Summer Wind Farm’s Kiddari wore down Vertical Vision in the final eighth of a mile to win the $66,500-added Roxelana overnight stakes for fillies and mares by 1 ¾ lengths before a “Downs After Dark” crowd of 32,481 on Friday night at Churchill Downs.
Friday night’s attendance was the highest of the four “Downs After Dark” programs this meet and increased the average to 27,139. Two more “Downs After Dark” programs are scheduled for the Fall Meet: Opening day, Sunday Oct. 31 and Friday, Nov. 19.
Trained by Bill Mott and ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, Kiddari ran the seven furlongs on a fast main track in 1:23.50.
Vertical Vision, ridden by Victor Lebron, led the field of seven through early fractions of :23.48 and :46.88 with Kiddari in closest pursuit. Vertical Vision maintained the advantage until the eighth pole when Kiddari drew alongside and then drew away for the victory.
The victory, the third in as many starts at Churchill Downs and fifth in 14 career outings, was worth $40,800 and increased Kiddari’s earnings to $181,992.
Kiddari, a 4-year-old homebred daughter of 2004 Kentucky Derby winner Smarty Jones, paid $17, $8 and $5. Vertical Vision returned $7.20 and $5.60 in finishing a neck ahead of Be Fair, who paid $3.80 to show under Calvin Borel.
Churchill Downs officials had earlier announced an attendance figure of 30,092 for the last of Spring Meet’s “Downs After Dark” racing sessions, but then discovered that a turnstile at one of its entrance gates had malfunctioned and failed to electronically report the number of fans that had passed through the device. A manual recount of activity at that turnstile resulted in the addition of 2,389 fans to the evening’s previously announced attendance total.
Racing resumes Saturday with an 11-race program beginning at 12:45 p.m. (EDT) that features two Grade III stakes: The $100,000-added Locust Grove for fillies and mares going a mile on the Matt Winn Turf Course and the $100,000-added Bashford Manor Presented by Fasig-Tipton for 2-year-olds going six furlongs on the main track. There is a three-day Super Hi-5 carryover of $74,459 on the 11th race (5:56 p.m. post time) in which the first five finishers must be selected in order.
The 42-day Spring Meet concludes Sunday with an 11-race program beginning at 12:45 p.m. and the anticipated return to the races of 2009 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) winner Mine That Bird in the Firecracker Handicap (GII) Presented by Thorntons.