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LOUISVILLE, KY – Flagstaff re-emerged from the middle of a tight pack in the final yards to win the 86th running of the $500,000 Churchill Downs Stakes (G1) presented by Ford for 4-year-olds and up by a head.
Trained by John Sadler and ridden by Luis Saez, Flagstaff covered the seven furlongs on a fast main track in 1:21.82.
“Getting settled off the pace was the key; they were going pretty fast up front. I tried to save ground into the turn and when there was a moment to go out so I had that good spot he came for me. I know Whitmore is a good horse but my horse really dug in. When I saw everybody coming past me I thought it was over but he never gave up and finally he gave me the last little bit and we got there. John told me to ride him with confidence and that he likes to fight and we broke and then you saw that at the end.” said winning jockey Luis Saez
Lexitonian, Whitmore, and Hog Creek Hustle completed the order in the Churchill Downs. Attachment Rate was a scratch.
The victory was worth $288,300 and increased Flagstaff’s earnings to $991,585 with a record of 19-7-6-3 that includes three graded stakes scores for Lane’s End Racing and Hronis Racing.
“I’m thrilled. He’s a real hard knocker; he always runs his race. He knocked it out today.” said winning trainer John Sadler.
Flagstaff returned $11.80 to win, $6.60 to place, and $4.60 to show.
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Winner returned to win, to place, and to show. Place brought back to place and to show. Show paid to show.
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