(May 21, 2008) – Faith’s Magic, a 15-1 longshot trained by Jeff Talley and ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, collected his third win in his last four starts with a neck victory over A.P. Xcellent in Wednesday’s $44,575 allowance feature at Churchill Downs.
Faith’s Magic ran one mile over a “firm” turf course in 1:36.25 and earned the $29,727 first prize for owners Terry Raymond, Jana Wagner and Gus Goldsmith. Overall, the 4-year-old gelding has won four races and $139,048 in a dozen starts.
The Kentucky-bred son of Langfuhr was rated behind the leaders in the early stages of the race before making his winning move on the turf for home. Faith’s Magic collared A.P. Xcellent, the 7-2 third betting choice, with a furlong to run and proved best under Bridgmohan’s urging.
Faith’s Magic returned $32, $11.40 and $5.40. A.P. Xcellent, ridden by Larry Melancon, paid $5.80 and $4. Dominican finished another 1 ¼ lengths back in third under Miguel Mena and returned $4.40.
Wicked Style, the 2-1 favorite in the field of eight 3-year-olds and up, finished fifth. It was the Grade I Breeders’ Futurity winner’s first start since a 10th place finish in last year’s Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (GI) on Oct. 27 at Monmouth Park.
Also on Wednesday’s program at Churchill Downs, Koolmen Racing Stable’s A to the Croft returned to the winner’s circle in her first start for trainer Ken McPeek since a seventh-place finish in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks on May 2. The runner-up in the Grade I Spinaway and Grade I Alcibiades rolled to a 1 ¾-length score in 1:43.84 for 1 1/16 miles on turf under Robby Albarado, who notched his 698th career victory under the Twin Spires. A to the Croft paid $3.20 to win.
Live racing resumes Thursday at Churchill Downs with a nine-race program that commences at 1:15 p.m. ET.
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