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LOUISVILLE, KY – Tom Kagele’s Line Judge, making his first start since being claimed last month, rewarded his new connections’ faith handsomely by winning Saturday’s $120,000 Kelly’s Landing Overnight Stakes at Churchill Downs.
Dismissed as he broke from post 5 under Corey Lanerie at 12/1 odds, Line Judge was well-placed in sixth early while the 6/5 favorite Uncontested received pressure from California Night through fractions of :22.51 and :44.90. Tipped out in the far turn in order to run five-wide by the top of the stretch, Line Judge exploded down the lane, easily usurping Uncontested shortly after straightening for home.
After clearing away with ease in the stretch, Line Judge was geared down late before completing the 7-furlong sprint over the fast main track in a final time of 1:21.35. The Peter Miller trainee was 3 1/4 lengths much the best at the wire.
Though no match for the eventual winner, Transatlantic Kiss was 2 3/4 lengths clear in second. Kowboy Karma finished third, 3 lengths ahead of a weakened Uncontested. Petrov, Control Shake, Elusive Mischief, and a spent California Night completed the order of finish.
Line Judge’s win was his first since winning a pair of races at Delta Downs over the winter and his third in a stakes event after winning a pair as a juvenile. The 5-year-old son of Spring At Last, claimed by Miller and owner Tom Kagele for $62,500, took home $72,827 for the win and improved his record to 25-12-4-1 with $479,238 earned.
Line Judge returned $26 to win, $10.20 to place, and $5.80 to show. Transatlantic Kiss brought back $7 to place and $4.40 to show, while Kowboy Karma paid $4.60 to show.
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