Deputy G Handcuffs Bashford Manor Rivals

Edited Churchill release
Deputy G, ridden by Gary Stevens, overcame a stumble at the start and turned back the stretch rally by R Loyal Man for a half-length victory in the $176,250 grade III Bashford Manor Stakes for 2-year-olds, the closing day feature at Churchill Downs.

Unbeaten in two starts, the son of Matty G covered six furlongs on a "fast" track in 1:11.38 and paid $5.20, $3.80 and $3.00 as the 8-5 favorite. R Loyal Man, with Rafael Bejarano up, broke last in the field of 10 but launched a prolonged stretch charge to grab the runner-up spot and paid $8.60 and $6.40. Honor Due, with Mark Guidry aboard, charged from last after the quarter and finished two-lengths back in third to return $4.60.

Owned and bred by the Spade Stable of James Skaggs and trained by David Pate, Deputy G earned $109,275 for the win to increase his lifetime bankroll to $138,750. Deputy G's other victory came at the Downs on May 14 with a 4 ½-length maiden triumph.

Deputy G stumbled at the start, but recovered quickly under Stevens to grab the lead and was in front by a head after the opening quarter mile in 21.69. Stevens allowed Deputy G to open up by a length at the half and was up by two lengths in midstretch as R Loyal Man cleared the pack and rallied toward the inside to narrow the final margin.

The connections of Deputy G had to await a claim of foul by Bejarano who indicated that the winner had impeded his run down the stretch by veering in front of his mount R Loyal Man. Churchill Downs' stewards allowed the order of finish to stand for the top three finishers but disqualified forth place finisher Brilliant Son to seventh for an unrelated incident at the start of the race.

"He stumbled a little bit coming out of there and I had to goose him a little bit to get him back on his feet, and we were off to the races," said Stevens. "In the stretch he started wandering around a little bit and that's what the inquiry was all about."

"My horse was intimated too much," said Bejarano. "When he looked at the other colt (Deputy G) coming toward the rail, my horse stopped. He was coming for a little bit, but when the other horse came in to the rail, my horse got timid."

The stakes victory was the fifth of the meet for Stevens, who has moved to Kentucky and rode full-time at Churchill Downs for the first time. The Bashford Manor win aboard Deputy G gave him bookend stakes triumphs in the meet as he won the Derby Trial on opening day with Don't Get Mad.

(Chart: Equibase)