James Graham celebrates his Wise Dan Stakes win aboard Kasaqui

James Graham celebrates his Wise Dan Stakes win aboard Kasaqui

Anne M. Eberhardt

Kasaqui Ends Six-Race Skid With Decisive Wise Dan Score

The Wimborne Farm runner earned his second graded stakes win.

After he unleashed a sustained rally entering the far turn, Kasaqui carried that momentum to post a 2 3/4-length victory in the $200,000 Wise Dan Stakes (G2T) June 17 at Churchill Downs

Video: Wise Dan S. (G2T)

The victory ended a six-race skid, which dated back to the previous graded stakes win for Wimborne Farm's Argentine-bred son of Lasting Approval, earned in last year's Arlington Handicap (G3T) at Arlington International Racecourse off a runner-up finish in the 2015 Wise Dan. Kasaqui followed his Arlington Handicap victory with a runner-up finish in the Arlington Million Stakes (G1T), when he finished just a neck behind Mondialiste.

That close call was the beginning of his losing streak, all in graded stakes. The victory Saturday night for trainer Ignacio Correas IV is the second graded win for the 7-year-old, and his first grade 2 score.

"I'm so happy for our entire stable," Correas said. "This was a great win and I'm very proud of my horse."

Early on Kasaqui settled nicely for jockey James Graham, and saved ground through the first turn while he raced in sixth, as Chocolate Ride secured inside position and an early lead contested by both Security Risk and Bondurant through a quarter-mile in :23.81. Those top three held those positions through a half-mile in :47.25, but Kasaqui soon delivered his best as he entered the far turn.

Graham sent the eventual winner through a three- or four-wide rally as the field turned for home, and he emerged from a well-bunched field to open a clear advantage. He was not seriously challenged late and completed the 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:40.26, which is the fastest clocking at the distance over the surface at the current spring meet.

"He broke sharp, settled back, and came absolutely sprinting home at the end," Graham said. "I wish all of my races were this simple. Once I got him in the clear, he had his mind on winning. He ran a great race, and I'm so proud of him." 

Early leader Chocolate Ride held second, while Conquest Panthera rallied outside for third. Last year's winner and 2-1 favorite Pleuven finished sixth.

Kasaqui returned $8.40, $4.60, and $3.20 across the board, while Chocolate Ride paid $8 to place and $4.60 to show. Conquest Panthera returned $4.40 to show.

Kasaqui was bred by San Francisco de Pilar out of the Alysheba mare Kemosheba, who also has produced Keyite, a group 2 winner in Argentina. His earnings now stand at $651,547, with a 6-10-1 record from 26 starts.