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LOUISVILLE, KY – Trainer Greg Foley’s barn saddled a trio of winners at Churchill Downs Friday, but none were bigger or more exciting than Tamaroak Partners homebred Bango‘s nose victory in the $110,000 Kelly’s Landing Overnight Stakes.
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Bango broke from post 6 under Tyler Gaffalione at 6/1 odds and settled into a mid-pack stalking position not far off Strike Power, who posted opening fractions of :22.63 and :45.32 while Long Range Toddy pressed.
Ranging up three-wide in the far turn, Bango took the lead near the 1/4 pole and eventually shook off Strike Power, who continued fighting hard along the rail.
Digging deep in the late stages to withstand a late-surging Mucho, Bango held on to win a tight photo finish while completing the fast 7-furlong dirt sprint in 1:21.25.
“There was a little bit of speed to our inside so I just let him get settled down the backside,” Gaffalione said. “We got into a great position and I wanted to make sure I got the jump on the closers. He held on well and ran a big race.”
Mucho was 2 lengths clear of Strike Power, while Aloha West – pinched back at the start – recovered to take fourth by 3/4 of a length over Home Base.
Completing the order of finish came the 6/5 favorite Art Collector, Bourbon Calling, Long Range Toddy, and Relentless Dancer.
Bango’s win was his second straight following the local Aristides Stakes and improved his overall record to 18-7-1-1, including 9-6-1-1 locally. The 4-year-old Congrats colt has now earned $459,197.
“It’s been a great day for our barn and our owners,” Foley said. “This is why we get up early in the morning and do our job. It makes it all worth it when horses like this run as well as they do. Bango loves Churchill Downs. He’s a neat little horse and Tyler gave him a great ride.”
Bango returned $15 to win, $7.40 to place, and $4.60 to show. Mucho brought back $14.60 to place and $7.20 to show. Strike Power paid $3.60 to show.
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