Stonestreet Stable’s Kantharos overcame a stumble at the break to cruise to a 9 ½-length victory over Lou Brissie to win the 109th running of the $108,200 Bashford Manor Presented by Fasig-Tipton (Grade III) on Saturday afternoon at Churchill Downs.
Trained by Steve Asmussen and ridden by Robby Albarado, Kantharos spotted the field of six a couple of steps at the break as longshots Thewayitusedtobe and Gold for Cash led the field through the first quarter-mile in :21.81
Midway on the far turn, Albarado sent Kantharos after the leaders and quickly assumed command and was never threatened in completing the six furlongs on a fast main track in 1:09.89. The victory was worth $66,413 and increased Kantharos’ earnings to $95,213 with two victories in two starts.
Kantharos is a Kentucky-bred son of Lion Heart out of the Southern Halo mare Contessa Halo.
It was the third Bashford Manor victory for Asmussen, who won the race in 2004 with Lunarpal and 2007 with Kodiak Kowboy. Albarado won the race for the second time, having scored in 2003 with Limehouse.
Kantharos, who won at first asking by 11 ¾ lengths on May 13, returned $3.40, $2.10 and $2.10. Lou Brissie, ridden by Corey Lanerie, returned $2.20 and $2.10 and finished a half-length in front of Speed Demon, who paid $2.60 to show under Jamie Theriot. It was three lengths back to Saturday Dance, who was followed by Gold for Cash and Thewayitusedtobe.
The 42-day Spring Meet comes to a conclusion Sunday with an 11-race program beginning at 12:45 p.m. (EDT). Highlighting the card is the 20th running of the $175,000-added Firecracker Handicap (GII) that goes as the day’s 10th race (5:26 p.m. post time) and the return to the races of 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird. There’s also a Pick 6 carryover $7,208 on races 6-11 with a mandatory payout.
BASHFORD MANOR QUOTES
ROBBY ALBARADO (jockey, KANTHAROS, winner): “For him stumbling and everything, he picked himself up. He’s a very athletic colt. He put himself in the race easily. At the three-eighths pole he let know me he was ready and he just sprinted home. Very, very impressive. I felt unbelievable from the eighth pole home. It was nothing for him; the sky is the limit. I don’t know how good he can be. I haven’t squeezed him yet and neither has (trainer) Steve (Asmussen). It’s scary good. Saratoga will be exciting. I always say, ‘You need one good horse to go to Saratoga with’ and this might be my one good horse. This is a special colt.”
STEVE ASMUSSEN (trainer, KANTHAROS, first): “He’s a very exciting horse. He is a very straight-forward horse. John Moynihan bought him out of the March OBS sale from Eddie Woods, and he came into the barn a professional. He’s not made a mistake and his two races so far have been exciting. Hopefully we can make some of the right moves with him because he has a tremendous amount of talent. He looked great coming down the stretch and it was such an exciting race. We’ll talk to (owner) Mr. (Jess) Jackson about his next race, but we’ll get him out of the weather and move north with him.”
COREY LANERIE (jockey, LOU BRISSIE, second): “It was a good trip. My horse laid back there and I kept him back three or four wide. I had the winner in my sight the whole time but he was just too much horse today and kicked away from me at the top of the lane.”