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Avanzado ends skid in Ancient Title

by Steve Anderson
October 6, 2003
Daily Racing Form

ARCADIA, Calif. - Avanzado ended a four-race losing streak with a front-running win in Sunday's $156,625 Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Stakes at Santa Anita, but he is not considered a candidate for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint on Oct. 25 Avanzado, an Argentine-bred, must be supplemented for $200,000, a sum that owner Michael Cooper said was too high. "We won't be going there," he said.

Runner-up Captain Squire and third-place finisher Bluesthestandard may return for the BC Sprint. Bluesthestandard must be supplemented for $90,000. The participation of Yankee Gentlemen, the 6-5 favorite, is doubtful after he could only manage fourth.

Avanzado ($19.60) led throughout the six-furlong Ancient Title. Jockey Tyler Baze urged the 6-year-old horse to the front from the gate and set a quick pace of 21.54 and 43.58 seconds.

Avanzado led by a head over Captain Squire after a quarter-mile and extended his advantage to a half-length after a half-mile.

Yankee Gentlemen rallied four-wide to reach contention in early stretch, but could not sustain the rally. "It looked perfect, but he didn't go on," said John Sherriffs, who trains Yankee Gentlemen.

Avanzado led by a length at the eighth pole and won by 1 1/2 lengths over Captain Squire, who finished a head in front of Bluesthestandard in the field of six. Trained by Doug O'Neill, Avanzado was timed in 1:08.12.

"Tyler hustled him and made sure he was in front," O'Neill said. "The horse is so game."

The Ancient Title was Avanzado's first win since the Grade 2 Palos Verdes Handicap here last January. In four subsequent starts, his best finish was a second in the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen last March.

O'Neill said the $350,000 Cigar Mile at Aqueduct on Nov. 29 is a possibility for Avanzado, who has won 10 of 26 starts and $884,125. He has won four stakes since arriving from Argentina in early 2002.

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