LOUISVILLE, KY – Owner/trainer John Ennis’ Weiland waylaid with Myhotrodlincoln for the latter half of the front stretch, giving the “Thurby” crowd an exciting show en route to breaking his maiden in Thursday’s $100,000 Kentucky Juvenile Stakes at Churchill Downs.
Breaking well under Carlos Villasana, Weiland ran just behind Myhotrodlincoln’s outside through initial splits of :22.53 and :45.85. Off the far turn, Weiland collared the leader and the two colts battled heads apart the length of the stretch, coming together several times. In the end, it was Weiland prevailing by a head in the final stages of the 5-furlong race in a final time of :59.32.
“I had a good start and was in a good position,” Villasana said. “I always had a lot of horse. He was a little green and there was a little bumping, but I really wanted to win and he gave me a great run.”
Baytown Macca was able to get up late to steal third from the 1-2 favorite Luv This Lifestyle, the field’s lone filly. Derby City, Blazin Liaison, and Mr. Granite completed the order of finish. Best You Ever Seen and Shanghaied Roo were scratched.
Weiland’s win at odds of 19-1 was the biggest upset in the history of the Kentucky Juvenile Stakes and finished fifth in his only other career start, a maiden special weight event at Keeneland on April 18. The winner’s share of $60,760 immediately made Weiland the highest-earning horse ($62,560) in Ennis’ career, which began in 2009. Ennis purchased the son of Yes It’s True for $7,000 last October.
“I thought the odds didn’t do him justice,” Ennis said. “He’s a nice colt. He had run well at Keeneland and was on target to improve off his first career start. He’ll improve off this one. He’s an honest, gutsy colt, and there is more to come from him.”
Weiland returned $41.40 to win, $14 to place, and $6.60 to show. Myhotrodlincoln brought back $3.60 to place and $2.80 to show, while Baytown Macca paid $3.60 to show.