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LOUISVILLE, KY – Lucky Seven Stable’s Crafty Daddy held off a late bid from favored Captivating Moon by a head to win the 14th running of the $110,675 Opening Verse Overnight Stakes for 4-year-olds and up.
Trained by Kenny McPeek and ridden by Brian Hernandez, Jr., Crafty Daddy covered the mile on the fast main track in 1:34.10. The race originally was scheduled for the Matt Winn Turf Course.
In a race that was scratched down to four horses after the race was taken off the turf, Crafty Daddy collared early leader Renaisance Frolic at the head of the stretch and then held off Captivating Moon and survived a claim of foul from Julien Leparoux on the runner-up.
“He took a step out and didn’t make much contact,” said Hernandez, Jr., regarding the claim of foul. “The stewards felt we were the best horse in the race. He ran well on the dirt. It was a short field, but I liked how, at the 1/4 pole, he picked it up. Most turf horses flounder on it. He actually ran on and had to fight for it.”
Crafty Daddy is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Scat Daddy out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Eager Emma. The victory was worth $69,900 and increased Crafty Daddy’s earnings to $297,467 with a record of 10-4-2-1.
“Nice horses make all the difference,” McPeek said. “I literally sat in my office and tossed a coin as to whether I was going to stay in here or (scratch and run next week) at Kentucky Downs. We were mulling over who was in and who was out. It worked out good because we’ve been wanting to try him on the dirt.”
Crafty Daddy returned $9.80 with win betting only.
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