Four D Stable’s Turallure split horses in mid-stretch and gradually wore down Tajaaweed to win the $74,874 Opening Verse by a length on Friday night at Churchill Downs before an on-track crowd of 23,332.
Richard Glander’s Exchanging Kisses and Keith Chudzik’s Amun Re were the early pace-setters for the spread out field of five and set fractions of :23.16, :46.11 and 1:09.85 while Turallure was well-held in last by jockey Julien Leparoux. Turallure, a 4-year old son of Canadian Triple Crown winner Wando, began picking off horses at the top of the stretch, split horses at the eighth-pole, and finally took the lead with less than a sixteenth of a mile to run. Trained by Charlie Lopresti, Turallure covered the 1 1/16 miles over a firm Matt Winn Turf Course in 1:40.41.
Breaking from the gate as the 6-5 favorite, Turallure returned mutuels of $4.40, $2.40 and $2.20. Shadwell Stable’s Tajaaweed was second to return $2.80 and $2.40, with Ron McCauley’s Kingofthebluegrass back in the third returning $2.40. Amun Re and Exchanging Kisses rounded out the field.
The victory was worth $46,380 and increased Turallure’s bankroll to $169,585 with a record of 4-2-3 from 12 starts.
Racing continues Saturday with Stephen Foster Day Presented by Abu Dhabi, highlighted by five graded stakes events (Races 6, 9-12) topped off by the Grade I, $500,000-added Stephen Foster Presented by Abu Dhabi (Grade I). Post time for the first race is 12:45 p.m. EDT. Saturday’s card also will feature the first Arabian race in the storied history of Churchill Downs. The Grade I, $50,000-added The President of United Arab Emirates Cup is scheduled to be run as Race 6 with a post time of 3:23 p.m.
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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