Sand Springs, with Mark Guidry aboard, set the early pace and drew off down the stretch for the three-length victory over Personal Legend in Saturday's $231,000 Regret (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-old fillies on the Churchill Downs turf.
Trained by red-hot Tony Reinstedler (9 for 23 at the meeting), the dark bay or brown filly won for the third straight time this year as she covered the 1 1/8 miles on the firm turf in 1:48.78 and paid $11.80, $5.40 and $4.40. Personal Legend, making her first start for trainer Bobby Frankel and ridden by Jerry Bailey, made a late move between horses to capture the place spot and paid $4.40 and $3.60. Achnasheen, with Cornelio Velasquez in the saddle, finished a half-length back in third and paid $5.80.
Owned by the Willmott Stables, Inc. of Peter Willmott, Sand Springs earned $143,220 to more than double her career bankroll to $279,902. The victory was her fourth in eight lifetime starts, all of them of the turf, and is 3-0-0 in four tries on the Churchill lawn.
Sand Springs and Keiai Sakura battled for the early lead through modest fractions of :23.41 for the quarter-mile and :47.25 for the half. At the top of the stretch, Sand Springs began to spurt away from the field as Personal Legend closed late to take the place spot.
"They let her go in :47 for the half so I was pretty comfortable when I saw that," said Reinstedler, who scored his first stakes win in 10 years at the Downs, dating to the 1993 Kentucky Jockey Club.
"She was able to relax and I knew that would be to her benefit," he said. "She's always had speed and intelligence, and now as a 3-year-old she's settled into racing. She's really in a class by herself around here, and I think she's one of the best 3-year-old fillies around. I'm looking forward to facing Ocean Drive and seeing them hook up. We'll see how she comes out of this race and probably look at the American Oaks at Hollywood as her next race."