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Owendale Rains from the Clouds to Win Blame
(Credit: Coady Photography)

Owendale Rains from the Clouds to Win Blame

LOUISVILLE, KY – Rupp Racing’s Owendale rained from the clouds in the stretch, rallying from well off the pace to cross the wire first in Saturday’s inaugural running of the $100,000 Blame Stakes at Churchill Downs.

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Breaking from post 8 under Florent Geroux as the 7/2 second choice, Owendale took up his usual position at the rear of the field and watched the early pace play out. Up front, Backyard Heaven led just inside of Diamond King as the field raced down the chute and crossed over onto the main track, then posted fractions of :22.74 and :45.63.

Diamond King inched ahead to take a slim lead heading into the far turn, but he had Silver Dust and Mr. Money looming large to his outside as he straightened for home on top. Soon after, Everfast squeezed his way forward along the inside and presented another challenge as they raced four-wide to the finish.

Midway down the front stretch, Owendale emerged in the corner of the screen, rallying hard down the middle of the track with only daylight in front of him. Everfast and Silver Dust fought gamely, but Owendale’s surge proved too strong for them to withstand.

The Brad Cox trainee crossed a 1/2 length ahead in a final time of 1:34.74 for the 1-mile fast dirt route.

Credit: Coady Photography

“He ran very impressively today,” Geroux said. “This isn’t his best distance and not the end goal, but it was very exciting to see him return to the races off of a layoff like that.”

Everfast took second by a neck over Silver Dust, who was fractious in the gate moments before springing free. Mr. Money flattened out in the stretch and could only muster a fourth-place finish over the 2/1 favorite Global Campaign and the weakened duo of Diamond King and Backyard Heaven

Behind them came AlwaysminingExtrordinary JerryDiscreet Lover, and Long Range Toddy to complete the order of finish. Bourbon Resolution and American Anthem were scratched.

Owendale’s win was his first since winning last fall’s Oklahoma Derby (G3) and improved his overall record to 15-6-2-2 with $1, earned. The 4-year-old Into Mischief colt was the last horse to cross the wire in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), but rebounded well to finish second in the Clark Stakes (G1), his most recent start.

“It was great to see him return like that going a one-turn mile,” Cox said. “This definitely puts him in a position to try more graded stakes later on in the year at a better distance going two turns. I thought he was breezing well enough that he would return to the races sharply and ended up doing so. We’ll look like races like the Stephen Foster for his next start, but he will like the two turns better.”

Owendale returned $9 to win, $5.20 to place, and $4 to show. Everfast brought back $20 to place and $9.60 to show, while Silver Dust paid $6 to show.

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