Kinsman Stable’s Vanquisher made his Churchill Downs turf debut a successful one by rallying to collar pace-setting Petion Station just yards from the finish line to win Thursday afternoon’s $47,400 main attraction for 3-year-olds and up by a neck.
Ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan for trainer Bill Mott, Vanquisher covered the 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:43.19 in winning for the fourth time in 11 career starts. The $22,382 winner’s check increased Vanquisher’s career earnings to $91,354.
Petion Station, ridden by Jamie Theriot, maintained a daylight advantage in the run down the backstretch and increased the margin to a length and a half at midstretch but could not hold off Vanquisher’s late charge.
A 4-year-old homebred son of Gulch, Vanquisher returned $20.80, $9 and $5.20. Petion Station, the longest shot in the field of seven, returned $12 and $6.20. Finishing another 1 ¾ lengths back in third was Dominican, who paid $3 to show under Robby Albarado.
Closing week at Churchill Downs continues Friday with an 11-race card that begins at 1:15 p.m. EDT. In addition to live racing, on-track customers will be treated to the “World’s Largest Free Picnic” featuring live music, a classic car show and kids activities, and the start of the three-day U.S. Cycling Masters Road National Championships. Both activities will be staged in the Louisville racetrack’s famed infield.