Owner/trainer/breeder C.R. Trout had the 4-year-old daughter of Thunder Gulch loaded on a trailer and headed west for Churchill Downs in Louisville before 6:30 the morning of April 15.
“I want to beat the storm that’s coming in and get her settled in over there,” Trout told Keeneland officials. He plans to run Shotgun Gulch next in the Humana Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill Downs May 7. “Then we are headed to Oaklawn Park, where I have one running today.”
Shotgun Gulch came from last place in the field of nine to edge favored Amen Hallelujah by a head in the Madison to give Trout his first grade I victory.
“He rode her perfect, just like we talked about,” Trout said of Gomez in a release. “He’s a pretty good hand.”
The Vinery Madison was Shotgun Gulch’s first race on Polytrack.
“That was our only concern,” Trout said. “Garrett said she struggled the first couple of steps and then she was fine.”
Trout, who plans to move his string of horses to Lone Star Park after the meeting at Oaklawn closes April 16, bought his first horse in 1978 and started training in 1984 with his band of Oklahoma-breds.
When asked if he ever envisioned winning a grade I race, Trout said, “Lord, no. I thought this filly was a good one and that’s why I sent her to California (to run in the grade I La Brea).”
Shotgun Gulch will be stabled with Rick Hiles at Churchill Downs. Trout plans to return to Kentucky during Derby Week for the Humana Distaff.
Chip Dutrow, brother of trainer Rick Dutrow, said that runner-up Amen Hallelujah “looks like she came out of the race fine.”
Evening Jewel, fourth as the second choice in the Madison, will head back to California on April 18 and return to Kentucky early Derby Week for the $300,000 La Troienne (gr. II) at 1 1/16 miles on May 6.
“She looks like a million dollars this morning and I wish I could run her back today,” trainer Jim Cassidy said in a release. “I just don’t think she handled the track too well.”
Cassidy was not discouraged with the effort.
“I thought it was a good spot, going seven-eighths and off a two-month layoff as opposed to a mile and a sixteenth or a mile and an eighth,” Cassidy said. “The plan is to take her back home like I did last year (after winning the Central Bank Ashland, gr. I) and then come to Churchill Downs.”