Katherine Ball’s multiple graded stakes winner Limousine Liberal returns to action Friday as the headliner in the eighth renewal of the $70,000-added Kelly’s Landing Overnight Stakes at Churchill Downs.
The Kelly’s Landing, which attracted a full-field of 14 sprinters, is one of three stakes races on Churchill Downs’ 11-race closing night card billed as “Downs After Dark Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka.” The seven-furlong Kelly’s Landing will go as Race 10 at 10:42 p.m. (all times Eastern).
A 13-1 upset winner in the $500,000 Churchill Downs Stakes (Grade II) on the Kentucky Derby undercard, Limousine Liberal returned to Churchill Downs and defeated five rivals in the $100,000 Aristides (GIII) on June 3 by 2 ½ lengths. The five-time winner has earnings of $832,000 and has recorded three of his victories locally beneath the historic Twin Spires.
Should Limousine Liberal win Friday night, he would join Finley’sluckycharm as a three-time stakes winner at the Spring Meet. Finley’sluckycharm became the first to accomplish the feat since Lunar Pal swept the Kentucky Juvenile, Kentucky Breeders’ Cup and Bashford Manor during the 2004 Spring Meet when she won Saturday’s $100,000 Chicago Handicap (GIII) after winning the Roxelana and Winning Colors (GIII) earlier in the meet.
One of Limousine Liberal’s foremost rivals is William “Buff” Bradley and Carl Hurst’s The Player. The 4-year-old chestnut colt by Street Hero has been on the sidelines since a runner-up finish in last July’s $512,000 Indiana Derby (GII). The Player has only finished off the board in one start in his five race career, earning two victories and two runner-up finishes with $172,442 in earnings.
The field for the Kelly’s Landing from the rail out (with jockey): Wabel (Brian Hernandez Jr.), Hebbronville (Joe Rocco Jr.), The Player (Shaun Bridgmohan), Limousine Liberal (Robby Albarado), Recount (Chris Landeros), Easy To Say (James Graham), Fish Trappe Road (Gabriel Saez), Vaporman (Didiel Osorio), Woodland Walk (Miguel Mena), Schivarelli (Julien Leparoux), The Truth or Else (Channing Hill), Bayerd (Florent Geroux), Solitary Ranger (Rogelio Miranda), and Wyeth (Corey Lanerie).
The race is named in honor of Summerplace Farm’s Kelly’s Landing, who earned $1,853,831 from a record of 10-3-2 in 27 starts for trainer Eddie Kenneally between 2004-09. The gelding won the six-furlong Aristides Handicap (GIII) at Churchill Downs in 2005 by stopping the teletimer in a track record 1:07.55 (since eclipsed). His biggest victory came in the 2007 Dubai Golden Shaheen at Nad Al Sheba in the United Arab Emirates. Kelly’s Landing also won the 2006 Phoenix (GIII) at Keeneland and 2007 Mr. Prospector Handicap (GIII) at Gulfstream Park.
General admission to Churchill Downs is $10 on Saturday night. Box seats are $25 and reserved dining packages are $70. They can be purchased online at www.ChurchillDowns.com/Tickets. New this year is the Guest Chef Series @ Millionaire’s Row, which will showcase Chef Patrick Roney of Harvest. The $149 tickets include a specially-designed menu by Roney and a full-bar package featuring specialty cocktails by Finlandia Vodka. All ticket options can be purchased online at www.ChurchillDowns.com/Tickets.
The evening’s entertainment includes music on the Plaza Stage courtesy of The Wannabeatles from 6-7:30 p.m., Tony & The Tan Lines from 7:30-11 p.m. and DJ Matt Anthony from 11 p.m. until midnight. There also will be a decades-inspired fashion contest, disco and cocktail demonstrations, Kentucky’s largest disco ball, the Magbooth Retro Bus Photo Booth and “Bet or No Bet” where four lucky fans can take $100 in cash or place a free $1,000 win bet on a horse in Races 6-9.
Because it’s closing night, there is a mandatory payout in Churchill Downs’ 20-cent minimum Single-6 Jackpot, which began Sunday with a $126,075 carryover. The daily six-race sequence has challenged bettors to select the winners of six consecutive races but the Jackpot pool only is paid if there is a single winning ticket. When multiple tickets contain six winners – which has been the case for each of the last 19 race days – 90 percent of that day’s pool is paid out and 10 percent is added to the Jackpot carryover. Takeout on the Single-6 Jackpot is just 15 percent, which is one of the lowest multi-race wager takeout rates in American racing.
Saturday night’s Single-6 Jackpot, including any added money in the carryover, will be paid to ticket holders with the most winners in the six-race series, which covers Races 4-9 starting at approximately 7:26 p.m.