FRANKLIN, KY – Stonestreet Stables’ Cambria rallied in the stretch and was able to get up in the shadow of the wire to conquer the boys in Saturday’s $500,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf Sprint Stakes.
Breaking alertly from post 4 under Tyler Gaffalione at 8/1 odds, Cambria soon settled toward the inside, a handful of lengths behind early leader Johnny Unleashed. Near the 1/4 pole, Gaffalione tipped Cambria out and gave her the cue, and she responded by digging in and drawing in the foes ahead of her.
Moments after taking the lead, Cambria had to dig in even harder because Chimney Sweep was charging hard along her outside. The two raced heads apart in the final 1/16, but Cambria re-rallied along the inside to head Chimney Sweep at the wire. The Wesley Ward trainee’s final time was 1:17.40 for the 6 1/2-furlong sprint over the firm turf course.
“She put in a big effort today,” Gaffalione said. “She fought hard. Today was the first time she actually was challenged. She showed how much heart she has. All the credit goes to Wesley and his team. They had her 100% ready today.”
Chimney Rock had to check hard early in the race and lost several lengths, which perhaps made the difference in his strong rally coming up short. Prince of Thieves necked out How Ironic for third, while behind them came the 5/2 favorite Souper Dormy and Silver Prospector to round out the top six. Completing the order of finish came a weakened Johnny Unleashed, Axiomo, Alcools, City Front, and an eased Scocciatore. Invader was scratched.
Cambria’s win was her third in as many career starts but her first away from the Presque Isle synthetic surface. The 2-year-old daughter of Speightstown has now earned $331,700.
“She was a little keen today,” said Ward, who also won last year’s inaugural running with Moonlight Romance. “I was looking to take the blinkers off, but she was two for two, so (you couldn’t) take the equipment change off a loss. We cut the blinkers all the way back to narrowly nothing, but she really doesn’t need them any more.”
Ward indicated that he will train Cambria up to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (G1) in early November.
“If she was able to make one big run from behind and the speed collapses from behind, she’ll be right there,” Ward said. “I mean, she’s really really good from behind. I think she’ll have a big, big chance at that race, making one run.”
Cambria returned $18 to win, $8.40 to place, and $5.20 to show. Chimney Rock brought back $5 to place and $3.60 to show, while Prince of Thieves paid $5 to show.