Sports News

Filly West Memorial Upsets Males in Kentucky Juvenile

After just missing in her debut, West Memorial  delivered a sustained run through the stretch to post a 1 3/4-length victory in the $247,165 Kentucky Juvenile Stakes May 2 at Churchill Downs.

Filly West Memorial, who defeated males in Thursday’s race for 2-year-olds, is the first stakes winner for first-crop sire Caracaro  , a grade 1-placed son of Uncle Mo   who stands for $6,500 at Crestwood Farm near Lexington.

Co-owner Jake Ballis, of Black Type Thoroughbreds, greeted Thursday’s stretch run with shouts of joy as West Memorial, at odds of 17-1, won her stakes debut, completing five furlongs in :58.29 on a fast track under jockey Reylu Gutierrez. Trainer John Hancock, who watched the race from the Churchill backstretch and sent family members over to saddle the horse—and then to celebrate—swept the top two spots as Strummin , a Flameaway   colt, rallied late for second to close out a $604.34 exacta for a $2 wager.

Odds-on favorite Shoot It True  led into the stretch but faded to fourth.

West Memorial is campaigned by Reagan Swinbank’s Swinbank Stables and Black Type Thoroughbreds is in for a percentage of the filly.

Sign up for

“She was always precocious and we always knew she had speed,” Ballis said of the filly purchased for $45,000 by Black Type’s Maddie Mattmiller for Swinbank from the Legacy Bloodstock consignment at the 2023 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. “She’s very, very smart.”

Video: Kentucky Juvenile S. (BT)

O Besos Ends Drought

As fans and connections crowded the rail in hopes of seeing Bango  make history with a record 12th victory at Churchill Downs—which would lead all horses under the twin spires—stablemate O Besos  spoiled the party by rallying to a 1 1/4-length victory in the $198,700 St. Matthews Overnight Stakes.

The race still delivered a nice story as O Besos, a 6-year-old son of 2013 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Orb , secured his first victory since October 2022. Campaigned by Bernard Racing, Tagg Team Racing, West Point Thoroughbreds, and Terry L. Stephens, O Besos increased his career earnings to more than $760,000.

O Besos is trained by Greg Foley and was guided to victory Thursday by Irad Ortiz Jr. Bango competed for the lead in the turn of the six-furlong sprint but faded to fourth.

Video: St. Matthews Overnight S. (BT)

Carl Spackler aces Opening Verse

Two-time graded stakes winner Carl Spackler , who some might call “an incredible Cinderella,”  opened his 4-year-old season in style by out-dueling Talk of the Nation  in the stretch to win the $304,100 Opening Verse Stakes by a head.

Carl Spackler wins the 2024 Opening Verse Stakes at Churchill Downs
Photo: Coady Media/John Gallagher

Carl Spackler prevails in the Opening Verse Stakes at Churchill Downs

Campaigned by e Five Racing Thoroughbreds, the son of Lope de Vega  extended his win streak to three straight races—all stakes—by completing the one-mile race for older horses in 1:35.31 on firm turf. Trained by Chad Brown, Carl Spackler was guided to victory by Tyler Gaffalione.

Video: Opening Verse S. (BT)

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button