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LOUISVILLE, KY – Juddmonte Farms homebred Set Piece collected his second straight overnight stakes at Churchill Downs when he swooped past the pacesetter Gray’s Fable at the final furlong pole and easily drew off to win Saturday’s inaugural running of the $85,500 Douglas Park Overnight Stakes by a geared-down 4 lengths over Ramsey Solution.
Ridden by Florent Geroux and trained by Brad Cox, Set Piece ran 1 1/16 miles over “good” turf in 1:44.33.
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Set Piece was away slow and well back in sixth early on as Gray’s Fable was loose on the lead, setting fractions of :24.02, :48.47, and 1:13.33. Leaving the final turn, Set Piece easily began to close into the field from the outside, and down the stretch, the only question left to be answered was the margin of victory.
“With a horse like him, I wasn’t too worried when we broke slow,” Geroux said. “He likes to get into his own rhythm. We relaxed, and when it was ready to make the run, he did it on his own. He was ready to go today.”
Set Piece, sent to post as the 6/5 favorite, paid $4.40, $2.60 and $2.20. Ramsey Solution, the 5/2 second choice under Julien Leparoux, returned $3.40 and $2.40. Another Mystery was another length back in third under Tyler Gaffalione and paid $4 to show.
Gray’s Fable, Parlor, Artemus Eagle, and Pioneer Spirit completed the order of finish. Split the Wickets and Logical Myth were scratched.
Set Piece, who previously won the Opening Verse Overnight Stakes on April 29, earned $45,570 for the win and improved his career record to 15-8-1-1 with $257,044 earned. He has 3 wins in 4 starts over the Matt Winn Turf Course.
“I think he is rounding into top form this year,” Cox said. “We really thought highly of him when he arrived from Europe, but I think now he’s just finding his best stride. He has a pretty quick turn of foot, and when Florent asked him to go, he cruised.”
Set Piece, a son of Dansili out of the Kingmambo mare Portodora, was bred in Great Britain by his owners.
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