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Plutonium, Lopez Roll In Off-The-Turf Father's Day Feature

| Churchill Downs Communications | 06/19/2011 #
  • Plutonium and jockey James Lopez, held on to win Sunday's Father's Day feature at Churchill Downs. (Reed Palmer)

  • Julen Leparoux won three races Sunday to tie Corey Lanerie in battle for leading jockey. (Reed Palmer, Churchill Downs)

Diane Garland and Sondra Mayne’s Plutonium took the lead at the top of the stretch, sprinted away to a clear advantage and held off the late-closing Adulare to win the $64,725 Sunday feature at Churchill Downs by 1 ½ lengths.

Plutonium, a 4-year-old gelded son of 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos, rated in third on the rail under James Lopez through fractions of :23.63, :47.14 and 1:12 set by Joes Blazing Aaron. The David Pate-trained Plutonium moved for the leaders at the three-eighths pole, seized the lead entering the long Churchill Downs stretch and held off a group of quickly-closing rivals to cover the 1 1/16 miles on the main track in 1:44.83. The race was originally scheduled to be run on the Matt Winn Turf Course, but was moved to the main track after Sunday morning showers in Louisville caused all races to be taken off the turf.

Plutonium returned $25.80, $9.80 and $4.80. Wind Rivers Stables’ Adulare was second and returned $12.40 and $5.40 with James B. Tafel LLC’s Sporty another half-length back in third returning $3.80.

The victory was worth $39,120 and increased Plutonium’s bankroll to $119,880 with a record of 5-3-0 from 16 career starts.

Earlier on the card, jockey Julien Leparoux won three races to tie Corey Lanerie for leading jockey honors at 37 wins with nine racing dates left at the Spring Meet. Leparoux, a seven-time leading rider at Churchill Downs, has won with 16 of his last 32 mounts. Lanerie is seeking his first local title.

Racing resumes Thursday with a nine race program highlighted by a Pick 6 carryover of $25,782. The Pick 6 will begin with Race 4 at 2:21 p.m. EDT. First post is at 12:45 p.m.