LOUISVILLE, KY (Saturday, May 29, 2010) - Zayat Stables' Riley Tucker, under a ground-saving trip from jockey Shaun Bridgmohan captured the 22nd running of the $107,900 Aristides (GIII) by two lengths over Atta Boy Roy on Saturday at Churchill Downs.
Second choice Atta Boy Roy, ridden by Calvin Borel, was off a step slow at the break but soon rushed up to join Chief of Affairs on the lead through a quarter of a mile in :21.33. Favored Cash Refund was a couple of lengths off the leaders while Bridgmohan steered Riley Tucker to the rail on the run down the backstretch.
The leaders remained unchanged after a half-mile in :44.19. Turning for home, Riley Tucker slipped to the inside of Chief of Affairs and surged past Atta Boy Roy to draw away to his fifth victory in 24 starts.
Trained by Steve Asmussen, Riley Tucker ran the six furlongs over a fast track in 1:08.34, the fastest time of the 21-day-old meet for the distance.
The victory was worth $66,229 and increased Riley Tucker's earnings to $440,805. Riley Tucker is a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Harlan's Holiday out of the Bold Ruckus mare My Sweet Country.
Riley Tucker returned $11.80, $4.20 and $2.60. Atta Boy Roy returned $3.40 and $2.20 with favored Cash Refund, ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., finishing another 2 ¾ lengths back and returning $2.10 to show. It was another 3 ¾ lengths back to Chief of Affairs, who was followed in order by Cassoulet and Lissa's Star.
SHAUN BRIDGMOHAN (jockey, RILEY TUCKER, winner): "He ran hard the whole way. I rode him a couple times and he's a honest horse and gives you what he's got. The fence opened up for him. He ran such a beautiful race. He broke sharp and I had to get a hold of him and got him to settle back behind some horses. Even though he was in behind, he was in the bridle the whole time and was just traveling real good."
SCOTT BLASI (assistant trainer to STEVE ASMUSSEN, RILEY TUCKER, winner): "The race set up perfect for us. It looked like a lot of speed on paper in here, and the race set up perfect for him. The horse is definitely getting better. He beat a tough bunch of horses here."
CALVIN BOREL (jockey, ATTA BOY ROY, second): "Good trip. He kind of stumbled there but other than that everything was fine. He just stumbled. I think it cost him a little. But he'll be alright. I like him."
BRIAN HERNANDEZ (jockey, CASH REFUND, third): "He ran an OK race. Turning for home, I thought he'd have a little more punch than he did. He just wasn't himself today, that's what it came down to."
NOTES: This was the second time trainer Steve Asmussen and jockey Shaun Bridgmohan teamed to win a stakes race at Churchill Downs this season. They also captured the Matt Winn Stakes on May 15 with Thiskyhasnolimit. . . . Asmussen bagged his second Aristides Stakes win. He won the 2003 renewal with Mountain General . . . This was Asmussen's 35th career stakes win at Churchill Downs, and the 20th local stakes triumph for Bridgmohan.
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