My Typhoon Overwhelms Mint Julep Handicap

My Typhoon, ridden by Robby Albarado, rallied from third to grab the lead in the final furlong and score a 1 ¾-length victory in the $115,000 Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares on the Churchill Downs turf.

The Mint Julep was the last of six graded stakes races on "Stephen Foster Super Saturday."

The 2-1 favorite in the field of 11, the 4-year-old daughter of Giant's Causeway  covered the 1 1/16-mile distance on "firm" turf in a fast 1:41.55 and paid $6.80, $4.20, and $3. Rich in Spirit, who rallied from fourth under jockey Mark Guidry, took second by a neck and returned $4.20 and $3.40. Louve Royale, who rallied in the stretch to grab third under apprentice jockey Julien Leparoux, paid $3.80.

My Typhoon, a $2.9 million weanling purchase at England's Tattersalls sale, won for the second time in as many starts at Churchill Downs. She had won the Mrs. Revere (gr. IIT) on the turf course to close out her 3-year-old season for Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott, who won the race for a record fourth time. She began her 2006 season with a fourth-place finish in Pimlico's 1 1/16-mile Gallorette (gr. IIIT) May 20, when she was 1 1/4 lengths behind the winner Ozone Bere.

My Typhoon improved her career record to 5-2-2 in 11 races and has now earned $484,361 for Mrs. Charlotte Weber's Live Oak Plantation.

"I went in with a lot of confidence," said Albarado "It was her second start back this year. Bill's done a great job with her to get her ready."

Long shot Ella Belle broke sharply from her rail post and grabbed the early lead, stretching her advantage to as much as two lengths over Beaugeste. My Typhoon and Rich In Spirit tracked the leaders, and Louve Royale settled near the back of the field. Ella Belle -- who cruised through early fractions of :23.88 for the quarter, :48.15 to the half, and 1:12.28 for six furlongs -- and continued to hold her lead as My Typhoon and Rich in Spirit geared up on the turn. Sky High Flyer, who had also been in stalking position early, ran into traffic problems.

As Ella Belle faltered in mid-stretch, My Typhoon surged to the front. Rich in Spirit tried to keep up, but could not stay with the winner. The latter filly just held off the onrushing Louve Royale, who was tenth at the head of the stretch, for second. Sky High Flyer settled for fourth.

More Than Promised finished fifth and was followed by Ella Belle, Anegada, Beaugeste, Special Grayce, Solid Platinum, and Where's Bailey.

The victory by My Typhoon gave Mott, the all-time leader in wins and stakes victories at Churchill Downs, his 70th stakes win there. Albarado, who scored his second stakes win of the day after guiding Mill House's Brilliant to a win in the Jefferson Cup (gr. IIT), now has 38 career stakes victories at the track.

(Chart, Equibase)