Kentucky Derby (gr. I) runner-up Aptitude returned to the races at Churchill Downs Sunday, winning a 1 1/4-mile allowance race by 2 3/4 lengths. Under jockey Victor Espinoza, Aptitude rallied to catch Soldiers Fortune in the final eighth of a mile and stopped the timer in 2:03.36.
"I was very, very nervous today," said trainer Bobby Frankel. "It was almost like running in the Derby with this horse."
The son of A.P. Indy, a Juddmonte Farms homebred unraced since finishing second in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), will likely make his next start in the Clark Handicap (gr. II) later this month at Churchill, Frankel said.
"At the eighth pole, what was he four or five lengths out of it," said Frankel. "I was really nervous because I didn't know if he was fit enough to get that horse. But when he (Espinoza) asked him he really came home."
Frankel will saddle several horses at Churchill next weekend prior to their Breeders' Cup starts.
"To be honest, I was more nervous today than I will be for the Breeders' Cup," Frankel said. "In the Breeders' Cup I've got chances, that's all. I couldn't win here unless I won."
Aptitude earned $27,710 for his second career win, coming in his eighth start.