Amerman Racing Stables’ homebred Admission Office overcame the outside post, rallied wide in the stretch and narrowly edged 6-5 favorite Arklow by a head to win Saturday’s 83rd running of the $100,000 Louisville Stakes presented by Longines (Grade III) at Churchill Downs in thrilling fashion.
Admission Office covered 1 ½ miles over firm turf in 2:27.25 – the second-fastest in the stakes’ history only behind Simmard’s 2:27.16 in 2012 – under jockey Julien Leparoux. Brian Lynch trains the winner for Mr. and Mrs. John Amerman.
No favorites won in the Single 6 Jackpot or Late Pick 5 sequences Saturday, which triggered massive carryovers for Sunday. The 50-cent Late Pick 5 carryover is $163,012 for Races 6-10, and the 20-cent Single 6 Jackpot carryover is $87,414 for Races 5-10. If Arklow would have won, Saturday’s Late Pick 5 and Single 6 Jackpot would have paid $434,700 and $87,414, respectively.
Lombo dictated the pace from the outset and led the field of 12 older horses through splits of :24.51, :49.59, 1:14.03 and 1:39.21 with Arklow galloping about five lengths behind in sixth along the inside and Admission Office to his outside in seventh. Last year’s Louisville winner Tiz a Slam took over around the final turn with Arklow set to pounce just behind along the inside hedge and Admission Office looming with a wide rally. Admission Office poked his head in front at the top of the stretch while Arklow briefly waited for room along the inside as Tiz a Slam faded. Arklow, after briefly brushing with Tiz a Slam, hit his best stride with a furlong to run but it was the unhindered Admission Office who prevailed in a tight photo.
“We settled into a really nice spot early and he really liked the extra distance today,” Leparoux said. “He kept fighting the entire stretch.”
Florent Geroux, Arklow’s jockey, said, “He got in a good spot early and we got a little tight late on the hedge. He was responding the whole time and ran a big race.”
The victory was worth $57,660 and improved Admission Office’s career earnings to $432,957 with a record of 4-5-2 in 14 starts. It was the first career stakes win for Admission Office, who was a bridesmaid in four previous stakes, including a trio of Grade II events.
“He’s been crying out for some more ground and a lot of his previous races he just seemed to be in the wrong spot at the wrong time,” Lynch said. “He’s run some big races to get beat just a head and a neck. Arklow is an outstanding horse and it was a great battle today. Thankfully we had our head down at the right time on the wire. He’s a well-accomplished horse and this will open the door up to more turf marathon races in the future.”
Admission Office returned $9.20, $4 and $2.80 as the 7-2 second betting choice. Arklow paid $3.40 and $2.80. He’s No Lemon, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, was another 1 ¼ lengths back in third and paid $4.40 to show.
Ry’s the Guy, Jais’s Solitude, Tiz a Slam, Apreciado, Perfect Tapatino (FR), Sky Promise, Golden Dragon, Fearsome (GB) and Lombo completed the order of finish.
Admission Office, a 5-year-old son of Point of Entry out the Royal Academy mare Miss Chapin, was bred in Kentucky by his owners.
Betting on Churchill Downs’ 11-race card on Saturday totaled $9,009,318.
Racing will continue Sunday beneath the Twin Spires with a 10-race card that begins at 1 p.m. (all times Eastern). The program will feature a trio of allowance races, including a first-level sprint for 3-year-olds at 6 ½ furlongs headlined by the Chad Brown-trained Toledo.
Racing from Churchill Downs on Sunday will air on FS2 from 2-2:30 p.m. and FS1 from 2:30-6:30 p.m. as part of FOX Sports’ “America’s Day at the Races” coverage. It also will be broadcast on MSG+ from 1-6:30 p.m.
Julien Leparoux, jockey of ADMISSION OFFICE (winner): “We settled into a really nice spot early and he really liked the extra distance today. He kept fighting the entire stretch.”
Brian Lynch, trainer of ADMISSION OFFICE (winner): “He’s been crying out for some more ground and a lot of his previous races he just seemed to be in the wrong spot at the wrong time. He’s run some big races to get beat just a head and a neck. Arklow is an outstanding horse and it was a great battle today. Thankfully we had our head down at the right time on the wire. He’s a well-accomplished horse and this will open the door up to more turf marathon races in the future.”
Florent Geroux, jockey of ARKLOW (runner-up): “He got in a good spot early and we got a little tight late on the hedge. He was responding the whole time and ran a big race.”