Former claimer Delaunay increased his win streak to six when he swept past Trinniberg at the head of the stretch and prevailed by an easy four lengths over a sloppy track in the May 4 Churchill Downs Stakes (gr. II) (VIDEO) .
The ninth race on the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) undercard, the seven-furlong Churchill Downs Stakes marked the fourth victory in as many starts under the Twin Spires for Delaunay, who is trained by Tom Amoss for Maggi Moss.
"Today was a really overpowering performance," said Amoss after Delaunay secured the first graded stakes win of his career as the 19-10 choice in the field of nine. "I think you'd have a lot of doubt not calling him the best sprinter in the country after today."
The son of Smoke Glacken has now won a total of seven stakes races, including this year's Duncan F. Kenner and F.W. Gaudin Memoria atl Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. The 6-year-old has been claimed five times throughout his career, most recently for $40,000 by Amoss for Moss out of a seven-furlong contest at Churchill last May.
"By far, it's the best claim I've ever made," said Amoss. "I saw a horse that I thought was worthy of $40,000, which is what I paid. What's different? I really don't know. He's just come around and he looks great. He doesn't look like a $40,000 horse, that's for darn sure."
Delaunay now holds a record of 14-8-3 from 39 starts, for earnings of $803,486.
In the Churchill Downs Stakes, Trinniberg went to the early lead, flashing his usual speed, and clicked off fractions of 22:29 and :44.86, with Delaunay and Laurie's Rocket trailing close behind. Delaunay challenged the leader in earnest after the half, took over in the drive by 4 1/2 lengths, and maintained his margin of victory to the wire.
Piloted by jockey Rosie Napravnik, he stopped the timer in 1:22.35 on the sloppy and sealed track.
"The post position was great; he broke sharp," said Napravnik. "He's such a cool horse. He'll do whatever you ask him. He's very speedy and he'll relax if you need him to. He's just a very fast horse. Since Tom (Amoss) has had him, he's really come around. The track wasn't a problem at all for him. He's got a good record on wet tracks. We weren't worried about that."
Delaunay, out of the Coronado's Quest mare Perilous Night, was bred in Maryland by Fitzhugh.
The winner carried 118 pounds and returned $5.80, $3.80, and $3. Pass the Dice (10-1), ridden by Julien Leparoux, returned $8.60 and $6, with Laurie's Rocket (16-1) finishing 3 1/2 lengths farther back in third under Victor Lebron and paying $7.20 to show.