James Lauffer and Poplar Hill Equine’s Persuading challenged for the lead at the quarter-pole, battled with Hidden Value down the Churchill Downs stretch and edged clear inside the sixteenth pole to win the $66,836 Sunday feature beneath the Twin Spires by 1 ¼ lengths. Also on the program, Ready’s Rocket won his 10th race at Churchill Downs, which is a modern-day record.
Westrock Stables LLC’s Hidden Value broke out to an early five-length lead and set fractions of :23.55, :47.40 and :1:11.54, while Persuading was rated in fourth under Jesus Castanon. A 4-year-old daughter of Broken Vow, Persuading hooked Hidden Value at the top of the stretch and battled with that rival until finally gaining an advantage at the sixteenth pole and held off a belated run from Sweetest Song.
Trained by Dale Romans, Persuading covered the mile on a muddy Churchill Downs track in 1:36.75. The race was originally scheduled for the Matt Winn Turf Course, but early morning showers caused the race to be moved to the main track.
Persuading broke as the even-money favorite and returned mutuels of $4.20 and $2.40. James B. Tafel LLC’s Sweetest Song finished second to return $2.80. There was no show wagering offered on the race. The victory was worth $40,920 and increased Persuading’s bankroll to $245,532 with a record of 4-3-2 from 15 starts.
Earlier, Deann Baer, Margaret Woodside and Tim Glyshaw’s Ready’s Rocket captured his 10th victory beneath the Twin Spires in winning Sunday’s first race under Calvin Borel. Ready’s Rocket has more Churchill Downs wins than any other horse since 1991, which is the first year detailed information was gathered by Equibase.
Racing resumes at Churchill Downs on Thursday with a 12-race program that kicks off at 12:45 p.m. EDT. Only five racing dates remain at the 2011 Spring Meet. Closing day is Monday, July 4.
Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 138th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 5, 2012. The track’s 2011 Spring Meet opened April 30 and continues through July 4. Churchill Downs has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record seven times and the event will return to the track for its next renewal on Nov. 4-5, 2011. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.
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