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Liberal Arts relished the added distance and sloppy conditions at Churchill Downs as he rallied from last to win Sunday’s 11th running of the $200,000 Street Sense (Grade III) – the featured event on opening day of Churchill Downs’ 134th Fall Meet and 19th annual Stars of Tomorrow I program for juveniles.
Cristian Torres rode the winner for trainer Robert Medina and owners/breeders Stephen and Evan Ferraro as the Kentucky-bred son of Arrogate clocked 1 1/16 miles over a “sloppy” track in 1:46.50 to defeat 6-5 morning line favorite Moonlight by 2 ¾ lengths.
Gettysburg Address led the compressed field of five 2-year-old colts through measured and unpressured fractions of :23.73, :47.93 and 1:13.05 as Liberal Arts was content to trail early and conserve his energy for a late run. As Informed Patriot collared into a tiring Gettysburg Address with three-sixteenths of a mile to run, Liberal Arts was beginning to hit his best stride. Liberal Arts quickly closed into the leaders and was full of run late to score the convincing come-from-behind win.
“This horse really has improved as the distances got longer,” Torres said. “Turning for home today I just had a ton of horse beneath me and I think he really appreciated going two turns. I got him to relax on the backside and he won like a professional today.”
Liberal Arts earned $123,000 for the win and improved his record to 5-2-1-2—$226,825. He also earned 10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby series that will determine the preference list for the 20-horse 150th Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (GI) on Saturday, May 4. Points were awarded on a scale of 10-5-3-2-1 to the top five finishers.
Liberal Arts paid $14.18, $4.08 and $2.68 at odds of 6-1. Moonlight, who passed Informed Patriot for second under Luis Saez, returned $2.88 and $2.26. Informed Patriot, with Tyler Gaffalione up, paid $3.06.
Gettysburg Address and Northern Flame completed the order of finish. Barksdale, Generous Tipper and Parchment Party were scratched.
Prior to the Street Sense, Liberal Arts finished third in the one-turn, one mile $300,000 Iroquois (GIII) on Sept. 16 behind West Saratoga and Risk It.
“We knew we wouldn’t be able to get longer distances until the fall so we made sure this horse had some experience under his belt but knew he’d appreciate the stretch out,” said Medina, who tallied his first graded stakes win as a trainer. “Going two-turns today I think was the key. He’s made five starts this year and talking with the ownership group the plan is now to lay him up until next year and point to some of the big 3-year-old races.”
The gray or roan Liberal Arts is out of the Tribal Rule dam Ismene.
The Street Sense is named in honor of 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense who became the first horse to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) as a 2-year-old and the Run for the Roses at age 3. He also was the first Champion Two-Year-Old Colt to win the Kentucky Derby since Spectacular Bid who won the Kentucky Derby in 1979. Trainer Carl Nafzger was on hand to present the winning trophy Sunday.
Cristian Torres (jockey, Liberal Arts, winner): “This horse really has improved as the distances got longer. Turning for home today I just had a ton of horse beneath me and I think he really appreciated going two turns. I got him to relax on the backside and he won like a professional today.”
Robert Medina (trainer, Liberal Arts): “We knew we wouldn’t be able to get longer distances until the fall so we made sure this horse had some experience under his belt but knew he’d appreciate the stretch out. Going two-turns today I think was the key. He’s made five starts this year and talking with the ownership group the plan is now to lay him up until next year and point to some of the big 3-year-old races.”
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