Carl Moore Management’s Chamberlain Bridge collared Smart Enough in deep stretch and then held off a late charge from Cannonball by a neck to win the 15th running of the $112,800 AEGON Turf Sprint (Grade III) for 3-year-olds and up over the Matt Winn Turf Course at Churchill Downs on Friday afternoon.
The AEGON Turf was the first of six stakes, five of them graded, on the Kentucky Oaks card that featured 12 races.
Longshot Jazz Nation led the field down the backstretch with Smart Enough in closest pursuit and Chamberlain Bridge, under Garrett Gomez in third. Smart Enough, with Jeremy Rose up, cut the corner at the head of the lane and grabbed a clear lead at mid-stretch only to be overhauled by Chamberlain Bridge and then Cannonball.
Chamberlain Bridge, now undefeated in three starts over the Matt Winn Turf Course, gave trainer Bret Calhoun his second consecutive victory in the Aegon Turf. Mr. Nightlinger, who is co-owned by Carl Moore Management and Martin Racing Stable, won the 2008 renewal.
Chamberlain Bridge, the favorite in the field of seven, returned mutuels of $5.60, $3.20 and $2.60. Cannonball, ridden by Elvis Trujillo, returned $3.80 and $2.80 and finished a half-length in front of Smart Enough, who paid $2.60 to show.
Chamberlain Bridge, a 5-year-old gelded son of War Chant out of the Trempolino mare She’s Got Class, covered five furlongs on “yielding” turf in :57.06.
The victory was worth $68,537 and increased Chamberlain Bridge’s career earnings to $395,468 with his ninth victory in 18 starts.
AEGON TURF SPRINT QUOTES
BRET CALHOUN (trainer of winner Chamberlain Bridge) – “I thought we might be the lone speed in there. But he was fractious in the gate, and he broke a little tardy. I was concerned all the way down the backside, because he’s never run like that. I thought we weren’t going to get anything. This was the first time he’s showed us a different dimension, and it wasn’t by design. But he loves this turf course, and he’s three-for-three here now.”
GARRETT GOMEZ (jockey of winner Chamberlain Bridge) – “When he gets behind horses on the inside, it takes some of his speed away. The horse that was free wheeling on the lead started to come back quickly. But then I had a little trouble getting my horse focused but once I did, he came home well.”