David Garner’s homebred Elusive Jozi charged down the stretch of the Matt Winn Turf Course, caught early-pacesetter Scintillation inside the sixteenth-pole and beat Costly to the wire to win the $64,155 Thursday afternoon feature for fillies and mares at Churchill Downs by three-quarters of a length.
Trained by Ralph Nicks and ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., the 4-year-old daughter of Johannesburg covered the five furlongs on the firm going in :57.56.
Rated in fourth through an opening quarter of :22.61, Elusive Jozi moved for the lead at the quarter-pole, angled out for the drive and finally wore down Scintillation, who had opened up a 2 ½-length advantage in the stretch under Robby Albarado. Costly, with Corey Lanerie aboard, also closed quickly in the final stages of the race, but was outkicked by Elusive Jozi and had to settle for the place.
Breaking from the gate as the 6-1 sixth-choice in the field of eight, Elusive Jozi returned mutuels of $14.20, $8.40 and $5.40. Diamond F Racing’s Costly finished second to return $5.20 and $4.20 with Ronny Werner’s Scintillation another half-length back in third returning $4.
The victory was worth $39,120 and increased Elusive Jozi’s bankroll to $133,198 with a record of 3-1-3 from 14 career starts.
Racing continues Friday with the final “Downs After Dark” program of the Spring Meet. First post for the special 13-race card is 5 p.m. EDT.
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: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 5, 2012. The track’s 2011 Spring Meet opened April 30 and continues through July 4. Churchill Downs has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record seven times and the event will return to the track for its next renewal on Nov. 4-5, 2011. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.
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