Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Homerun Berti entered the stretch of the Matt Winn Turf Course with a clear advantage and continued to increase his lead from there to win the $54,704 Friday feature at Churchill Downs by a widening 3 ¼ lengths over City Cool.
Heavily favored at odds of 1-5, Homerun Berti broke well in the field of six and raced for the lead with City Cool through an opening quarter in :22.32. A 6-year-old gelded son of Forestry, Homerun Berti had a one-length lead as the field turned for home and never looked back, completing the five furlongs on the firm going in :56.23.
Trained by Mike Maker and ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, who is one win shy of becoming the 18th rider to reach the 400-win milestone at Churchill Downs, Homerun Berti earned $31,020 for the victory and improved his record to 8-2-1 from 19 starts and earnings of $216,415.
Homerun Berti returned $2.40, $2.40 and $2.10. Cool City, ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., finished second and returned $4.80 and $3 with Jasizzle, under Victor Lebron, finishing a half-length back in third and returning $4 to show.
Racing continues Saturday with an 11-race “Downs After Dark” Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka racing program that will feature the $400,000-added Stephen Foster Handicap (Grade I) and three other graded stakes events. Post time for the first race is 6 p.m. (all times Eastern). There is a $8,152 Pick 6 carryover on Races 6-11. The Foster goes as Race 8 at 9:39 p.m.