Two Point Two Mill, a 67-1 longshot, won the $115,500 Louisville Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Churchill Downs turf course Saturday but was disqualified for an incident in the stretch resulting in a dead heat for the win in the 1 3/8-mile feature race. Favored Pisces and Classic Par finished on even terms a half-length behind Two Point Two Mill and were both awarded the win following his disqualification.
Riddlesdown led all the way through until the final run through the stretch, when Two Point Two Mill rallied on the outside. Two Point Two Mill bore in while racing to the lead clipping heels with Rochester, who was moving into contention. Rochester nearly fell under Pat Day but regained his footing if not his momentum. Two Point Two Mill went on to win by a half-length over Pisces and a fast-closing Classic Par, with Red Mountain a nose-length farther back. Two Point Two Mill completed the distance in 2:15.82 on the firm course.
Following the disqualification, the complete order of finish is Pisces and Classic Par first, then Red Mountain third, followed by Riddlesdown, Sumati, Kim Loves Bucky, Rochester, Two Point Two Mill, and Profit Option.
Diamond C Stable's Ken McPeek trainee Pisces paid $3.80, $4.20, and $3.40. Centaur Farms' homebred Classic Par paid $13.80, $13.60, and $8. The 4-5 exacta (Pisces-Classic Par) paid $43.20, with the 5-4 exacta worth $70.80. Red Mountain paid $7.80 to show. Both winners earned $47,355.
The Louisville Handicap marks the second career graded stakes win for Pisces (Prized--Distaff Magic, by Fluorescent Light), who won the Appleton Handicap (gr. IIT) earlier this year while making his 5-year-old debut. Robby Albarado was aboard for the win, his sixth in 20 career starts.
Merrill R. Scherer-trained Classic Par (Sky Classic--Magic Par, by Pentelicus) earned his first stakes win in Saturday's race. The 4-year-old finished sixth in his most recent race prior to Saturday, the Elkhorn Stakes (gr. IIIT) won by Kim Loves Bucky. The win improved his career mark to five wins from 13 starts. Donnie Meche was in the irons.
"This isn't the first time that I've been moved up to win a stakes, but it is the first time to be moved up and be in a dead-heat also," said Meche. (Chart, Equibase