LOUISVILLE, KY – Klaravich Stables’ Digital Age rallied from well off the pace to take Saturday’s $1 million Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic Stakes (G1) at Churchill Downs.
Breaking from post 4 under Javier Castellano as the 8/1 fifth choice on the board, Digital Age was forced to back out of the field after several rivals created a clustered pack out of the gate.
Slipping back to ninth in the ten-horse field, Digital Age saved ground from afar as Factor This posted opening fractions of :23.24, :47.17, and 1:11.16 before straightening for home still on the lead.
Castellano steered Digital Age off the hedges at the top of the stretch and he steadily picked off rivals while improving his position, then caught and surpassed Factor This at the 1/16 pole.
Edging his way clear late, the Chad Brown trainee crossed 3/4 of a length ahead in a final time of 1:47.79 for the 1 1/8-mile firm turf route.
“I had a beautiful, beautiful trip,” Castellano said. “I saved all the ground and cut the corner turning for home and it paid off. My horse, he liked the ground, he handled it so well. I’m very satisfied with the way he did it. I felt that they went pretty quick (up front) and I took my time. I didn’t want to rush it and be close to the pace. I wanted to ride with a lot of patience and finally it paid off.”
Though caught in the late stages, Factor This was strong enough to keep clear of Rockemperor by 2 1/4 lengths.
A four-horse photo for fourth ultimately went to the 9/5 favorite Sacred Life over Dontblamerocket, Spectacular Gem, and True Valour.
Mr Dumas, Somelikeithotbrown, and Bowies Hero completed the order of finish.
Digital Age’s win was his second straight following a Saratoga allowance score and his second under the famed twin spires, having won the 2019 American Turf Stakes (G2). The Irish-bred 4-year-old Invincible Spirit colt improved his record to 11-5-2-0 with $1,234,660 earned.
“Turning for home, he had a good position, got a nice trip, and this horse likes this turf course,” said assistant trainer Whit Beckman. “He shipped down from New York, but just watching him train here the last few days, he looked super relaxed. He looked like he was doing better than I had ever seen him do.”
Digital Age returned $19.20 to win, $9 to place, and $6.20 to show. Factor This brought back $6.20 to place and $4.20 to show, while Rockemperor paid $4.60 to show.