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LOUISVILLE, KY – Kueber Racing’s Coach successfully stretched out to two turns and drew away as a clear winner of Sunday’s $98,000 Rags to Riches Stakes at Churchill Downs.
Coach was made the 2.4/1 slight second choice as she broke from post 8 under jockey Florent Geroux and settled into a close stalking position behind the two early leaders.
Malibu Bird and Salty as Can Be dueled heads apart through opening fractions of :23.44, :47.98, and 1:12.98 until Coach made a three-wide move in the far turn.
Emerging onto the front stretch with the lead, Coach denied Lady Traveler‘s stretch bid before running off to win by 2 1/2 lengths.
The Brad Cox trainee completed the 1 1/16-mile fast dirt route in 1:45.14.
“We sat a really good trip all along,” said Geroux, who also won the race in 2017 (with Monomoy Girl) and 2018 (Mother Mother. “It was her first time at two turns and she really handled the extra distance well. We galloped out really strong, too.”
Lady Traveler held second by 1 1/2 lengths over Oliviaofthedesert, herself 1 length ahead of Dash to the Top in fourth.
Midnight Ballerina (the 2.3/1 favorite), Torsie’s Charm, Orsetto, Malibu Bird, and Salty as Can Be completed the order of finish in the event restricted to 2-year-old fillies.
Coach’s win followed a pair of dominating dirt sprint scores at Indiana Grand that she won by a combined 14 lengths. The Commissioner filly, purchased for $65,000 in October 2019, has now earned $96,540.
“With the pedigree, we thought she would like the extra distance,” Cox said. “With a horse making their start around two turns for the first time, you never really know how they’ll handle the extra ground. She showed today that she loved it.”
Coach returned $6.80 to win, $4.40 to place, and $3.40 to show. Lady Traveler brought back $5.60 to place and $4.20 to show, while Oliviaofthedesert paid $4.20 to show.
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