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Hirsch Turf Classic 2013 Results: Little Mike returns to form

Breeders' Cup Turf winner Little Mike fought off a late charge from Big Blue Kitten along the rail to win the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park. The Hirsch began with a flurry as Joes Blazing Aaron blazed through rapid fractions of 23.92, 47.70 and 1:11.57 over the first half of the mile and a half journey. Little Mike, content to sit off the pace much like he did at the Breeders' Cup last fall, made a strong move to the lead coming off the far turn and then held off all comers through a grueling stretch drive.

The victory for Little Mike reverses a really bad stretch of form that saw him lose four straight races after his Breeders' Cup triumph. He was a non-factor in Dubai for two events and then ran so-so in both the G1-United Nations and the G1-Arlington Million. That poor stretch certainly caused me to doubt the ability of Little Mike to return to his Grade 1 form but with his win in the Hirsch, Little Mike is clearly not done winning big races.

Little Mike is a six-year-old gelding by Spanish Steps out of a Wavering Monarch mare (Hay Jude), trained by Dale Romans and ridden by Mike Smith.

The Joe Hirsch Turf Classic is a "Win and You're In" race for the Breeders' Cup Turf.

Below are the payouts for the Hirsch Turf:

Horse Win Place Show
7-Little Mike $16.80 $5.90 $4.70
2-Big Blue Kitten $2.50 $2.20
2b-Real Solution $2.50 $2.20

Base Bet Combo Payout Pays to -
$1.00 Exacta 7/2 $23.00
$1.00 Trifecta 7/2/4 $86.75
$0.10 Superfecta None $0.00
$1.00 Double 1/7 $28.25
$1.00 Pick 3 8/1/7 $162.75 3-of-3

Fractions

Distance Fractions Internal
1/4: 23.92 23.92
1/2: 47.70 23.78
3/4: 1:11.57 23.87
Mile: 1:35.70 24.13
1 1/4: 2:00.33 24.63
Finish: 2:25.00 24.67