Kirk and Judy Robison’s Vertical Oak repelled the bid of Awestruck to win the $100,000 Dream Supreme Overnight Stakes by 2 ¾ lengths Sunday at Churchill Downs.
Ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr., Vertical Oak pressed the early pace set by Student Body through an opening quarter mile in :22.28. At the three-eighths pole, Santana took command of the race when Vertical Oak rallied three wide and held off late-running Awestruck to complete the six furlongs in 1:09.53.
“She was so impressive today,” Santana said. “We needed that one. She fought hard when she saw the horses on the inside of her. She’s a really nice filly and I’m happy she got back to the winner’s circle today.”
Trained by Steve Asmussen, Vertical Oak returned $4.60, $2.60 and $2.10. Awestruck, ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., paid $4.40 and $2.80 while third-place finisher Dream Pauline returned $3.
“That was a really nice race,” said Asmussen, who also saddled Savorthetime (2004) and Speedinthruthecity (2014) to Dream Supreme victories. “She’s a very fast filly and that was a great effort.”
Vertical Oak now has eight wins through 20 starts, including three victories beneath the Twin Spires. The 4-year-old filly by Giant Oak has amassed $716,565 in purse earnings.
Lucy N Ethel, Astrollinthepark, Thirteen Songs, Swing and Sway and Student Body completed the running order.
With dark days Monday and Tuesday, live racing will resume Wednesday at Churchill Downs with a first post of 1 p.m. EST. There is a Single 6 Jackpot carryover of $31,367 on Races 5-10 and a $21,311 carryover for the Super Hi-5 in the finale.
DREAM SUPREME QUOTES
Ricardo Santana Jr., jockey of VERTICAL OAK (winner): “She was so impressive today. We needed that one. She fought hard when she saw the horses on the inside of her. She’s a really nice filly and I’m happy she got back to the winner’s circle today.”
Steve Asmussen, trainer of VERTICAL OAK (winner): “That was a really nice race. She’s a very fast filly and that was a great effort. We’re very proud of her.”
Brian Hernandez Jr., jockey of AWESTRUCK (runner-up): “That was a tough race for an overnight stakes. She ran a great race against a nice field.”