Kim and John Glenney’s Orthodox held off a late charge by Battle of Hastings (GB) by three-quarters of a length to spring a $93.20 upset in the 18th running of the $170,400 American Turf Presented by HRTV (Grade III) for 3-year-olds over Churchill Downs’ Matt Winn Turf Course.
Ridden by Jon Court, Orthodox chased pacesetter Turfiste through early fractions of :24.23 and :48.86 on the “yielding” course. Orthodox drew even with Turfiste at the head of the stretch and the duo was joined at the eighth pole by Battle of Hastings.
Turfiste, ridden by Jamie Theriot, began to fade at the eighth pole and Orthodox had enough left to hold off Battle of Hastings and Tyler Baze. Orthodox covered the mile and a sixteenth in 1:44.37 in defeating eight rivals.
Favored Stormalory was pulled up on the backstretch by jockey Julien Leparoux. Stormalory, owned by Darley Stable, suffered a condylar sesamoid fracture, a medial sesamoid fracture and a fracture in the pastern and had to be euthanized according to state veterinarian Dr. Bryce Peckham.
Orthodox returned mutuels of $93.20, $32.80 and $14.20. Battle of Hastings gave his backers payoffs of $4.60 and $3.60, with Turfiste returning $7.40 to show.
The victory, the third in nine starts for Orthodox, was worth $101,422 and increased his career earnings to $179,842. Bred by the Glenneys, Orthodox is a Kentucky-bred son of Pulpit out of the Strawberry Road mare Dominique’s Joy.
AMERICAN TURF QUOTES
JON COURT (rider of winner Orthodox) – “He was one of our Derby horses we were hoping to get here all spring, but he takes to the grass so well that races like this suit him best of all. I won on him in California and now here in Kentucky. John (owner/trainer John Glenney) just told me that if I had ridden this horse in his last two starts, we would have been racing in the big one tomorrow.
“I was a little worried today that he would try to do too much early. But he settled nicely, two or three lengths behind at one point, I just let him pick it up on his own and engage the pacesetter on his own doing. I just let him run the way he wanted to and didn’t rush him.”
JOHN GLENNEY (owner/trainer of winner Orthodox) – “He usually likes to be on the front end by himself, the lone speed. But in the paddock, Jon (jockey Court) and I agreed that he didn’t need the lead. I had a lot of confidence in him today because Jon was back aboard in a grass race. Jon got him to relax behind the speed horse, and he was running really well the whole way. He usually doesn’t like to pass horses, but this time, the leader was backing up a bit and he inherited the lead. He knew what to do from there. The rider change to Jon in a turf race made the difference today.”
TYLER BAZE (rider of second-place finisher Battle of Hastings) – “I thought I would be able to outkick them so I just waited a little longer with him. The other horse (Orthodox) went on again like he must have heard me coming. My horse ran good. No complaints and much more to look forward to in the future.”