Flightline, the highest rated racehorse in the world, justified its exalted reputation by beating its rivals to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
The colt, ridden by Flavien Prat for American trainer John Sadler, has been called the best horse in the United States since the legendary Secretariat.
The win in the $6m (£5.3m) race in Keeneland, Kentucky was the sixth in a row for the unbeaten 2-5 favorite.
“He’s one of the great horses of all time,” Sadler said.
Anticipation was at a fever pitch ahead of the Classic after four-year-old Flightline won by 19 lengths last time out.
Flightline was still close to the front and on the home stretch they beat longtime leader Life Is Good and surged to triumph.
Olympiad was eight and a quarter lengths in second.
“He’s just an outstanding racehorse. There were 2-3,000 people who came just to see him practice last week,” Sadler added.
Veteran jockey Mike Smith, who rode third-placed Taiba, said Flightline was the best horse he had ever seen.
“I take my hat off to him. He just has a different engine and breathes a different air. He’s up there with the old Secretariat,” Smith said.
Secretariat won the US Triple Crown in 1973 and has won 16 times in 21 races.
Epicenter, a Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes runner-up, was arrested in the Classic with a leg injury and walked to a horse-drawn ambulance.
Appleby and O’Brien triumph again
There were a record six European triumphs at the two-day meeting, also known as the Thoroughbred World Championships, which offers more than $30 million in prize money.
British coach Charlie Appleby scored a double on Saturday with Modern Games and Rebel’s Romance
It was Appleby’s third victory in the encounter, while Tuesday also offered Irishman Aidan O’Brien a third triumph.
James Doyle picked up his first victory in the match as he guided Rebel’s Romance to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Turf.
William Buick had chosen to ride Nations Pride instead, but succeeded aboard Modern Games in the Filly and Mare Turf.
O’Brien and British jockey Ryan Moore followed Friday’s double as the winner of the Oaks on Tuesday won the Filly & Mare Turf.
Meanwhile, there were emotional scenes on the course as Cody’s Wish, a horse named after a boy with a rare genetic condition, won the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.
Cody Dorman, now 16, met the horse when he was just a colt and Cody’s Wish walked over and placed his head in the boy’s lap.
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