Sent off as the 4-5 favorite among the eight 2-year-olds, Gold Mark Farm’ Backtalk stumbled at the start but recovered and steadily progressed to the fore en route to a one-length victory in the $110,500 Bashford Manor Stakes (gr. III) (VIDEO) at Churchill Downs July 3.
Trained by Tom Amoss, Backtalk covered the six furlongs on a fast main track in 1:11.08 while earning $66,455. The win increased Backtalk’s earnings to $90,095 for two wins in two starts. Produced from the Affirmed mare Apasionata Sonata, Backtalk is a half-brother to graded stakes winner Bsharpsonata. With the victory, Backtalk became the first U.S. graded stakes winner for Smarty Jones .
Bred in Florida by Clover Leaf Farm II, Backtalk was purchased by Todd Quast, agent, for $250,000 from the Taylor Made Sales Agency consignment to the 2008 Keeneland September yearling sale.
Soundman, ridden by Jamie Theriot, was quickest out of the gate and led the field through the first quarter-mile in :21.98 and the half-mile in :45.84 with Flatter Than Me in closest pursuit under Robby Albarado. Mena had Backtalk about five lengths off the lead racing in a pack with Grand Slam Andre and Brassy Boy.
Entering the stretch, Flatter Than Me surged past Soundman. Mena angled Backtalk out from behind Flatter Than Me and squeezed by on the inside of Grand Slam Andre for clear sailing to draw clear and give Amoss his second victory in the race to go with Lone Star Sky’s triumph in 2002.
Backtalk paid $3.60, $2.60 and $2.20. Flatter Than Me paid $3.60 and $3.20 in finishing 1 ½ lengths ahead of Brassy Boy, who paid $4 to show under Corey Lanerie. Completing the field in order were Grand Slam Andre, Soundman, Westrock Gold, Vito Filitto and Even Wilder.
“I really thought that the extra distance going to six furlongs (from five furlongs in his debut) would be a benefit to him based on how he ran the first time. Around the turn, I wasn’t so sure that he was into it. A lot of that is education and the fact that it was only his second start. When he got out of tight quarters and when he was in the clear you saw him spurt and I think that’s a real positive sign for the future and more distance. We’ll see where it leads us.”