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HENDERSON, KY – BBN Racing’s Core Values, G. Watts Humphrey Jr. homebred Flippant, Marc Detampel and Fergus Galvin’s Born Great, and Godolphin homebred Shared Sense came home champions of their respective stakes Saturday during Ellis Park’s annual Kentucky Downs Preview Weekend.
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The Vicky Oliver-trained filly Core Values and jockey Rafael Bejarano rallied from last of seven to win the $100,000 event going 1 1/8 miles over the firm turf course by a nose and a neck over Royal Prince and pace-setting Modern Science.
“She worked really, really well last week, and that’s what made us think about entering in this spot,” Oliver said. “I liked that it was a small enough field – there was enough speed for her and pace for her to close into – so I did like our chances. And we had 5 pounds on the boys. That’s a big deal going a mile and 1/8.”
Accredit, Red Hornet, Ethical Judgement, and Gershwin completed the order of finish.
Flippant marked Vicky Oliver’s second straight victory when taking the $100,000 event for 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/16 miles over the firm turf.
“Never done that, so that’s exciting,” Oliver said about winning 2 stakes on the same card. “These two fillies are really, really nice fillies. It’s fun being loaded up for Kentucky Downs.”
Under jockey Rafael Bejarano, the margin of victory was a 1/2-length to Caldee, with 8/5 favorite Adventuring a head further back in third.
“This horse ran a tremendous race today,” Bejarano said. “I came to run her the last time and she won pretty good, but it was a longer distance. Today, (1 1/16 miles) was a little challenge, but she did well. There was a lot of speed. The track played really fair today for horses that came from behind. We had a beautiful trip after having a bad break from the gate. I just got her set and tried to get her relaxed. She did good and kept running in the end. Definitely, she was the best horse today.”
Oliviaofthedesert, Stillchargingmaria, Takntothecleaners, Charges Dropped, Wave of Goodness, and Double Dawn completed the order of finish.
Born Great rallied from off the pace to win the 5 1/2-furlong firm turf sprint by 1 1/4 lengths as the 5/2 favorite under Adam Beschizza. Trained by Brendan Walsh, he stopped the clock in 1:00.48.
“Kentucky Downs really suits him,” Beschizza said. “It was pretty faultless as far as his trip was concerned. That’s the way it likes it, with a good pace in front of him and to reel them in. We know he stays 3/4s and we know he would be closing strong in the end. Ideally, at 5 and 1/2, he does need a strong gallop in front of him in order to get the best out of him. He did it pretty comfortably in the end. It’s perfect that his beloved Kentucky Downs is just around the corner and obviously he’s going to get the course and distance there. Thanks to Marc Detampel, Brendan, and Paul here for having him in good shape coming into this race and I don’t think he’s done yet this summer.”
Siem Riep, Gray Attempt, Huey Attack, Smart Remark, Archidust, Mr. Hustle, pacesetter High Crime, My Boanerges, and Johnny Unleashed completed the order of finish. Lamartine scratched.
Shared Sense was a 3/4-length victor over Beau Luminarie in the $60,000 Tri-State Overnight going 1 mile on the fast Ellis Park dirt. Brian Hernandez Jr. was in the saddle for trainer Brad Cox.
“He looked like on paper he was the best horse in the race with a short field,” Hernandez Jr. said. “We were breaking from the outside, so I watched a couple of his replays and he always leaves the gate sharply. I was just hoping that if he left the gate like he normally does that I’d be in a good position, and that’s what happened. From that point on, we just tried to stay out of his way and let him move forward. Turning for home, he just went on and did his job like we thought he would. When it looks like you’re on the best horse in the race, it makes our job a lot easier. We can go out there and trust our horse and we can ride him to put him in a position where we know if we do have a little bit of trouble, he’ll still be able to overcome it. Fortunately for us today, we were able to get him in a good spot and just let him do his job.”
Beaver Hat, Fact Finding, and Royal Mesa completed the order of finish. Exulting scratched.
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