Video: Pat Day Mile S. Presented by LG&E and KU (G3)
In the one-mile, one-turn test over the muddy Churchill Downs track, Uncontested took the lead and set blistering fractions of :22.24 and :44.79 through the first half-mile. Wild Shot, under jockey Corey Lanerie, raced just off the frontrunner to the outside in second, as Rapid Dial and Bobby On Fleek traded places running in third and fourth.
Around the turn, as six furlongs went in 1:09.47, Uncontested started to hit a wall and Wild Shot moved up to pass the frontrunner on the outside. With an open stretch ahead of him, the Rusty Arnold trainee kicked away from his 11 competitors and crossed the wire four lengths in front. The final time on a wet-fast, sealed track was 1:35.67.
"I didn't know where I was going to be the first quarter," Lanerie said of the fast pace. "I went in with the mindset to let my horse run his race. I just patiently let him do what he wanted to do. It was a dream ride. When I called on him (at the top of the stretch), he had plenty left."
Wild Shot returned $19.40, $8.60, and $5.20 across the board.
"I didn't know we had it, but when he got about three (lengths) in front at the eighth pole, I felt pretty good," Arnold said. "We think this is what he wanted to do—a one-turn mile—and it worked out. We tried the Derby trail, and we just didn't like the two turns, so we backed him up.
"He's a handful. He'd been over here every day this week and got better each time. We thought he'd like the slop. They went so much faster than I thought they would, but you just don't know on a sloppy track."
Arnold said Wild Shot's next start would likely be the seven-furlong Woody Stephens (G2) at Belmont Park June 10.
The Pat Day Mile is the first graded score for the Trappe Shot colt, who ran seventh last out in the April 8 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G2) at Keeneland. One race prior he ran third, five lengths behind Tapwrit in the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby (G2). The bay placed in two other graded stakes as a juvenile, running third in the Claiborne Breeders' Futurity (G1) and second in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2). He now has two wins from eight starts with $319,750 in earnings.
Wild Shot is out of the unraced Storm Cat mare Ranter, whose dam is grade 1 winner Preach. Preach produced graded stakes winner and stallion Pulpit, along with 11 other winners.