Morluc didn't break his course record, but he did enough to win the $100,000 Aegon Turf Sprint (gr. III) Friday at Churchill Downs, the first stakes race on the weekend that will culminate Saturday with the Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
Morluc won the five-furlong turf stakes in :56.60, just off his course record mark of :56.06 set last July in an allowance race.
Robby Albarado burst Morluc out of the gate and he led all the way, repelling pressure from Honorable Pic early. Texas Glitter took up the chase but also could not get past, finishing third, the late-charging Testify getting second, a length behind the winner.
Morluc, a 5-year-old horse by Housebuster--Flashing Eyes, by Time to Explode, was making his first start since returning from Dubai, where he ran seventh in the Golden Shaheen (UAE-II).
Owned by Mike Gloonan and trained by Randy Morse, Morluc returned $7.60, $4.20, and $3. Testify paid $5.80 and $3.20 and favored Texas Glitter was worth $2.60. The exacta paid $55.20, the trifecta $151.20, and the superfecta $666.60.