Channel Cat (inside) fights off Cullum Street to win the Dueling Grounds Derby beneath Luis Saez
Document-setting coach Todd Pletcher picked a good time to win his first race at Kentucky Downs since 2010 as Calumet Farm’s Channel Cat outfought the late-operating Cullum Street to win the $400,00zero Exacta Techniques Dueling Grounds Derby by a head on Wednesday’s penultimate card of America’s most original race meet.
Profitable the $300,00zero Fifth Third Insurance coverage Dueling Grounds Oaks was entrance-operating Osare, educated by Pletcher’s former assistant Jonathan Thomas.
Wagering from all sources totaled $7,329,490 on the 10-race card rescheduled from Sunday due to torrential rain.
“It’s the best week-day handle we’ve ever had and the third highest all-time at Kentucky Downs,” stated Ted Nicholson, Kentucky Downs’ senior vice chairman and common supervisor. “You hate to have to postpone a card, as we did Sunday amid the deluge of rain. But we really thank the horsemen and horseplayers for sticking with us. It was just a phenomenal day for a Wednesday, and we hope everyone comes back both to the track and simulcast outlets for our closing card Thursday for one more day of the largest fields and lowest takeout in America.”
Exacta Techniques Dueling Grounds Derby
Till operating 4 horses this meet, coach Todd Pletcher hadn’t run a horse at Kentucky Downs since 2014 and hadn’t gained a race since 2010.
“Is that all it’s been?” Pletcher joked when advised he gained his first race on the monitor in eight years.
To not be outdone by a former assistant coach, Pletcher despatched out Channel Cat to victory within the 1 5/16-mile, $400,00zero Exacta Techniques Dueling Grounds Derby.
Only one race earlier, Jonathan Thomas, who’s been on his personal for a few yr and a half after working for Pletcher, made his coaching debut at Kentucky Downs and gained the $300,00zero Fifth Third Insurance coverage Dueling Grounds Oaks with Osare. The Derby is for three-yr-olds; the Oaks is for three-yr-previous fillies.
Though every man has one win on the meet, you may say Thomas is one-up on Pletcher. Channel Cat was timed in 2:15.51, a few half-second slower than Osare’s time within the Dueling Grounds Oaks.
Through the years, Pletcher, a seven-time Eclipse Award winner, has had off-and-on contact with the Franklin, Ky. monitor. He gained the 2009 coaching title at Kentucky Downs with 5 wins from eight begins when purses have been considerably smaller than they’re in the present day; went 1 for three in 2010, was away for 3 years; and gained as soon as from three begins in 2014. After one other three-yr hiatus, Pletcher was victorious in at the moment’s Dueling Grounds Derby together with his fourth starter of the meet.
Channel Cat, the 5-2 second selection ridden by Luis Saez, was by no means worse than fourth or greater than two lengths behind the chief. Cullum Street got here from eighth earlier than hooking Channel Cat in higher stretch for a scintillating duel to the wire.
New York based mostly-jockey Luis Saez was driving at Kentucky Downs for the primary time, profitable on Channel Cat in his second mount.
“He likes to be covered up, like fourth or fifth,” Saez stated. “But he broke so sharp and the pace was slow. So I just tried to wait for the moment to let him run, and he just took me there. He’s a really fighting horse. So when I saw the other horse came up alongside, I came close to him and he did the rest.”
“I knew he was a gutsy horse anyway,” stated Amelia Inexperienced, Pletcher’s assistant at Kentucky Downs. “So I thought in my mind that he’d hold on, but it was good to see that he did.”
These two completed three 1/four lengths forward of Fascinating Moon, who was 1 1/four size forward of favored Bandua on the end line.
“I’d seen the race before, and that filly went wire to wire,” Pletcher, who watched from the Keeneland gross sales, stated of Dueling Grounds Oaks winner Osare. “So I was happy to see him in a good tactical position early. It’s a little bit hard to gauge exactly where you are watching races at Kentucky Downs on TV. But it looked like he was always traveling pretty well and handling the course. The fact that he was involved gave me confidence that he was handling it. So that part was good. Then it looked like the Three Diamonds horse (Cullum Road) had some momentum, but he fought back and was very game.”
Cullum Street’s connections have been to the purpose.
“He ran a good race. I just got beat,” stated jockey Tyler Gaffalione.
