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Bob Baffert

Melatonin locks up a Breeders' Cup berth with Gold Cup win

Melatonin locks up a Breeders' Cup berth with Gold Cup win

Joe Talamo was in no hurry. As fellow riders with assignments in the Gold Cup hustled toward the jockeys’ room, he stopped near its entrance to view a replay of the just-completed Triple Bend Stakes, in which his longshot mount placed fourth.

No late game-planning was required of Talamo for the imminent Cup, a Grade 1 showcase. In an eight-horse field with a scarcity of early speed, he would tuck Melatonin behind certain pacesetter Lieutenant Colonel and bide his time.

Sure enough, a half-hour later, Melatonin was in no hurry as the projected race scenario came true. The gelding loped along in second from the starting gate until the stretch, when gentle urging from...

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