Eldaafer with John Velazquez aboard captured the grade 3, $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon at historic Churchill Downs today in a track record 2:59.62. The 1 3/4 Marathon is the first race of the Breeders' Cup card.
Velazquez was pleased with his mount.
"It was perfect for me. He broke great and I was able to get him good position," he said. "When the others started coming back to me at the quarter pole, I asked him for his run and he just exploded from them."
Javier Castellano and Prince Will I Am finished second, but was later disqualified for cutting off and nearly upending Romp and jockey Martin Garcia, as well as got in the way of Calvin Borel on A.U. Minor.
"I had so much horse. I had pressure outside me," explained Castellano. "I went for a hole and they said I took his (Borel's) lane. I don't know. I don't know."
This led to a confrontation between Castellano and Borel.
Gabriel's Hill and Julien Leparoux finished third and placed second.
For the win, Eldaafer paid $23.20, $12, and $7. Gabriel's Hill paid $25.40 and $13.20, and A.U. Miner returned $5.20 to show.