“Tough beat,” Maker stated. “Not much else to say.”
Jailhouse Kitten, early pacesetter Fred’stwirlincandy, Zero Gravity, Reride, Morning Stride and Zanesville rounded out the order of end. Calumet Farm had each the winner and the crushed favourite in Bandua, who’s educated by Irish-based mostly Dermot Weld.
Channel Cat is a son of English Channel, a Breeders’ Cup Turf winner and 2007 Eclipse Award champion grass horse. English Channel was additionally educated by Pletcher and later bought as a stallion prospect by Simpson County native Brad Kelley’s Calumet Farm. Kelley bred English Channel to his mare Carnival Kitten, who’s by one other champion, Kitten’s Pleasure, the 2004 Eclipse Award champion grass horse.
All of it meant that Channel Cat was born to go actually lengthy on turf, with each English Channel and Kitten’s Pleasure excelling at 1 1/2 miles.
“That’s why I ran him against older horses last time,” Pletcher stated, referring to a second in a Saratoga allowance race at 1 three/eight miles. “I might been making an attempt to get him stretched out. There are very restricted alternatives for three-yr-olds going something past a mile and an eighth on grass. He ran a really respectable fourth within the Belmont Derby, and we all the time felt that he is the type who will get higher when he will get older.
“When I saw this race on the calendar, I was like, ‘Yeah, this is perfect for this horse.’”
Profitable for Calumet Farm, not solely an icon within the sport however a Kentucky Downs sponsor who loves operating on the monitor, was “great,” Pletcher stated. “And actually I was at Calumet today and saw English Channel this morning, so it was kind of cool.”
It was Channel Cat’s third win from 11 begins with two pair of seconds and thirds. Though the Dueling Grounds Derby was his first stakes win, Channel Cat has seen deep competitors lately, ending fourth within the Grade 1 Belmont Derby in July, third within the Grade three Pennine Ridge in June and sixth within the Grade 2 American Turf at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby day.
With winnings of $235,600 from the victory, Channel Cat has pocketed $431,792 in his profession.
“I felt like he was training very well,” Pletcher stated of the race. “I thought his last couple of breezes leading into it indicated to us that he was sitting on a good race. So we were very optimistic that he’d run well. Your biggest concern is just that some horses seem to maybe appreciate that undulating ground. But he seemed to be traveling well throughout.”
Fifth Third Insurance coverage Dueling Grounds Oaks
Jonathan Thomas made his coaching debut at Kentucky Downs a memorable one on Wednesday, taking the 1 5/16-mile, $300,00zero Fifth Third Insurance coverage Dueling Grounds Oaks with entrance-operating Osare simply holding off the late-operating Princess Warrior by 2 three/four lengths. The triumph gave Eclipse Award-profitable jockey Jose Ortiz his third win on the cardboard to tug him into what turned a 3-method tie for the lead of the jockey standings with defending meet titlist Julien Leparoux and Tyler Gaffalione (who gained the final race upon a disqualification) at six wins every heading into Thursday’s closing card.
The chief at every name of the race, Osare and Jose Ortiz, who gained for the third time on the day, have been in entrance by a few size all through the sweeping far flip and prolonged their benefit in the stretch to prevail by 2 three/four lengths over arduous-operating second finisher Princess Warrior, educated by Kenny McPeek and ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr.
“She was the right horse to do it,” Ortiz stated of going wire to wire. “The trainer told me that ‘she doesn’t have a big turn of foot, so you have to be close and at the three-eighths pole be looking for it. Don’t be waiting for the quarter pole to have that kick.’ To be on the lead there, going as easy as I was, I thought it was perfect. I saw the 3 horse (Pamina) was right next to me, and I said, ‘I’ve got to take it. Because if not I’m going to have the favorite in front of me and I’m going to be behind him.’ I just wanted to take it. I just took the lead and kept going from there.”
Guess right down to 7-2 from an eight-1 morning line, Osare — which suggests to dare in Italian — returned her $2 backers $9.80 to win, $5.80 to put and $four.00 to point out. The profitable time was 2:15.06 over turf rated good.
“All we wanted was to not leave her too much to do with the ground being a little tacky,” Thomas stated. “Jose gave her an exquisite journey. It was a really constructive ahead experience. I assumed he received her to loosen up actually properly down the bottom and he saved a whole lot of floor. It was nice, the sort of experience you anticipate from Jose.
