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Comeback Hoss gives Dickinson last laugh; BREEDERS' CUP THRILLERS David Jennings recalls the 1998 Mile.

HIS Woodbine win two years previously was a distant memory - so distant for Gary Stevens he preferred to partner Sir Michael Stoute's Among Men rather than try to reignite the flame that saw Da Hoss surge clear of Spinning World in the 1996 Breeders' Cup Mile.

Da Hoss had been seen just once in the interim. That was in a six-runner allowance race at Colonial Downs, where he wasn't overly convincing in justifying odds-on favouritism.

A Breeders' Cup-winning partnership is rarely broken though, so Michael Dickinson was surprised when Gary Stevens' agent Ron Anderson snubbed his request and he proposed a $1,000 match bet with Anderson on Da Hoss finishing ahead of Among Men.

Neither featured prominently in the market. Da Hoss went off 116-10, while Among Men was 21-1. Punters instead ploughed into Favorite Trick, whose devastating front-running display at Keeneland the previous month led to him heading the market at 13-5. But Favorite Trick became embroiled in a battle for the early lead, with race-caller Tom Durkin describing the pace as 'testing' and the stage was set for closers.

Da Hoss was buried away on the inside rail and perfectly poised to pounce approaching the straight. John Velazquez, riding him for the first time, spied the perfect route around the final bend, edging out to challenge four wide.

Da Hoss was travelling so powerfully that Velazquez was left with little option but to hit the front over a furlong out. Hawksley Hill emerged on his outside and the pair traded blows inside the final furlong, Da Hoss sticking his neck out close home to prevail by a head.

"Unbelievable.

Sensational. Oh, my, this is the greatest comeback since Lazarus. He's had one race in two years," yelled Durkin. VVTOMORROW: the inaugural 1984 Classic won by Wild Again

CAPTION(S):

Da Hoss (far side) edges out Hawksley Hill to win the Breeders' Cup Mile for a second time
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Nov 1, 2012
Words:320
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