Good Journey Rallies to Firecracker Victory

Flaxman Holdings homebred Good Journey rallied in the center of the course to wear down and defeat Morluc and Even the Score in the grade II, $292,500 Firecracker Breeders' Cup Handicap at Churchill Downs on July 4.

Ridden by Churchill's leading rider Pat Day, Good Journey completed the 1 mile on turf in 1:34 4/5 as he posted his second consecutive win at that distance at Churchill.

Trained by Wally Dollase, Good Journey paid $6.40, $3.80, and $3.60 as he posted his fifth win in 12 starts, with six placings. Morluc, who had taken the lead from Even the Score entering the stretch, finished 1 1/2 lengths behind the winner, paying $6.20 and $5.40. Even the Score, who had set the pace throughout, was worth $10.60 to show. Strut the Stage, the 9-5 favorite who was never a factor, finished in a dead-heat for sixth.

A lightly raced 6-year-old son of Nureyev, Good Journey did not race at age two and did not break his maiden until November of his 4-year-old season in 2000. Good Journey posted his first stakes triumph at the conclusion of his 2001 campaign, taking the grade II Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park.

"Plan A was to get him here and have that prep race," said Dollase, who scored his second career Churchill stakes. "Sometimes you need a Plan B but not today. We wanted him to have some time off after the Citation Handicap. Now we're looking at having one or two races and hopefully racing him in the Breeders' Cup."

(Chart, Equibase)