Michael Helmbrecht’s Music City survived a speed duel with favored Barge to win the $59,824 Morluc overnight stakes for 3-year-olds and up by 2 ½ lengths before a “Downs After Dark” crowd of 24,645 on Friday night at Churchill Downs.
A total of 25,102 fans were on hand last Friday night for the first of four Downs After Dark” programs during the Spring Meet. Remaining “Downs After Dark” programs are June 25 and July 2.
Trained by Bill Helmbrecht and ridden by Thomas Pompell, Music City and Barge raced as a team through fractions of :21.93 and :44.51. However, at the eighth pole, Music City began to inch away to secure his third victory in as many starts in 2010.
Music City, a 4-year-old Maryland-bred son of City Zip out of the Play On mare Play Po, covered the five furlongs on a firm Matt Winn Turf Course in :56.56. The victory, the sixth in 15 career starts for Music City, was worth $33,180 and increased his earnings to $158,159.
Music City returned $26.60, $8.80 and $5.20. Barge, ridden by Jon Court, returned $3.40 and $2.60 and finished a half-length in front of Free Brave, who paid $3.20 to show under Miguel Mena. Completing the field in order were Awakino Cat, Cassoulet, Hold the Salt, Turfiste and Hail to Shiloh.
Racing resumes Saturday with an 11-race program beginning at 12:45 p.m. (EDT). There will be a three-day Pick 6 carryover of $14,934 on races six through 11 with post time for the sixth race at approximately 3:26 p.m.