“She’s certainly a very ratable horse. She’s very smart. If she needed to be in behind, that’s fine. But I think her strength is stamina, so it’s important to let her get in a rhythm and take it to them a little bit, and if she’s good enough she’ll get it done.”
Thomas, a former assistant to Todd Pletcher, added to an enormous yr highlighted to date with Catholic Boy’s wins of the Grade I Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes on turf and Grade 1 Travers Stakes on dust. In 2018, Thomas has 23 wins from 85 starters, which quantities to an astonishing 27 % win price, with a 12 seconds, 12 thirds and purse earnings of $2,440,498.
“It’s been a real dream year,” stated Thomas, a former steeplechase rider. “We’ve been supported by some great people and some really nice horses. We can’t do it without the horses we have. I’m just a small spoke on a big wheel.”
Osare added a pleasant efficiency to her already wealthy pedigree. She’s a half-sister to Arrogate, the all-time chief in purses with $17,422,600. Arrogate ranked first by earnings in each 2016 and 2017 and gained the Breeders’ Cup Basic, Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes and Dubai World Cup in successive begins.
“The expectations are a little bit higher when your brother is Arrogate,” Thomas stated. “But we let her kind of come into her own and develop. She was a filly with a big frame, we gave her time to strengthen up, and these longer races seem to be her forte. So we were waiting for kind of a spot like this, being able to keep her in her own age group going a route of ground.”
Bred in Kentucky by Clearsky Farms, Osare is out of the Distorted Humor mare Bubbler, the dam of Arrogate, and was sired by Medaglia d’Oro. Clearsky additionally bred Arrogate.
Profitable proprietor John C. Malone and his Bridlewood Farm’s regally-bred three-yr-previous filly now has two wins from 4 begins and $229,zero80 in earnings after including the $172,980 winner’s share of the Dueling Grounds Oaks to her bankroll in her stakes debut.
“She’s a home horse,” stated Thomas, who trains at Bridlewood Farm in Ocala. “Bridlewood has been my biggest supporter and to have a stakes win for them is really important.”
The truth is, coaching at Bridlewood might have made Osare really feel proper at house at Kentucky Downs.
“She’s used to a little different terrain,” Thomas stated. “We’ve got a couple of different ways we like to train horses and one of them is on an uphill. So she would have spent a lot of time going up a hill and kind of knowing where her feet are. I thought she traveled lovely up it, kind of like she does at home.”
Osare and favored Pamina dueled down the backstretch earlier than Osare slipped forward taking place the dip within the huge flip with preliminary fractions getting in a average 25.36 seconds for the primary quarter-mile, a half in 51.20 and 6 furlongs in 1:16.45. Princess Warrior was eighth, however solely 2 three/four lengths off the tempo, after the primary half-mile and steadily superior across the bend and down the lane beneath Hernandez.
“She ran well,” Hernandez stated. “We had a good trip, we were just second-best today. Just couldn’t run down the winner. We were right behind her turning for home, and we just couldn’t run by the last horse. She’s getting better and better each race. She’s on the grass; she’s definitely improving. That was a big effort today.”
Sippin Kitten completed third at 21-1 odds for meet-main coach Mike Maker, crushed three 1/four lengths, after closing from an early 10th-place place. Malibu Saint, in at 55-1 for Maker, completed fourth, one other 2 1/four lengths again, after saving floor by way of the far flip. Rounding out the sector have been Rahway, Over Considering, Pamina, Lemon Princess, Sensible Shot, Cloak of Secrecy, Dothraki Sea and Heavenly Love.
With solely Thursday’s card left within the meet, Maker has a nearly insurmountable eight-three lead over Wesley Ward and Mark Casse. Six-time defending proprietor Ken and Sarah Ramsey gained the fifth race with Peru – and teaming with Maker and Ortiz — to take a three-2 lead within the house owners’ standings over DARRS Inc., Calumet Farm and Woodford Racing.
New to the Paulick Report? Click on right here to join our every day e mail publication to maintain up on this and different tales occurring within the Thoroughbred business.
Copyright © 2018 Paulick Report.
(perform(d, s, id)
var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s);
if (d.getElementById(id)) return;
js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;
js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3&appId=1477474599176346”;
(doc, ‘script’, ‘fb-jssdk’));