Mary Grum’s Cosmic, receiving a patented, rail-skimming ride from Calvin Borel, romped to a 4 1/4-length victory over Godolphin Gray before a crowd of 28,011 to win Friday’s $52,270 Dark Star Purse, the featured attraction on the first program of night racing in the 135-year history of Churchill Downs.
There are two more “Downs After Dark” programs scheduled during the Spring Meet, next Friday, June 26, and Thursday, July 2.
Godolphin Gray, ridden by Aldo Canchano, led the field of seven through fractions of :22.93 and :45.60 with Cosmic running sixth in the early going. Borel cut the corner at the head of the stretch, collared Godolphin Gray at the eighth pole and drew clear to complete the seven furlongs on a fast main track in 1:22.21.
The victory was worth $32,105 and improved Cosmic’s career earnings to $126,672 with his third victory in 14 starts. Cosmic is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred son of El Prado and trained by Borel’s older brother, Cecil.
Cosmic returned mutuels of $9.40, $5.60 and $3.20. Godolphin Gray paid $13 and $5.40 in finishing a length ahead of odds-on favorite Flying Pegasus, who paid $2.20 to show under Robby Albarado.
One other big winner on the night was Billy Warrick from Louisville, who cashed for $2,400 as a “Bet or No Bet” Sweepstakes winner when Albarado guided Final Copy to victory in the eighth race. Warrick’s name was one of five drawn at random for five races and he had the choice of taking $100 in cash or placing a $1,000 win bet.
He did the latter.
“I was about to throw the (sweepstakes entry) ticket away and I thought ‘what the heck,’ ” Warrick said. “I didn’t wake up thinking this would happen. I am usually a $2 exacta box man. I will always bet on Robby.”
Racing resumes Saturday with an 11-race program beginning at 12:45 p.m. EDT.
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