Tom Grether Farms’ Intangaroo, ridden by Alonso Quinonez, got up in the final jump to edge Baroness Thatcher and Hystericalady in a three-horse photo to win the 22nd running of the $334,800 Humana Distaff (GI) for fillies and mares four-years-old and up at Churchill Downs on Saturday afternoon.
Hystericalady, winner of the 2007 Humana Distaff, was engaged in a four-horse speed duel in the run down the backside. As the leaders cut out fractions of :22.27 and :44.31, Quinonez had Intangaroo racing in seventh place in the field of eight and on the outside, clear of traffic.
Turning for home, Baroness Thatcher made the first move at the dueling leaders. Hystericalady disposed of her early company, but was soon joined by Baroness Thatcher and then Intangaroo on the far outside. The trio hit the wire together with Intangaroo prevailing by a head over Baroness Thatcher with Hystericalady another nose back.
The winner covered the seven furlongs over a “fast” track in 1:22.03.
A 4-year-old daughter Kentucky-bred daughter of Orientate out of the Tasso mare Tasso’s Magic Roo, Intangaroo earned $201,348 for her fourth victory in 10 starts and increased her career earnings to $464,229. It was the second Grade I victory of the year for Intangaroo, who is trained by Gary Sherlock. Earlier she had won the Santa Monica Handicap at Santa Anita.
Intangaroo returned mutuels of $30, $12.40 and $6.80. Baroness Thatcher, under John Velazquez, paid $14.80 and $7.20 while Hystericalady, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, returned $3.60 to show.
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 conduct the 134th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 3, 2008. The track’s 2008 Spring Meet runs from April 26 through July 6. Churchill Downs has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record six times. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.
STAKES QUOTES: THE HUMANA DISTAFF
Alonso Quinonez (winning jockey, Intangaroo) – “She ran a great race. I was just very patient and I knew I could be with the long stretch. We just waited to get through (in the stretch), get clear and turn her loose.
“We talked about how the pace scenario was going to be perfect for us. We just let the speed horses go to the front, sit behind them and then make our move turning for home.”
Gary Sherlock (winning trainer, Intangaroo) – “She really vindicated her win in the Santa Monica (Feb. 2). A lot of people thought she lucked out in that race. But she’s a great filly and I always felt that way.”
Regarding her first start on a dirt track...
“She galloped here yesterday as good as a horse can gallop. She just floated over the track.
“She has always been bomb-proof. She really gives it her all and finishes well. The jock rode her perfectly.
“I wouldn’t have come all this way just to be here. The goal has been the Breeders’ Cup all the time. For her next start, the A Gleam (7 furlongs on June 28 at Hollywood Park) is a possibility.”
John Velazquez (jockey, Baroness Thatcher, 2nd) – “Tough beat. It set up great for her. There was speed and we had a good spot. I had to go a little wide with her, but it was fine. I saw that filly down inside (Hystericalady) and I focused on her. My filly went after her and we got her. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw this thing flying outside us and she beat us both. But my filly ran great. We did everything but win.”
Rafael Bejarano (jockey, Hystericalady, 3rd) – “I was in a bad position. I had not choice but to use her and go. There was too much speed in there. We were flying and my horse was giving all she had, but the post got us. If she was outside I could have put her in a better spot, but we had to go.”
Javier Castellano (jockey, Sugar Swirl, 5th) – “She was pretty sharp from the gate today and was battling hard early. She just got tired. That wasn’t her best effort, for sure. She’ll be back. She’s better than that.”