Changing Weather, with Robby Albarado aboard, rallied from sixth and held off Court Folly in a duel of stretch runners to score a head victory in Saturday's $109,800 Matt Winn for 3-year-olds at Churchill Downs.The Eoin Harty-trained son of Storm Boot covered six furlongs on fast track in 1:09.86 and paid $12, $5.20 and $3.60. Court Folly, trained by Ian Wilkes and ridden by Calvin Borel, rallied from last to take the place spot and paid $6 and $3.80. Previously unbeaten He's Got Grit, the favorite with Shaun Bridgmohan in the irons for trainer Steve Asmussen, set the quick early pace and finished three-quarters of a length back in third. He paid $2.80.Owned by Darley Stable, the California-based Changing Weather won for the second time in seven races and pocketed $66,304 to increase his lifetime bankroll to $215,703. The victory was one of four on the 10-race Churchill Downs program for Albarado, who scored his 36th career stakes win at the track.
"I give a lot of credit to Robby," said Harty, who earned his second stakes victory at Churchill Downs. "Robby was in the zone today and that really kind of moves you up a few lengths when you get a rider like that on your horse.""When I leveled off in the stretch I figured I had a shot, but then (Court Folly) come on late," said Albarado. "He's run against some really nice horses in California. Today's longer stretch, I knew he'd like it. He ran hard, he held off that horse late."Favored He's Got Grit, making his first start since early October after undergoing surgery to remove a small bone chip in his ankle, broke sharply and grabbed a clear lead before being challenged heading into the turn by long shots Chief What It Is and El Nino. After rapid fractions of :21.48 for the first quarter and :44.86 for the half-mile, He's Got Grit turned back his pace challengers and opened a clear lead in upper stretch as Changing Weather and Court Folly circled the field and launched their rallies in the center of the track. He's Got Grit still led by 1 ½ lengths with an eighth of a mile to run, but Changing Weather collared the tiring leader in the final yards and held off the onrushing Court Folly at the finish."The race set up good and when I called on him, he came running," said Borel of Court Folly. "He ran his tail off. We had no excuses."(Chart, Equibase)