LOUISVILLE, KY – William “Buff” Bradley and Carl Hurst’s homebred Divine Queen pulled off a 51/1 shocker Saturday, shooting up the rail in the slop for her first big score in the $100,000 Dogwood Stakes at Churchill Downs.
Breaking from post 2 under Calvin Borel as the biggest longshot in the nine-horse field, Divine Queen sat along the rail just off of Jean Elizabeth‘s early pace through fractions of :22.75 and :46.46. Making her bid at the top of the stretch, Borel kept Divine Queen to task and was able to push her nose in front. Inching away in the final stages, Divine Queen crossed first by a head in a three-way photo finish over Go Google Yourself and Jean Elizabeth. The final time for the 7-furlong sprint over the sloppy main track was 1:25.04.
“I’m so happy for Carl and Buff,” Borel said. “This filly has been training so well and she put things all together in this race. The horse in front was getting out a bit, so it left the rail open and we got a great trip.”
Go Google Yourself appeared from seemingly out of the clouds with a late rally to just miss tasting victory, while Jean Elizabeth was a 1/2-length back in third. Everyonelovesjimmy was much farther back in fourth, while the 5/2 favorite Figarella’s Queen raced wide through the far turn and was never a factor while taking fifth. Miss Mimosa, Salt Bae, Devine Mischief, and Shes Our Fastest completed the order of finish. Naples Legacy and Primo Extremo were scratched.
Divine Queen’s win was her first since taking an allowance race here on June 1, her only other career start under the Twin Spires. The 3-year-old daughter of Divine Park improved her overall record to 7-3-0-0 with earnings of $116,068.
“(Divine Queen) stumbled pretty bad in her last start, but she rebounded nicely and was training well for this race,” said Bradley, who also trains her. “Calvin gave a perfect ride.”
Divine Queen returned $105.40 to win, $33.60 to place, and $11.40 to show. Go Google Yourself brought back $7.80 to place and $5 to show, while Jean Elizabeth paid $4.80 to show.