The attendance was the largest of the three “Downs After Dark” night racing programs and is believed to be the largest non-Kentucky Derby, Oaks or Breeders’ Cup crowd in modern Churchill Downs history. The initial “Downs After Dark” program on Friday, June 19 attracted 28,011 and 27,623 were on hand last Friday.
Blame, a 3-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Arch, covered the mile on a fast main track in 1:36.41. The victory, the second in four starts for Blame, was worth $30,580 and increased his earnings to $69,025.
Trained by Al Stall Jr. and ridden by Jamie Theriot, Blame returned $9.20, $5.60 and $4. Blackberry Road, ridden by Corey Lanerie, returned $11.60 and $8.20 with Forest Warfare finishing a neck back in third under Julien Leparoux and paying $5.80 to show in the field of 10.
There were three “Bet or No Bet” winners on the evening: Michelle Clubb, Amy Linton and Laura Burnam, all from Louisville. Their names were among five drawn at random with the choice to take $100 in cash or bet a $1,000 win ticket.
Clubb won $2,800 when Win Grammy Boy won the eighth race, Linton won $1,500 when Step Out Smartly finished in a dead heat to win the seventh race and Burnam picked up $2,000 when Sister Lou Ann finished in a dead heat to win the ninth race.
“I retired this week from 32 years of teaching and I also found out I am going to be grandma in January and my daughter is positive it is going to be a boy,” Clubb said of her choice of Win Grammy Boy, who won by five lengths.
Linton and Burnam had to sweat out lengthy photos to claim their checks.
“I thought it was going to be just like the 1996 Kentucky Derby when Bob Baffert lost (by a nose with Cavonnier),” Linton said. “I thought the photo was going to be just like that.”
Racing resumes Friday with an 11-race program that begins with a 2:45 p.m. (EDT) post time. The 108th running of the $100,000-added Bashford Manor Stakes for 2-years-old highlights the card and will go as the 10th race with a 7:24 p.m. post time. The 45-day Spring Meet closes Sunday.