Saint Anddan pounced from his stalking position and took the lead with three-sixteenths of a mile remaining en route to a two-length victory in the $277,750 Churchill Downs Stakes (gr. II) (VIDEO) Saturday over a Churchill surface rated as good. The favorite, Ah Day, rallied late along the rail to take second. He was followed under the wire by Will He Shine and Istan.
Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Saint Anddan covered seven furlongs in 1:22.31 while notching the fifth win and the second-added-money victory in his 13-race career. In his last outing prior to the Churchill Downs, the 5-year-old son of A.P. Indy scored by a neck over Venomous in the Duncan F. Kenner Breeders' Cup Stakes at the Fair Grounds.
Cougar Cat led early in the Churchill Downs, setting fractions of :23.00 and :45.68 while Saint Anddan pushed the pace. But Cougar Cat faded as he neared the wire, dropping back to fifth in the six-horse field.
Saint Anddan, who paid $18.40, $5.80 and $3.20 to win as the fourth betting choice, is owned by Mr. and Mrs. William K. Warren Jr. and is trained by Bobby Frankel. The bay horse was sold by Lane's End, agent, for $1,850,000 to the Mark Reid Bloodstock Agency at the 2003 Keeneland September yearling sale.
“(Saint Anddan) was in our Fair Grounds division this winter and they did a good job with him down there," said Frankel assistant Chad Brown. "They sent him in looking good, and Bobby thought this was a really good spot for him.”
The winner’s share of $170,482 increased the career earnings for Saint Anddan to $385,667.
Ah Day, 11-10 choice in the field of six under Mario Pino, returned $3 and $2.40. The King Leatherbury trainee was coming off a third-place finish in Aqueduct's Carter handicap (gr. I) one month ago.
“He saved ground on the turn and ran really well," said Pino . "He finished up strong and galloped out really strong – just like he did last time. He’s a very nice horse.”
Will He Shine, under Kent Desormeaux, finished another 2 1/2 lengths back and returned $3 to show. Istan, Cougar Cat and Moon's Halo completed the order. Half Ours, Wanderin Boy and Junior College scratched.