Treasured Up, third in the Grade III Regret last fall, collected the first stakes win of her 12-race career with a come-from-behind victory Saturday in the inaugural $64,652 Keertana at Churchill Downs, narrowly defeating 5-2 favorite Qushchi-GB by a head.
Ridden by the meet’s top jockey Shaun Bridgmohan, Treasured Up covered 1 3/8 miles on firm turf in 2:15.16 for trainer Al Stall Jr. and owner B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm LLC.
Treasured Up was unhurried in the early stages of the race and had one horse beat after a half-mile as Rare Event led the field of 10 fillies and mares through quarter-mile fractions of :25.50, :49.94, 1:14.57 and 1:38.50. Bridgmohan asked the 4-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro for her best run with three-eighths of a mile to go. She rallied wide around the final turn, had clear sailing down the stretch and was fully extended to catch Qushchi-GB with less than 100 yards to the finish.
Sent to post as the 7-2 third choice, Treasured Up returned $9.60, $4.80 and $3.60. Qushchi-GB, ridden by Joe Rocco Jr., paid $3.60 and $2.60. Midnight Music-IRE, with Francisco Torres up, was another 1 ½ lengths back in third and returned $5. Beijoca, Rare Event, Preferential-GB, Tree Hugger, Game Fair, Artemus Kitten and Hankering completed the order of finish.
Treasured Up, bred in Kentucky by Summer Wind Farm, was awarded the $39,600 first prize, which boosted her career earnings to $168,533 from four wins, one second and three thirds in 12 starts.
The Keertana was one of four wins on the afternoon for Bridgmohan, who tops the Churchill Downs standings with 22 victories through the first 13 days of the 38-day Spring Meet. Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Joel Rosario is second with 14 wins.
Racing continues Sunday with a 10-race program that kicks off at 12:45 p.m. (all times Eastern).
Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 3, 2014 and its 2013 Spring Meet is scheduled continues through Sunday, June 30. The track has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record eight times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.ChurchillDowns.com.