Favored Silverfoot, ridden patiently by Rafael Bejarano, exploited an opening along the inside in the stretch run and pulled away for a 6 3/4-length romp in the $200,000 Kentucky Cup Turf (gr. IIIT) on the unique Kentucky Downs grass layout Saturday.
The 9-year-old veteran Rochester, ridden by Robby Albarado, held on for second in the 1 1/2-mile event by a head over Gallo Del Bar and Orlando Mojica. The final time was 2:30 1/5 on firm going.
Silverfoot, a 5-year-old With Approval
gray/roan gelding, was eased back along the inside after breaking with the leaders and tracked flagging fractions set by Habaneros (:51 4/5, 1:18), who gave way to Gallo Del Bar as they completed the mile in 1:40 3/5. Silverfoot angled four wide with three furlongs to go to launch his bid, switched back to the inside in upper stretch and took over approaching the furlong pole as Rochester rallied on the extreme outside.
Under a hand ride from Bejarano, the Dallas Stewart trainee drew away for his first win since the Louisville Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs May 30 as Rochester tired late.
The 23-year-old Peruvian rider Bejarano won three of the four races held at Kentucky Downs Saturday.
In his first start at Kentucky Downs, Silverfoot picked up his eighth win in 15 starts while earning $124,000 for Stephanie Clark's Chrysalis Stables LLC. His career earnings now stand at $576,745. The victory was Silverfoot's third in five starts in 2005. Following his win in the Louisville, the Kentucky bred ran second, three-quarters of a length behind turf standout Better Talk Now, in the United Nations (gr. IT) at Monmouth. Silverfoot flopped in his last try, the Sword Dancer (gr. IT) at Saratoga Aug. 13, when he was steadied on the first turn and struggled home seventh, 14 lengths behind the winning King's Drama.
Back in against softer company, Silverfoot paid $4.80, $3 and $2.40. Rochester, who has lost 13 starts in a row over the past two years, returned $3 and $2.60. Gallo Del Bar, a Chilean-bred making his stakes debut at odds of 20-1, was $5.60 to show.
Rayon, Scooter Roach, Pelligrino, Habaneros, and Apple o' Dale - who was distanced after falling far back on the turn - completed the order. Let It Thunder scratched.
)Kentucky Cup Ladies Turf
Earlier on the card, outsider Miss Wellspring, also ridden by Bejarano, went gate to wire to win the $100,000 Kentucky Cup Ladies Turf
by a half-length over Juliet's Kiss.
The runner-up edged Fast Cookie by a head with 19-10 favorite Spring Season finishing fourth. The final time for the one-mile event for fillies and mares on firm going was 1:39 1/5.
Gregory Foley trains Miss Wellspring, a 4-year-old filly by Afternoon Deelites
who earned $62,000 for owners John Eaton and Steve Laymon. Miss Wellspring won for the sixth time in 22 starts and increased her bankroll to $231,630.
She paid $23.20, $11, and $6. Juliet's Kiss returned $26.20 and $11.20 and rounded out a $371.20 exacta. Fast Cookie, the second choice in the field of 10, was $4 to show.
)Kentucky Cup Turf Dash
The $100,000 Kentucky Cup Turf Dash
was won by Brazilian bred Durban Thunder, ridden by Calvin Borel, who prevailed by a head over Atticus Kristy.
It was two lengths back to Super Fuse, who finished a neck in front of Sgt. Bert. Tacirring, the 6-5 favorite in the field of eight, finished fifth.
Durban Thunder, a 4-year-old bay son of Royal Academy
, rallied along the inside to get the lead over Atticus Kristy and Albarado, who brushed the winner in the late stages. The final time was 1:10 1/5.
Helen Pitts trains the winner for owner Stud Raca, who picked up $62,000 for the victory.
Durban Thunder paid $8.40, $5.80, and $3.20 as the second choice. Atticus Kristy, who survived a claim of foul from the rider of Sgt. Bert, returned $9.20 and $5. Super Fuse was $2.80 to show.