FRANKLIN, KY – After knocking heads from the first jump, Paul Pompa Jr. homebred Regal Glory outlasted a game Mitchell Road in Saturday’s $500,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf Stakes (G3) at Kentucky Downs.
Regal Glory was the 7/5 favorite as she broke from post 6 under Jose Ortiz and immediately went to challenge the rail-breaking Mitchell Road and jockey Luis Saez.
Mitchell Road held a slight advantage as she posted opening fractions of :23.42, :47.19, and 1:11.26, but Regal Glory slowly advanced before putting herself into position to challenge for the lead at the top of the stretch.
The two front-runners were put to a long drive the entire run to the wire before Regal Glory crossed a neck better than her rival. The Chad Brown trainee completed the yielding turf mile in a final time of 1:34.34.
“She handled the course really well,” Ortiz said. “I knew she could handle the soft turf, since she’s already won on it twice, so I was very confident going into the race.”
Mitchell Road was 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Tapit Today, while behind her came Lady Apple, Secret Message, Frond, and Princess Causeway to complete the order of finish.
English Affair was scratched.
Regal Glory’s win was her first since winning 3 straight stakes last summer and improved her overall record to 11-6-3-0. The 4-year-old Animal Kingdom filly has now earned $773,884.
“That was definitely a hard-fought stretch victory when it looked like our filly was poised to just take them easily,” said assistant trainer Whit Beckman. “She was definitely getting a little class relief coming down here, but it’s always an X factor with the setup and everything. She ran a tremendous race. She looked like the winner every step of the way to me.”
Regal Glory returned $4.80 to win, $3 to place, and $2.40 to show. Mitchell Road brought back $4.40 to place and $3.20 to show, while Tapit Today paid $2.80 to show.