LOUISVILLE, KY – Woodford Racing’s Hot Springs rallied in the stretch to overtake Discovered and edged clear late to win Saturday’s $100,000 Jefferson Cup Stakes at Churchill Downs.
Breaking from post 5 under Ricardo Santana, Jr., as the 2/1 favorite, Hot Springs settled comfortably in mid-pack while Discovered posted fractions of :24.12, :49.58, and 1:15.44. Angled out as he straightened for home, Hot Springs rallied strongly down the stretch and collared Discovered inside the final furlong. The Steve Asmussen trainee continued to run on late, hitting the wire with a length advantage in a final time of 1:54.18 for the 9-furlong event over the good turf course.
Discovered yielded late to the winner but gamely held on for second by a head over a fast-closing Captivating Moon. Further back, Armed for Battle necked out fourth over Dubby Dubbie, with Factor This taking sixth behind them. Silent Citizen, King Valero, and Tigers Rule completed the order of finish. Majestic Eagle was scratched.
Hot Springs’ victory was his first in a stakes event after failed attempts in the Grade 3 Saranac Stakes at Saratoga earlier this month and July’s Grade 3 Kent Stakes at Delaware Park. The 3-year-old son of Uncle Mo now carries a record of 6-3-1-0 with earnings of $187,720.
Hot Springs returned $6.60 to win, $4 to place, and $3 to show. Discovered brought back $19 to place and $8.60 to show, while Captivating Moon paid $3 to show.