Churchill Downs H. (gr. II)

(gr. II , 7f ,)

ALDEBARAN (B h, 120 lb) $144,956
Mr. Prospector —Chimes of Freedom , by Private Account
B—Flaxman Holdings Ltd., KY.; O—Flaxman Holdings, Ltd.; T—Robert J. Frankel

Pass Rush (CH h, 117 lb) $46,760
Crown Ambassador —Profitable Knight , by Knight
B—Swifty Farms Inc., IN.; O—Michael B. Tabor; T—Patrick B. Byrne

Cappuchino (B h, 115 lb) $23,380
Capote —Tara Roma , by Lyphard
B—Emory A. Hamilton, KY.; O—Hollendorfer, Jerry and Todaro, George; T—Jerry Hollendorfer

Margins: 2½, neck, head. Others: Peeping Tom 116($11,690) , Lord Abounding 114($7,014) , Binthebest 114 , Twilight Road 116 , R. Baggio 115 , Proud Citizen 119 , Mountain General 118 , Swift Replica 112 , D'wildcat 117 . Winning Jockey, Jerry D. Bailey.

Flaxman Holdings’ Aldebaran keeps improving with age. The now 5-year-old son of Mr. Prospector rolled to an impressive 21/2 length win over a well-matched field in the Churchill Downs Handicap (gr. II) on the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) Day card. Flaxman Holdings is the nom du course for the Niarchos’ family’s racing stable that maintains breeding operations in France and in Kentucky.

Following Aldebaran’s race career at the end of the year, he’ll stand at Darby Dan Farm near Lexington. Co-managing partner John Phillips said the deal came together about a year ago. The horse was acquired by an American group of investors with the thought of standing the well-bred son of Mr. Prospector for the 2003 breeding season. After he was unable to garner a grade I race—he ran second in four of them last year—it was mutually decided to keep him in training this year. The decision was the right one, as Aldebaran got his initial grade I win in the San Carlos Handicap in March and has to be considered one of the top sprinter/milers in the country following his Churchill Downs Handicap score. Between victories, he ran second to Congaree in the Carter Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct. While he’ll have multiple ownership as a stallion and will be syndicated, he’ll continue to race in the Flaxman name and be trained by Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel. After the race, Frankel said he’d likely take another crack at the Metropolitan Mile (gr. I) at Belmont Park, a race Aldebaran ran second in last year.

“His performance was very solid, as it always tends to be,” Phillips said. “He won with authority against some solid horses.”

Champion Chimes of Freedom, the blue hen mare responsible for Aldebaran and his three other stakes-winning half-siblings, produced a Kingmambo colt on Feb. 7 for Flaxman Holdings. She was bred to A.P. Indy, the sire of her first stakes winner, Tomisue’s Indy, on March 5. She resides at the Oak Tree division of Lane’s End Farm on Mt. Horeb Pike near Lexington.

Aldebaran is Mr. Prospector’s lone 2003 stakes winner. The great-grandsire of Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide, Mr. Prospector is the sire of 179 stakes winners. The legendary stallion stood at the Hancock family’s Claiborne Farm in Kentucky until his death in 1999.—E.I.H.