Little Mike and Trinniberg, two horses whose owners live in South Florida, won Breeders’ Cup races on Saturday at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.
Little Mike, at 17-1, won the $3 million Breeders’ Cup Turf. He is owned by Carlo and Priscilla Vaccarezza of Parkland.
Trinniberg, at 13-1, won the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint. He is owned and trained by Shivananda Parbhoo of Davie.
Both horses had become known for winning races gate-to-wire.
On Saturday, Little Mike ran in third place and Trinniberg was in second until they passed tiring leaders in the final one-eighth mile.
After Little Mike took the lead, he held on to beat favored Point of Entry by a half length in the Turf stakes, at 1 1/2 miles.
He was ridden by Ramon Dominguez and set a course record of 2:22.83.
“This is unbelievable, what this horse did [Saturday] and what he did all year,” Carlo Vaccarezza said by phone from Santa Anita. “They gave Little Mike no chance [Saturday], and they kept saying he could only win on the lead. He showed them what he can do against some of the best turf horses in the world.”
Turbo Compressor, also owned by South Florida residents, shot out to the lead and set a fast pace.
Vaccarezza said that he and trainer Dale Romans thought that might happen.
“We told Ramon to settle in and wait his time,” he said. “He rode a great race.”
Turbo compressor faded and finished last in the 12-horse field.
This year, Little Mike also won the Sunshine Millions Turf at Gulfstream on Jan. 28, the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (Grade 1) at Churchill Downs on May 5 and the Arlington Million (Grade 1) on Aug. 18.
The Vaccarezzas named the horse after their son, Mike, who is 10.
Trinniberg caught early leader Sum of the Parts and the held off The Lumber Guy to win by a head.
He was ridden by his regular jockey Willie Martinez and ran six furlongs in 1:07.98.
“When he turned for home, I felt really good. I added blinkers [Saturday] because I thought in his last few races he had lost confidence, but we never lost our confidence in him,” Parbhoo said.
The win was the fourth in eight races this year for the 3-year-old Trinniberg.
Two other South Florida-owned horses finished out of the money.
Musical Romance, the defending champion, finished sixth in the $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint. She is owned by her trainer Bill Kaplan and by Pinnacle Racing Stable. They are planning to retire the 5-year-old Musical Romance and sell her to be a broodmare.
Speak Logistics finished seventh in the $2 million Juvenile. He is trained by Eddie Please Jr. and owned by Ralph Nabavi, who has a home in Davie.
The victories by Little Mike and Trinniberg gave South Florida three wins in the weekend’s 15 Breeders’ Cup races.
On Friday, Royal Delta won the Ladies Classic for the second year in a row. She is owned by Besilu Stables, the racing business of Benjamin Leon, who is the founder of Leon Medical Centers in Miami-Dade County.