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Fortune Play Wins Dramatic Roxelana before 27,787 'Downs After Dark' Fans

Churchill Downs Communications | 07/01/2011 #
  • Fortune Play and jockey Freddie Lenclud got up in the final strides to edge Decelerator in Friday night's Roxelana.

  • Fortune Play (outside) caught Decelerator at the finish to win Friday's 'Downs After Dark' Roxelana. (Reed Palmer, CD)

  • A view from above of the Paddock Garden populated by many of the 27,787 that turned out for Friday's 'Downs After Dark' racing.

Heuristic Stable’s Fortune Play outdueled Westrock Stables LLC’s Decelerator down the stretch to win the $77,270 Roxelana by a neck before a crowd of 27,787 on Friday night at Churchill Downs.

Trained by John Booker Jr. and ridden by Freddie Lenclud, Fortune Play covered the seven furlongs on a fast main track in 1:22.19.

Fortune Play, a 5-year-old daughter of Five Star Day, rated in fourth through fractions of :23.08 and :46.24 set by the early pace-setting duo of Alex G. Campbell Jr.’s The Underling and Decelerator. Lenclud moved for the leaders with three furlongs remaining, angled out for the drive entering the stretch, caught Decelerator with a sixteenth of a mile remaining and finally edged clear of that stubborn rival in the final yards.

Breaking from the gate as the 4-1 third-choice, Fortune Play returned mutuels of $10, $5 and $3.60. Decelerator finished second to return $6.40 and $4.60 with John Gunther’s Stage Magic another 3 ½-lengths back in third returning $7.40.

The victory was worth $46,560 and increased Fortune Play’s bankroll to $273,052 with a record of 5-7-5 from 27 starts.

Racing continues Saturday with a 13-race program highlighted by the 110th running of the Grade III, $100,000-added Bashford Manor, which is scheduled to be run as Race 12 at 6:23 p.m. EDT. First post is at 12:45 p.m.