FRANKLIN, KY – Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s Sir Dudley Digges dug down deep to drive past Thatcher Street under the shadow of the wire in Thursday’s $150,000 Old Friends Stakes at Kentucky Downs.
Sir Dudley Digges was well-placed early on under jockey Tyler Gaffalione while Thatcher Street set the pace. Wide off the turn, Sir Dudley Digges made a bid in the upper stretch and was put under a long drive inside the 1/8 pole before prevailing in the final stages to win by a head.
“When he got next to that horse, he started laying on him a little bit, started to hang,” Gaffalione said. “I just had to stay after him. I knew I had the horse to go on with it, but he was being a little stubborn. We had a perfect trip, just sat behind the speed. When I asked him to run, I just kicked him out and he exploded.”
Gliding Alone overcame an awkward start to gain late before crossing in third, 3 3/4 lengths ahead of Italian Charm. One Mean Man and Chocolate Ride completed the order of finish.
The win was Gaffalione’s third in as many days at Kentucky Downs (including Wednesday’s $150,000 One Dreamer). He was recruited to make his first-ever trip to this track by trainer Mike Maker, who conditions Sir Dudley Digges.
“Mike and his team do a great job,” Gaffalione said. “Any time you ride for him, you have confidence. I didn’t come in here with many high expectations. I just wanted to come in here and get a good experience, learn as much as I could, but you can’t knock what’s happening. It’s been a blessing, and hopefully we can keep it going.”
Sir Dudley Digges returned $11 to win, $4.80 to place, and $4.20 to show. Thatcher Street brought back $6.40 to place and $3.80 to show, while Gliding Alone paid $6.20 to show.