February 2, 2023

Cody’s Wish delivers last-to-first Dirt Mile win

Cody's Wish wins the Breeders' Cup Mile (Photo by Coady Photography)
Cody’s Wish’s connections after winning the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (Photo by Horsephotos.com)

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Cody’s Wish did not disappoint as the favorite in Saturday’s $910,000 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), rallying to edge Cyberknife by a head. Winner of the seven-furlong Forego (G1) in his previous outing, the four-year-old colt notched his first triumph at a two-turn distance while stretching his win streak to four.

Off as the 2.16-1 choice among nine runners, Cody’s Wish provided jockey Junior Alvarado with his first Breeders’ Cup victory. Bill Mott, now an 11-time Breeders’ Cup winner, trains the Godolphin homebred son of Curlin.

“The performance was awesome,” Mott said. “He made a huge run turning for home.”

Cody’s Wish closed from last after a half-mile. Pipeline sped to the front and established splits in :22.20 and :45.71 before throwing in the towel, and Cyberknife advanced to take a short lead on the far turn after rating just off the pace.

Alvarado asked his mount for run entering the far turn, and Cody’s Wish began to rapidly pass rivals on the bend. Swinging five-wide into the short stretch, Cody’s Wish had his sights set upon Cyberknife and Slow Down Andy, and he determinedly wore down his challengers, getting up late to overhaul Cyberknife.

Cody’s Wish, with Junior Alvarado aboard, wins the G1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile for trainer Bill Mott (Photo by Horsephotos.com)

“I probably didn’t have the trip that I was planning,” Alvarado said. “He didn’t break great, so I just took my time with him. I didn’t want to rush him. He’s a horse that can get a little rank. I took it little by little. By the three-eighths pole I was getting excited, but I knew there was a lot of race left to run. He finished up really well for me. When we turned for home, I knew I had the horse.”

Cody’s Wish completed the mile in 1:35.33.

Multiple Grade 1 victor Cyberknife, the 3-1 second choice, wound up 1 3/4 lengths clear of 17-1 Slow Down Andy, but the runner-up had to survive a steward’s inquiry after crossing over in front of the third-place finisher in deep stretch.

Gunite came next in fourth, and Law Professor, Three Technique, Simplification, Senor Buscador, and Pipeline followed.

Out of the Grade 1-winning Tapit mare Dance Card, Cody’s Wish is a half-brother to stakes-placed Endorsed and Bocephus. The Kentucky-bred has now earned $1,332,130 from an 11-7-1-3 record.

Cody’s Wish took part in Make-A-Wish Day at Keeneland in 2018 while still unnamed, and he formed a bond with Cody Dorman, who has Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome.

“That was very special,” Mott said. “There’s a big story behind it. Goes to show that the Make-A-Wish Foundation can make it very special for someone.”

“I’ve been hearing the stories about (Cody),” Alvarado added. “First time I got to meet him was at Churchill when I won with him, and I remember going into the winner’s circle and all he wanted to do was walk forward to where Cody was. We tried to get the winner’s circle photo and he was getting upset until Cody got into the photo. They have an unbelievable bond.”