of Afleet Alex picked an outstanding time to get his first win of the year for his sire, who is in the top 5 on the third-crop list.

Afleet Again was well back in the field for most of the part of the 1 3/4-mile endurance test before launching his bid going six wide into the stretch. With a sustained drive, Cornelio Velasquez willed his mount to the front a sixteenth from the wire to get a lead he wouldn't relinquish.

"He needs a strong ride," said Velasquez. "In the last five-sixteenths I had a lot of horse. At the three-eighths I pulled the trigger."

“He ran fabulously," winning trainer Robert Reid said. "It’s so rare to get this kind of distance, so we decided to take a shot. We always thought he could go this far. There’s no limit to how far he can run. When I saw a 48 (fraction) for the first half and we were only seven or eight lengths out of it, I thought we were in pretty good shape.”

Afleet Again improved his record to 4-5-3 from 24 career starts. His earnings stand at $686,470 with the winning purse of $270,000.

The gray/roan colt was bred in Kentucky by Roll Z Dice Stable and is out of the Wild Again mare Lucky Again, who has also produced the stakes horses Oh So Bella and Luckifee.