Malih Al Basti Racing Stable’s Karama proved best by a head after a stretch-long duel over Taurus the Bull to win Friday’s featured $43,810 Desert Light Purse for 3-year-olds on the second “Downs After Dark” program before 27,623 at Churchill Downs.

Ridden by Fernando Jara, Karama tracked the pace-setting Taurus the Bull under Calvin Borel until drawing on even terms at the head of the stretch. The two raced as a team to the wire with Karama covering the 1 1/16 miles on a fast main track in 1:43.93 in turning back seven rivals.

The victory, the second in three starts for Karama, was worth $24,600 and increased his earnings to $56,440. Trained by Kellyn Gorder, Karama is a Florida-bred son of Macho Uno.

Karama returned mutuels of $20, $8.60 and $4. Taurus the Bull paid $5.20 and $3 and finished 1 ¼ lengths in front Zion, who paid $3.40 to show under Brian Hernandez Jr.

    The biggest winner of the night was David Sherry from Louisville. Sherry, whose name was one of five drawn for the “Bet Or No Bet Sweepstakes,” chose to take a $1,000 win bet in the seventh race on Candid Image instead of $100 in cash. Candid Image won to earn Sherry a $7,900 payday.

    “I don’t win at the track very often,” Sherry said. “I’m splitting the money with my buddy and paying off my grandson’s debts.”

    Racing resumes Saturday with an 11-race card beginning at 12:45 p.m. EDT. Highlighting the program will be the 109th running of the $100,000-added Debutante Stakes (Grade III) for 2-year-old fillies going six furlongs on the main track. The Debutante is the 10th race on the card.

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