A fast early pace set up the closing late kick for SAB Stable Inc.’s Delaware Park invader Everett’s Song as he rallied to a 2 ¾-length victory over He’smyhoneybadger in Saturday’s first running of the $275,000 Harrods Creek for 3-year-olds at Churchill Downs.

Everett’s Song, trained by Dale Bennett and ridden by Pablo Morales, covered the seven furlongs on a fast track in 1:22.68 to give the trainer, jockey and ownership group, headed by Diane Olsen, their first wins at Churchill Downs.

The winner’s share of $162,525 increased Everett’s Song’s earnings to $226,525 with a record of 3-1-0 in four starts.

The connections were considering Everett’s Song for Saturday’s Grade I, $1 million Pennsylvania Derby over 1 1/8 miles at Parx – won by Hot Rod Charlie with Midnight Bourbon second – but prudently opted for the seven-furlong Harrods Creek instead.

“I owe it all to my owners for wanting to run in this spot,” Bennett said. “I thought the distance would fit him just fine from his previous three races.”

Dreamer’s Disease led the field of 10 down the backstretch through swift early fractions of :21.81 and :44.61 with Emerald Forest tracking in second and Everett’s Song in the clear well back in seventh. Leaving the turn, Everett’s Song cut the margin in half and was one of six horses that appeared to have a chance to win with a furlong to run. The collapse of the fast pace benefitted Everett’s Song as he surged to the front inside the final sixteenth of a mile and edged clear late.

“I knew I had a lot of horse underneath me,” Morales said. “I feel like every time I asked him to run he would just take off. Coming around the turn, I couldn’t wait to tip him out. Inside the final furlong he kept giving me more and more. I’m just extremely happy with his performance today and so thrilled for Dale and the owners. He’s a really nice horse.”

A maiden winner in July and three-length victor of a first-level allowance in August at Pimlico, Everett’s Song returned $27.60, $11.40 and $7.80 at odds of 12-1. He’smyhoneybadger rallied from second-to-last for second under Martin Garcia and paid $12.60 and $6.60 with last-to-third Ram finishing another length back in third and returning $8.20 to show under Rafael Bejarano.

Bob’s Edge, the tepid 3-1 favorite, was fourth and was followed by Emerald Forest, Wolfie’s Dynaghost, Flags Up, Dreamer’s Disease, Shadow Matter and St. Louis Derby runner-up Irish Unity.

Everett’s Song was bred in Kentucky by Maccabee Farm. He is a gelded son of Liam’s Map out of the Indian Charlie mare Pelipa.

“I still think he wants more distance,” Bennett said. “I’m not sure what we’ll end up doing next but we’re really pleased with his effort today.”

The race honors the neighborhood of Louisville centered near Harrods Creek at the intersection of River Road and Wolf Pen Branch Road. It is roughly bordered by the Ohio River to the west and US 42 to the east. Formerly an unincorporated community, it was designated a neighborhood of Louisville when the city merged with Jefferson County in 2003.

HARRODS CREEK QUOTES

Pablo Morales, jockey of EVERETT’S SONG (winner): “I knew I had a lot of horse underneath me. I feel like every time I asked him to run he would just take off. Coming around the turn, I couldn’t wait to tip him out. Inside the final furlong he kept giving me more and more. I’m just extremely happy with his performance today and so thrilled for Dale and the owners. He’s a really nice horse.”

Dale Bennett, trainer of EVERETT’S SONG (winner): “We were thinking about running on the Pennsylvania Derby card (at Parx) because I still think he wants more distance. I owe it all to my owners for wanting to run in this spot. I thought the distance would fit him just fine from his previous three races. I’m not sure what we’ll end up doing next but we’re really pleased with his effort today.”

Martin Garcia, jockey of HE’SMYHONEYBADGER (runner-up): “He ran a really good race. There was a lot of speed and he closed very well into the pace.”

Everett's Song
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