Trebizond Catches 'Prince in Hard Scuffle

(from track report)
William C. Lickle's Trebizond collared Naughty Prince inside the final 30 yards to post a half-length victory in the fifth running of the $106,200 Hard Scuffle (NSA gr. I) before a record Thursday crowd of 24,312 at Churchill Downs.

Ridden by Robert Massey, Trebizond, a 7-year-old Sadler's Wells gelding, covered the 2 1/16 miles over firm turf in 3:45.97 and returned mutuels of $12.40, $5.40 and $3.60.

Naughty Prince, ridden by David Bentley, returned $5.20 and $3.40 for finishing second, while Fighting Star, with Jody Petty up, returned $3.20 to show.

"The race unfolded even better than I could have hoped," said Massey. "There was good early speed in there for the first mile and it dragged me right along with it. Then when I put him in the race, he picked it right up. He does just enough, just what he has to do. The last part of it was a bit of a battle. There was an opening for him and he went between and battled it out. He's a tough horse. Determination won it for him today."

Bolstered by good weather and the Crown Royal "Festival in the Field," Churchill Downs had a record Thursday crowd, shattering the old mark of 23,633 set on May 3, 2001.

The victory was worth $63,720 and increased Trebizond's career earnings to $171,755. Katherine Neilson trains the winner. The race was marred by a spill the second time past the finish line when pacesetter Major Hero went down after clearing a fence with Cyril Murphy riding. Both horse and rider appeared to be uninjured.

"I'm so excited," said Neilson. "This is so great. This is the horse's biggest win ever. And it is my biggest win ever, too. I've had him for the past two years and he's a good horse to work with."

(Chart, Equibase)