Windways Farm’s El Brujo notched his second straight graded stakes score when he split horses in upper stretch and went on for a 1 1/4-length win in the $150,000 Perryville (gr. III) (VIDEO) for 3-year-olds Oct. 17 at Keeneland.
A son of Candy Ride , El Brujo was ridden to victory by Edgar Prado, who picked up the mount after scheduled rider Robby Albarado was injured one race prior when falling off his mount. Albarado reportedly suffered facial contusions and was taken to the hospital for observation.
El Brujo was never far behind the two pacesetters, favored Warrior’s Reward and 22-1 longshot Conchacer, who took the field around in splits of :22.98 and :46.08. Warrior’s Reward, fifth in the Shadwell Travers (gr. I) last out, came off the turn with a short advantage but quickly began to fade under Calvin Borel.
Conchacer was still running on well when hitting the top of the stretch, as was Not for Silver, who was angled four-wide for his move into the lane. But El Brujo, racing along the inside the whole way, was finding his best stride while splitting horses in upper stretch. He edged in front of Conchacer and Not for Silver inside the sixteenth pole and held on for the win.
The final time for seven furlongs on the Polytrack was 1:25.95. Not for Silver and Jeremy Rose edged Conchacer and James Graham for runner-up by a nose.
A synthetic surface specialist, El Brujo earned his first graded stakes win last out when he scored in the Sept. 26 Kentucky Cup Sprint (gr. III) on Turfway Park’s Polytrack. Based at Woodbine and trained by Malcolm Pierce, he has four wins in seven starts in 2009.
"He's never run on anything but synthetics and he's done good for us," Pierce said. "He just doesn't want to go too far; he doesn't want two turns.
"We're going to take him home (to Canada). He probably deserves a little rest now, we'll freshen him up for next season. He'll be a handy 4-year-old Canadian-bred."
Overall, El Brujo has won six of 13 starts for earnings of $505,956. The bay gelding was bred in Ontario by Windways Farm and is out of the Devil’s Bag mare Enchanted Spell.
The winner, sent off as the second choice in a field of seven, paid $7.20, $4, and $3.40. The exacta (1-6) was $47.80 and the trifecta (1-6-4) returned $466. Not for Silver returned $6.40 and $4.20 while Conchacer paid $8.60.