(May 29, 2008) – Grand Obsession, the 2-1 favorite in a field of eight fillies and mares, rallied past 24-1 longshot Simply Seattle for a 2 ¾-length victory in Thursday’s $36,405 allowance feature at Churchill Downs.
Ridden by Julien Leparoux and trained by Eddie Kenneally, Grand Obsession ran five furlongs over a “firm” Matt Winn Turf Course in :56.63 en route to her third win in 11 career starts. The $20,336 winner’s share of the purse jumped the 3-year-old filly’s earnings to $85,086 for John Haran and Seamus Flanagan’s Eagle Valley Farm.
Simply Seattle broke fastest from the gate with Grand Obsession in close pursuit from second. After a quarter mile in :21.66, Leparoux asked Grand Obsession to vie for the lead at the head of the stretch. She immediately collared the longshot leader and put away Simply Seattle with a sixteenth of a mile to run for her first victory in five starts this year.
Grand Obsession, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Shore Breeze, returned $6.40, $3.80 and $2.80. Simply Seattle, ridden by Aldo Canchano, paid $16.80 and $5. Amanyara, the 3-1 second choice under Elvis Trujillo, edged Lily’s Place for third and returned $2.60.
Leparoux and Robby Albarado each won two races Thursday. The latter had a 30-29 advantage at day’s end in a tight race for “leading rider” honors at Churchill Downs.
Live racing continues Friday with a 10-race twilight program that begins at 2:45 p.m. ET. On-track customers can enjoy “Friday Happy Hours” with live music in the paddock area provided by The Hit Men. Also, there will be $2 Budweiser Select, $2 frozen drinks and $2 Fischer’s Hot Dogs on sale between 4-7 p.m.
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