Trainer Kenneth McPeek saddled the favorite in both of Churchill Downs' stakes races for 2-year-olds Saturday but won only with Repent in the $217,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) as his Take Charge Lady finished second in the $215,200 Golden Rod Stakes (gr. II) for fillies. In between those two races, Bet On Sunshine stretched out for a rare route race, winning the 1 1/16-mile allowance race by 7 1/4 lengths.
In the Golden Rod, Belterra raced in third after a :47.92 half-mile, 1 1/2 lengths behind second-place Take Charge Lady, the slightly favored McPeek trainee. Belterra remained third under Jon Kenton Court as Take Charge Lady assumed the lead after six furlongs, then charged to the lead in the stretch to win by 4 1/2 lengths. Take Charge Lady, Lotta Rhythm, Born to Dance, and Literary Light completed the order of finish.
Carl Nafzger-trained Belterra remains perfect from three career starts while winning her stakes debut. Robert T. Manfuso homebred Belterra (Unbridled--Cruising Haven, by Shelter Half) earned $133, 424 for the win.
The narrow second choice at odds of 6-5, Belterra returned $4.40, $2.40, and $2.10 and led the $7.60 exacta. She stopped the timer at 1:43.82 for the 1 1/16 miles, breaking the existing stakes record.
In the Kentucky Jockey Club, Select Stable's Repent charged up from fifth to win by 1 1/4 lengths over Request for Parole, completing the 1 1/16-miles in 1:44.42 on a sloppy track. High Star was a neck back in third, followed by Sky Terrace, Gold Dollar, and Rylstone.
The win marks the second in a stakes for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) runner-up, who won the Kentucky Cup Juvenile (gr. III) following his September maiden win. By Louis Quatorze and out of Baby Grace, by Cipayo, Repent was bred in Kentucky by Taylor Made Farm.
The 4-5 favorite returned $3.60, $2.40, and $2.10. The winning exacta paid $9.20.
Bet On Sunshine was bet on by those in attendance on a showery day at Churchill and was sent off as the 9-5 favorite despite a lone try in a route race and no previous experience racing around two turns. The 9-year-old gelding came through easily, though, winning by 7 1/4 lengths over Parade Leader, a full brother of Parade Ground. Bet On Sunshine completed the distance in 1:43.24 and returned $5.60 for the win. (Charts, Equibase