William Clifton Jr.'s Legislator put in a sustained rally to run down favorite Stage Call to win the Crown Royal American Turf (gr. IIIT) in the race before the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs. The $100,000-added race was for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on the turf.
Trained by Jim Bond, Legislator was coming off a third-place finish behind Marasca and Equality in the Aventura Stakes on the dirt at Gulfstream Park. His two previous wins, a maiden and entry-level allowance scores, both came on the grass this winter at Gulfstream.
Tracking a moderate pace set by Stonerside Stable's Classic Case over the "good" turf course, jockey Edgar Prado got Legislator into gear once clear in the lead, battling hard with Stage Call before pulling ahead to win by a half-length. It was another two lengths back to Orchard Park in third, with No More Chads finishing fourth, a half-length back of Orchard Park.
Passing the stands for the first time, No More Chads held a slim advantage, but was overtaken by Classic Case, who set fractions of :24.37 and :49.35. He was tracked on his outside by No More Chads with Celtic Hope in third and National Park on the hedge.
After six furlongs in 1:14.64, the field tightened, and turning for home, Stage Call and jockey Pat Day took command. The WinStar Farm runner was quickly joined on the outside by Legislator and those two battled gamely to the wire. Final time of the race was 1:44.43
Bred in Kentucky by Joanne Nor, Legislator paid $8.20, $4.60, and $3.40. Stage Call returned $4.20 and $3. Orchard Park paid $2.60 to show. The 3-5 exacta returned $31.20.
Legislator is a bay son of Royal Academy, out of the Believe It mare Quite Honestly. His record now stands at three wins and two thirds from five career starts. All five of his starts have come in his 3-year-old year.