Mongolian Saturday sprang a 15-1 upset when winning the G1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint in 2015. He returns to Keeneland to run in the G3 Woodford Stakes on Saturday
Mongolian Saturday’s victory in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Keeneland was memorable not only because the gelding at odds of 15-1 was the longest shot to win a race during the two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships but because his connections, including owner Ganbaatar Dagvadorj and trainer Enebish Ganbat, wore their native Mongolian attire and enthusiastically posed for photos with fans.
The Breeders’ Cup victory launched Mongolian Saturday, a $ 60,000 purchase at Keeneland’s 2011 September Yearling Sale, on an international tour. He made two starts at Sha Tin in Hong Kong – Hong Kong Sprint (G1) and Chairman’s Sprint Prize (G1) – and raced twice in England – Kings Stand (G1) at Royal Ascot and Darley July Cup (G1) at Newmarket. Dagyadorj and Ganbat continued to wear their Mongolian outfits, and at Royal Ascot they met Queen Elizabeth II.
However, Mongolian Saturday finished no better than fifth in those four races.
“The horse is doing good now,” Ganbat said. “We were racing outside the U.S. but not so good. In England, a (veterinarian) found (he had a) big ulcer.”
Mongolian Saturday underwent treatment for the ulcer and resumed training in September at Arlington Park. He returns to competition in Saturday’s Woodford (G3) Presented by Keeneland Select and will be ridden by Chicago-based jockey Carlos Montalvo, who rode him early in his career. Florent Geroux, who was aboard the gelding to win the Breeders’ Cup will be at Belmont Park.
A year ago, Mongolian Saturday and Geroux were second in the Woodford, which was rained off the turf course and run on the muddy main track. The gelding drew the outside post in Saturday’s 12-horse race.
“It’s OK,” Ganbat said about the post. “From the outside, he won the Breeders’ Cup. I would be happy if he can get third because he hasn’t run since July.”
Ganbat said if Mongolian Saturday performs well Saturday, he will earn a trip to this year’s Breeders’ Cup on Nov. 4-5 at Santa Anita.
“Because of this nice horse, I was traveling like a rich tourist,” Ganbat said with a laugh. “I have had more fun this year. I want to do it again.”
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