Lawrence Carroll’s Bold Start put away Semaphore Man approaching the sixteenth-pole and cruised to the wire 2 3/4 lengths in front for his biggest lifetime score in the $112,600 Aristides (gr. III) (VIDEO) May 30 at Churchill Downs.
It was the first graded stakes win in 10 tries for the 5-year-old son of Jump Start, who was well thought of as a sophomore when finishing runner-up in the 2007 Hutcheson (gr. II) and third in the Illinois Derby (gr. II). He is trained by Ken McPeek.
“He deserves it," McPeek said. "He’s been so solid for so long. It seems like he was always knocking on the door, but hadn’t quite gotten over it. I’m thrilled he did it here. He’s still got plenty of good races left in him. He loves it here. He’s just rock solid. He always does everything right.
"We’ve found a little niche with him sprinting. When he was younger I tried him a little long and a little on turf and even then he ran well. We have plenty of options.”
Ridden by Robby Albarado, who recorded his 4,000th career victory one race earlier, Bold Start received a good spot behind pacesetters Garifine and Semaphore Man while tracking three-deep in third through the early going. Garifine ensured a quick pace by clicking off splits of :21.88 and :44.73 under Miguel Mena.
Bold Start made his winning move around the turn in the six-furlong sprint and came onto even terms with Semaphore Man at the eighth pole. The rivals slugged it out for a bit, but Bold Start gained a clear edge by mid-stretch and went on to an easy win. The final time on the fast main track was a solid 1:09.04.
Semaphore Man, winner of the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (gr. III) last out at Oaklawn Park, finished runner-up under Jesus Castanon, three-quarters of a length in front of 35-1 Knights Cross and Corey Lanerie.
Bold Start entered the Aristides off a two-length victory in a $100,000 optional claimer May 10 at Churchill. That was his first win in five starts this season, although he did run a solid third in the Feb. 14 Richter Scale (gr. II) at Gulfstream Park.
“He ran good last time," Albarado said. "I think his Churchill record speaks for itself (4-2-2 from nine starts). He excels when he gets here to Churchill. It seems to be that he runs well in the bigger races. Kenny has done a great job getting him ready for today."
Bred in Kentucky by Nordic Thoroughbreds and out of the Flying Paster mare Dorky, Bold Start was a $50,000 yearling in 2005. He now has a 9-5-6 record from 31 starts and earnings of $528,810.
The winner paid $10.80, $5.80 and $4.80. The exacta (9-6) returned $56 and the trifecta (9-6-10) was $1,149.40.