Mighty Beau, who just missed last time out in the Shakertown Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland, easily took the $113,500 Aegon Turf Sprint (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs Friday.
The five-furlong grass sprint is usually known for a late charge down the stretch. But Mighty Beau and Pat Valenzuela saw to it that didn't happen this year. Always in a good spot - second or third - the pair burst to the lead and made it no contest down the stretch. The winning margin was 2 ¾ lengths.
Mighty Beau, by Rainbow Prospect, was winning his ninth race in 37 starts. He is owned by Mike Cloonan and Anthony Carolan and trained by Jeff Mullins. The 6-year-old bay gelding has two wins and three narrow second place finishes in five starts in 2005.
Longshot Chosen Chief, Robby Albarado aboard, had aim on the winner in the stretch but settled for second best. Sgt. Bert, who was near the early pace, held on for third.
The final time was :56.18 after fractions of :21.66 and :44.16.
Mighty Beau, carrying 121 pounds, paid $5.80, $4, and $3.20, and Chosen Chief returned $11.60 and $6.80. Sgt. Bert, who was 1 ¼ lengths back in third, was worth $8.60 to show.
The Sprint winner, bred in Oklahoma by Mighty Acres, earned $70,370, swelling his career bankroll to $510,991.
The 123-pound high weight Wrzeszcz finished fourth. Parker Run, De Valmont, Deputy Storm, Elegant Fame, Testify and Montstar completed the order. Wildcat Shoes scratched.