LOUISVILLE, KY (Saturday, May 1, 2010) – Avalon Farms’ Buckleupbuettercup rallied from far off the pace to win the $110,700 Eight Belles (GIII) for 3-year-old fillies by 6 ¼ lengths over Visavis on Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs.
Trained by Eddie Kenneally and ridden by Julien Leparoux, Buckleupbuttercup covered the 7 ½ furlongs on a sloppy track in 1:29.49.
Favored Hot Dixie Chick and Decelerator battled for the lead through fractions of :23 and :45.37 with Visavis tracking a close third and Buckleupbuttercup in fifth another six lengths back.
The leading trio hit the top of the stretch as a team with Buckleupbuttercup sweeping past the leaders with a four-wide move and cruising to victory in her stakes debut.
A Kentucky-bred daughter of Najran out of the Conquistador Cielo mare Golden Borders, Buckleupbuttercup added $67,261 to her bankroll for career earnings of $118,621 with a record of 7-4-2-1.
Buckleupbuttercup returned $17.80, $6.80 and $3.60. Visavis, ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, returned $6 and $3.40 in finishing 1 ½ lengths ahead of Hot Dixie Chick, who paid $2.20 to show under Robby Albarado. It was another two lengths back to Bell’s Shoes, who was followed in order by Sister Resistor, Decelerator and Kantstopdancin.
EIGHT BELLES QUOTES
JULIEN LEPAROUX (Jockey, Buckleupbuttercup, winner): “Before the race everybody, looking at paper, you wouldn’t pick her. But that’s horse racing, you never know. She loved it (the sloppy surface). The trainer (Eddie Kenneally) just told me to get her to relax behind them as much as I can and she finished very good. That’s a good surprise. She just loved it and that was good.”
Is the outside the place to be so far today? “It’s about the same just right on the rail it’s kind of a little deeper. But I would say from the two out, the rest of the track, it’s about the same.”
EDDIE KENNEALLY (Trainer, Buckleupbuttercup, winner): “She’s a very confident filly who shows up every time. I knew she would like the slop and there was a lot of pace in the race. Julien (Leparoux) was patient.
“She gained some confidence with racing and has become very professional. She’s 4-for-4 on dirt, so it looks like she’ll stay on dirt.”
On why she debuted for a maiden claiming tag: “That’s where she looked like she fit or belonged at the time. She’s improved greatly since.”
SHAUN BRIDGMOHAN (Jockey, Visavis, second) – “I had a good trip and she handled it (the wet track) all right. The track is OK. I don’t think we’re going to have any problems with it today.”
ROBBY ALBARADO (Jockey, Hot Dixie Chick, third) – “She took a little bump coming away from there but that didn’t have much affect on anything. She tried; she fired it in when I asked her. She just wasn’t good enough today. The track is good. It’s not a problem.”
About Churchill Downs
Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will host the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on Saturday, May 1 and the Kentucky Oaks on Friday, April 30. The track will conduct its 2010 Spring Meet from Saturday, April 24 through Sunday, July 4. Churchill Downs is scheduled to host the Breeders’ Cup World Championships for a record seventh time on Nov. 5 and 6, 2010. Churchill Downs tickets are available at http://tickets.churchilldowns.com or by calling (502) 636-4400. Additional information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.