Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Accredit cruised through the slop May 2 to win the seven-furlong Churchill Downs Handicap (gr. II) (VIDEO), the first stakes race on the Kentucky Derby undercard. The 4-year-old son of E Dubai got the trip in 1:23.24 under Julien Leparoux.
Breaking on top, Accredit came out of the chute with a slight lead over Hewitts to his outside, gliding over the wet going with an opening quarter-mile fraction of :22.94. Just off the two leaders were Spotsgone along the rail and Sok Sok to the outside. Accredit was on the lead under a snug hold by Leparoux on the turn as the top two separated themselves from the rest of the pack after a half-mile in :45.59.
At the eighth pole, Accredit shook off Hewitts to open up a clear-length advantage, getting six furlongs in 1:09.78. He hit the wire 1 3/4 lengths ahead of My Pal Charlie, who made up ground while along the rail for Garrett Gomez to get second by 1 1/4 lengths. The Roundhouse closed from last with Edgar Prado aboard to finish third in a photo after taking the wide way around the turn. Silver Edition was a nose back in fourth. Kodiak Kowboy, the 8-5 favorite in the nine-horse field, finished seventh as the 124-pound highweight.
"He loved the off track," Leparoux said. "I guess this worked out to be a perfect day for him. Everything went his way. Every time a horse made a run and I asked him for run, he was there for me."
The winner, trained by Michal Maker, paid $10.60, $5.40, and $4 while toting 118 pounds. My Pal Charlie, second in the weights at 122, paid $5.40 and $4 and The Roundhouse paid $5.40 to show. The 6-1 exacta returned $52.40.
Accredit is now five-for-five in off track efforts after picking up $166,954 of the $280,500 purse.
"It's fabulous to win a race like this on Derby day and I'm sure glad it rained," Maker said. "Every time he runs we have to watch the weather forecast. He's a classy horse and there are plenty of spots for classy sprinters. We'll look at Calder (Summit of Speed) and perhaps Saratoga."
In his last start, the dark bay or brown colt ran third, beaten a length, by Semaphore Man and Greeley's Conquest in the April 10 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park. Accredit improved his career mark to 6-5-2 in 16 starts with earnings of $427,738.
The winner is out of the Montbrook mare Pocketbrook and was bred in Florida by David Humphery. At the 2006 September yearling sale bloodstock agent John Ferguson paid $160,000 for Accredit from the Hill ‘n’ Dales Sales Agency, agent, consignment. As a weanling, Accredit was sold for $32,000 to Reese Bloodstock from Sugar Hill agent at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co.’s October mixed sale.