Atomic Eclipse Edges Penal Hockey Party to Capture BC Mile

BC Mile (Grade 1)- $2,000.000 Purse
SA- For Three Year Olds and Upward
One Mile on the Turf
November 4, 2023

With so many good options to choose from in the BC Mile, not many people got behind Atomic Eclipse. The six-year-old gelding would go off as the second longest shot on the board at 34/1 and was hardly picked in the Pick ‘em. He came into the race off a couple of runner ups in Grade 2’s, which are results to be proud of, but others in the field just seemed to have raced in tougher spots and also had success in them. That’s the nature of the BC, everyone is good, and that led to Atomic Eclipse being lost in the wagering shuffle, so to speak. He would run his heart out and would just cross the line narrowly over Penal Hockey Party who could not quite make the save in time and snag the win for himself. Atomic Eclipse is trained by Spankys Barn, and was ridden by T Gaffalione. For each, it is their first win in the BC Mile. It is the second career BC win for Spankys Barn! Congratulations to them! The time of the win was 1:32.52, the third quickest winning time of the race when held at SA. Let’s take a look at it!

(1/4 Mile- :22.59)- Four horses break away from the rest of the field out of the starting gate, and Love Of The Derby, trained by Mb Stables ends up the quickest of that group and leads by approximately a full length at this stage of the race. The other three are lined up so evenly that a dead heat would probably be declared amongst them if this was the finish. From inside to outside, these horses are Maxmillion Farm’s Last Way To The Beac, Threshold’s Bronze Bomber, and Blazin D’s American Generals. It’s a gap of nearly two lengths to Nakamura Stables- trained Jakarta, then in the middle of the field, we have Diablo Diablo’s Indian Summer and Riggins Racing’s Grand Opening. Riley (Royalty Stables) is nearby on the rail, and so to are Prom King (Mb Stables) and Penal Hockey Hockey Party (Maxmillion Farm), with Hawaiian Lord (Our Athletes). Our eventual winner of the race, Spanky Barn’s Atomic Eclipse, is not worrying about the early pace as he runs 12th, and five lengths of the field. He’s been in the situation where he’s needed to close before, though traditionally he’s a midpack runner early on. At the back are Pxg (Mb Stables) and Justice Of The Peace (Maletto). The latter was able to get into the race with the scratch of Absolutely Grande.

(½ Mile- :45.42)- Rounding the opening turn and moving into the backstretch, we don’t see a lot of changes with the field, but there is some action at the front of the field. Last Way To The Beac, likely taking full advantage of running on the rail has now completely pulled up alongside Love Of The Derby, and they will battle it out now up front. American Generals is still within a half-length of them, but the same cannot be said for Bronze Bomber, as he falls back about a length and a half, but this may have been by design. He’s still comfortably ahead of the rest of the back, which is led by Jakarta and Indian Summer. Further back, Penal Hockey Party and Atomic Eclipse are running pretty close to one another, but they are six and seven lengths off the lead.

(Top of the Stretch, 1.5F To Go)- The field makes their way around the turn, and as you would expect, the pack tightens up as we get closer to the stretch. Love Of The Derby still seems to be running well now, and those who picked the 28/1 longshot may have been thinking that they were going to be the ones with the big payout. Last Way Of The Beac was still there but lost a length in the turn. Bronze Bomber still sat just off the lead, giving more reason to think he was simply restrained in the opening turn, and he does complete the pass of American Generals. Jakarta, Indian Summer, and Grand Opening lead the rest of the field, but the big mover to watch was Atomic Eclipse. He made a firm move to the outside, and while he had not passed many horses yet, there was one that he did get around and put a length on that would prove to absolutely vital. That, of course, was Penal Hockey Party, which would be crucial later. Meanwhile, horses like Riley and Hawaiian Lord were running evenly, but needed to show a lot more. Pxg got his call to go, but still had a lot of ground to make up and a lot of horses to pass. Prom King didn’t bring the good version of himself today, and Justice Of The Peace could see them all.

(Finish- 1:32.52)- Love Of The Derby continues to run well, and it would have fair to think that he was going to hang on for the win. However, that would not be the case, as on the far aside, Atomic Eclipse was coming on gamely, under the strong urging by T Gaffalione, and he would have another problem looming too, as Penal Hockey Party split the defense of a couple in front of them and was breaking in on the goal of victory. To a lesser extent, Grand Opening was making an effort to snag the win as well. In the final strides, Love Of The Derby did not have anything for his main rivals, and would be passed by both Atomic Eclipse and Penal Hockey Party, and they would hit the wire together. We would have to review what happened at the line and to see who hit it first, and the photo would declare Atomic Eclipse getting the headbob on Penal Hockey Party. Love Of The Derby hung on for third, also in a tight photo, his with Grand Opening. It was another length to the rest of the field, with the closing Pxg edging Jakarta for fifth, then Bronze Bomber, Last Way To The Beac and Riley relatively close to them. Rounding it out, we have Indian Summer, Justice Of The Peace, Hawaiian Lord, American Generals, and Prom King.

About The Winner- Atomic Eclipse, trained by Spankys Barn and ridden to victory by T Gaffalione, is a six-year-old gelding by Orange Eclipse and is out of Atomic Cat. He was bred in California by Two Hearts One Love as a second quarter two-year-old, and was acquired by Spankys Barn, via La Canada Racehorses, in private sales for $25.000 in July 2022. Congratulations to the connections! The win is his eleventh in 41 starts, his fifth stake win, and fourth graded win. His career earnings are now $2,140.630.

##   Horse Name Owner Name Jockey Odds   Fin Time SRF 
  Atomic Eclipse Spankys Barn Gaffalione T 34.20   1no 1:32.52 — 
  Penal Hockey Party Maxmillion Farm Velazquez J R 3.85   21/2 1:32.53 — 
  Love Of The Derby Mb Stables Lezcano J 28.65   3no 1:32.65 — 
  Grand Opening Riggins Racing Saez L 5.35   41 1:32.67 — 
  Pxg Mb Stables Gutierrez Mario 8.40   5no 1:32.91 — 
  Jakarta Nakamura Stables Centeno D E 12.15   61/4 1:32.93 — 
  Bronze Bomber Threshold Vazquez R A 11.25   7hd 1:33.01 — 
  Last Way To The Beac Maxmillion Farm Lopez P 5.80   8no 1:33.04 — 
  Riley Royalty Stables Dettori L 9.70   91/4 1:33.05 — 
  Indian Summer Diablo Diablo Hernandez R M 17.70   101/4 1:33.14 — 
  Justice Of The Peace Maletto Alvarado F T 28.70   11nk 1:33.23 — 
  Hawaiian Lord Our Athletes Geroux F 17.50   121/4 1:33.28 — 
  American Generals Blazin D Pennington F 59.00   131 1:33.36 — 
  Prom King Mb Stables Franco M 9.85   14 1:33.61 — 

Track: Firm

Time: :222  :452  1:084  1:322

$2 Mutuel Prices:

11 – Atomic Eclipse 70.40 30.90 23.50
2 – Penal Hockey Party   5.00 6.40
9 – Love Of The Derby     7.30

$1 Exacta: 11 – 2 Paid 276.20

$1 Trifecta: 11 – 2 – 9 Paid 1,485.10

Scratched: Absolutely Grande, Angel Code

— NS


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