Posse, ridden by Corey Lanerie, wore down Bossanova in the final strides for a half-length victory in Saturday's $111,900 Matt Winn Stakes for 3-year-olds at Churchill Downs.
The son of Silver Deputy, who won for the third time in four starts this year, covered six furlongs in the slop in 1:09.43 and paid $4.40, $2.80 and $2.40 as the favorite in the field of the nine. Bossanova, with Cornelio Velasquez up, had the lead down the lane before succumbing late and paid $8.00 and $5.60. Coach Jimi Lee, with Pat Day aboard, closed along the inside to take third another 1-¼ length back and paid $3.20.
Owned by Heiligbrodt Racing Stable and trained by Steve Asmussen, Posse earned $69,068 to increase his lifetime bankroll to $369,581. The victory was his fifth in 11 lifetime starts and third stakes triumph, including a win in Churchill's Kentucky Breeders' Cup last spring.
Cat Genius and Bossanova battled for the early lead through fractions of :21.13 for the quarter-mile and :43.97 for the half. As the field approached the top of the stretch, Posse uncorked his rally and collared Bossanova in the final sixteenth of a mile for the victory.
"He's a nice horse and we're lucky to have one of his ability," said Scott Blasi, assistant to Asmussen, who was at Lone Star for the running of the Lone Star Derby. "He needs to win these type races to continue to improve. When you have a horse like Posse you're looking for the future, especially last year when he was such a mature 2-year-old."
Jockey Corey Lanerie, who is based in Texas, earned his first Churchill Downs stakes victory.