Modern Games overcomes drama and delay to win G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf

Unflappable son of Dubawi shines as curtain closes on Breeders’ Cup day one

Modern Games overcame a dramatic and tumultuous pre-race lead-up and powered to a two-and-a-half length victory in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Del Mar on 5 November.

The highly-regarded son of Dubawi, who had been favored by the betting public to win, ended up competing for “purse money only” after his stablemate, Albahr, flipped and then became cast in the starting gate as the horses were being loaded up. Albahr, who thankfully only suffered a few minor scratches from the incident, was scratched from the race by the attending veterinarians. An assistant starter, however, was injured in the incident and had to be transported to a local hospital.

In the meantime, there appeared to be confusion as to the status of Modern Games, who was at first listed as a ‘late scratch’ like his stablemate. Then it was announced that the chestnut colt would indeed run but would run for "purse money only.” Despite all the high drama, cool(er) heads prevailed, as Modern Games and jockey William Buick rallied from off the pace to win quite easily over Tiz the Bomb.

Bred in Ireland by Godolphin, Modern Games is out of the New Approach mare, Modern Ideals, herself a half-sister to fellow Darley stallion and G1 winner Ultra.

Dubawi has sired a world-leading 37 Stakes winners in 2021, with nine of those winners coming since the start of October. His recent G1 winners include Creative Force (G1 British Champions Sprint Stakes) and Space Blues (G1 Prix de la Foret).