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LOUISVILLE, KY – Gunpowder Farms’ Divisidero unleashed a powerful stretch run to post a 1/2-length victory over Beach Patrol to repeat in the Grade 1, $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic for 4-year-olds and up.
With the victory, Divisidero joins Wise Dan (2013-14) and Einstein (2008-09) as the only repeat winners of the race.
Trained by Buff Bradley and ridden by Julien Leparoux, Divisidero covered the mile and 1/8th on a “good” turf course in 1:52.42. It was the second win in the race for Bradley and Leparoux, who also won in 2009 on Einstein.
“On this kind of track, you want your horse to be relaxed and make a nice run,” said Leparoux. “Because the pace was so slow, we all bunched up so we were not too far behind.”
Beach Patrol took an early lead while Divisidero lingered at the back of the pack. After setting fractions of :24.51, :50.69, and 1:15.45, Beach Patrol maintained control in the stretch until Divisidero rolled past in deep stretch on the far outside.
“When I came out (for my run), he kicked home super,” Leparoux said. “He ran a really big race today.”
After running in the back of the pack until the stretch, jockey Mike Smith ran Oscar Nominated up late to hit third, 2 1/2 lengths behind Beach Patrol.
“I thought I was in a good spot,” Smith said. “They said he pulls and doesn’t have a kick, so I stopped him leaving there and got him to settle. He settled for a little bit, but then started pulling. I kind of moved just a little bit sooner than I wanted, but he ran really well. I think that’s how he wants to be ridden. He isn’t dumb, he can learn how to do that more. He’s a smart horse.”
It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to Kasaqui, who was followed in order by Bal a Bali, Enterprising, Ballagh Rocks, Conquest Panthera, Kaigun, Flatlined, and Can’thelpbelieving.
Divisidero is a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Kitten’s Joy out of the Lemon Drop Kid mare Madame Du Lac. The victory was worth $291,400 and made Divisidero a millionaire with a bankroll of $1,047,950 with a record 13-5-2-3. All three graded stakes victories have come at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day, including last year’s Woodford and 2015’s Grade 2 American Turf.
“Derby Day has really been good to us,” Bradley said. “We’re always happy to win on Derby Day before the biggest crowds.”
Divisidero returned $9, $4.60, and $3.60. Beach Patrol brought back $4.40 and $3.20, while Oscar Nominated paid $5.80 to show.
Trainer Buff Bradley, Divisidero – “We were far back early, but that’s how the horse runs. Julien said there wasn’t much pace in there and he was correct, but I didn’t want to take the horse out of his race. We know he likes to finish, even on a slow pace. I just told Julien ‘you may just have to make your run earlier.’ Julien is a great jockey so I don’t have to tell him a whole lot. That was our plan to get the Keeneland race in and this was our goal. It’s always nice to win at Keeneland, but we were happy with the outcome and how Julien felt about the horse.”
Jockey Florent Geroux, Beach Patrol – “There was not much speed and my horse likes to be forwardly placed. I put him on the lead and it looked like there were comfortable fractions. He was really trying. He saw (Divisidero). I went left-handed a few times and just couldn’t keep up with him. Divisidero was too fast for us today. He loves this turf course and does his best running here.”
Trainer Chad Brown, Beach Patrol – “He got a beautiful trip. No excuse. The horse that won today ran the best race. He ran terrific and our horse ran great too.”
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