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O Besos Goes for Breakthrough, Breeders’ Cup Berth / Friday, September 29, 2023

O Besos and Tyler Gaffalione winning at Churchill in October 2022. Coady Photo

O Besos has already run big races in the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) for an ownership group that includes West Point Thoroughbreds. On Saturday in the $400,000 Ack Ack (G3), the chestnut 5-year-old will seek not only a stakes triumph, perhaps long overdue, as well as a “Win and You’re In” berth in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1).

Churchill’s top jockey, Tyler Gaffalione, reunites with O Besos, whom he guided to a victory at Churchill last October leading into the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland, where he was gaining through the stretch in the six-furlong Sprint. He and Gaffalione finished fifth, beaten 3 1/2 lengths, at 39-to-1 odds.

O Besos is 7-to-2 on the morning line for the one-mile, one-turn Ack Ack. Interestingly, O Besos has never had the chance for a race at this distance. He was entered for the Grade 1 Cigar Mile last December at Aqueduct but had to scratch due to a virus quarantine at Churchill Downs.

In his lone race this year, O Besos just missed in the Jeff Hall Memorial at Ellis Park, finishing second, beaten a neck.

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