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Wilbo Prevails in Final Stages of Aristides

Wilbo Prevails in Final Stages of Aristides

LOUISVILLE, KY – With a furlong to run in Saturday night’s 31st running of the $125,000 Aristides Stakes Presented by GE Appliances (Listed) at Churchill Downs, it looked as if six of the seven older horses could win, but it was Chris Wilkins’ 7-year-old gelding Wilbo who emerged as the victor in the final stages to beat Petrov by a neck in front of 17,151 fans on “Downs After Dark Presented by Budweiser.” Zipp On By finished another head back in third.

Trained by Chris Hartman, Wilbo clocked 6 furlongs over a fast track in 1:09.27 and was ridden by leading rider Corey Lanerie.

Sent off as the 9/2 second betting choice, Wilbo broke well from post No. 6 and raced in the clear in fourth as 26-1 longshot Zipp On By and odds-on favorite Share the Upside went head-and-head for the first quarter mile in :21.66. Petrov and Wilbo joined the leaders leaving the far turn and they were four in a line as they passed the half-mile marker in :44.75 with Mr. Crow and Control Stake ranging into contention just off their heels. For the most part, the group matched strides down the stretch but it was a determined Wilbo who prevailed in the final stages from the four path on the outside.

“He really showed his best stuff tonight,” Lanerie said. “Sitting around the turn I looked back and could see (jockey Jack) Gilligan (on Petrov) had a ton of horse so I couldn’t let him move first. I sat and sat until I couldn’t sit anymore. I had a ton of horse underneath me and he didn’t want to let the other horses by.”

For the veteran Wilbo, it was his 11th victory in 34 starts and the $75,950 first prize padded his earnings to $745,980. He is a son of Candy Ride (ARG) out of the Coronado’s Quest mare Kokadrie and was bred in Kentucky by Woodford Thoroughbreds.

This was Wilbo’s third career stakes win. Previously, he won the $50,000 Don Bernhardt Stakes at Ellis Park in 2017 and last year’s $125,000 King Cotton at Oaklawn Park. In his prep for the Aristides, Wilbo won a six-furlong allowance/optional claiming event at Churchill Downs three weeks ago.

“It was nice to finally win this race,” said Hartman, who won the 2015-16 Aristides with Alsvid. “He’s 7-years-old now but tonight he ran like he was in the prime of his career. Every time he runs he brings his best stuff.”

Wilbo paid $2 mutuels of $11, $5.40 and $3.60. Petrov returned $12.60 and $6.40. Zipp On By, with Edgar Morales aboard, returned $7.40. Mr. Crow was another 1 ½ lengths back in fourth and was followed by a fading Share the Upside, Control Stake and Kowboy Karma.

The Aristides is named in honor of the inaugural Kentucky Derby winner of 1875.

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