Churchill Downs: Let It Ride Mom back in G3 Winning Colors

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Wednesday, May 22, 2019)Live Oak Plantation’s multiple stakes-winning mare Let It Ride Mom heads a competitive field of 12 filly and mare sprinters that were entered in Saturday’s 16th running of the $100,000 Winning Colors (Grade III) at Churchill Downs.

The six-furlong Winning Colors, which honors the Hall of Fame filly that prevailed against colts in the 1988 Kentucky Derby, is an annual Memorial Day weekend fixture and one of two stakes events on Saturday’s 11-race program. Churchill Downs’ first race is 12:45 p.m. (all times Eastern). The Winning Colors goes as Race 10 at approximately 5:26 p.m. and the seventh running of the $100,000-added Keertana Overnight Stakes, a 1 ½-mile grass marathon for fillies and mares, is the fourth race at approximately 2:13 p.m.

Trained by Mark Casse, Let It Ride Mom (16-4-6-1—$379,501) is slated to return from a six-month freshening in Saturday’s Winning Colors. The 5-year-old daughter of Into Mischief won last year’s Whimsical Stakes (GIII) at Woodbine over the synthetic surface and will make only her third career start on the dirt. Jockey Tyler Gaffalione has the call and will break from post No. 7.

Joining Let It Ride Mom in the starting gate is G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s recent two-length allowance winner Awestruck. Trained by Rusty Arnold III, the consistent Awestruck (19-4-5-2—$305,228) is seeking her first graded stakes victory. Brian Hernandez Jr. has the riding assignment from post 9.

Awestruck’s stablemate, four-time winner Annathela, also entered the Winning Colors following a six-month layoff. Owned by Michael and Reiko Baum, Annathela (21-4-7-2—$250,337) has been the tale of consistency beneath the Twin Spires with three wins, four seconds and one third in 10 starts at the Louisville racetrack. James Graham picks up the mount on the 6-year-old mare and will break from post 2.

The Winning Colors field from the rail out (with jockeys and trainers): Quick Quick Quick (Chris Landeros, Ian Wilkes); Annathela (Graham, Arnold); Upset Brewing (Edgar Morales, Buff Bradley); Classy Act (Adam Beschizza, Joe Sharp); She’s a Gypsy (Corey Lanerie, Helen Pitts-Blasi); Divine Queen (Calvin Borel, Bradley); Let It Ride Mom (Gaffalione, Casse); Astrollinthepark (Gabriel Saez, Larry Jones); Awestruck (Hernandez, Arnold); Salt Bae (Ricardo Santana Jr., Bernie Flint); Honey Bunny (Tyler Baze, John Ortiz); and Suzette (Javier Pardon-Barcenas, Tina Hurley). All horses will carry 120 pounds.

Churchill Downs admission gates will open Saturday at 11:30 a.m. General Admission is $5, reserved seating is $12 and reserved dining packages are $39. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at ChurchillDowns.com/Tickets.

With Memorial Day on Monday, Churchill Downs will have a special five-day holiday week of racing (with first race post time, number of races): Thursday (5 p.m., 8 races), Friday (12:45 p.m., 9 races), Saturday (12:45 p.m., 11 races), Sunday (12:45 p.m., 9 races) and Memorial Day Monday (12:45 p.m., 9 races).

The Twilight Thursday abbreviated eight-race program is highlighted by $1 select domestic beer cans, $3 Blue Moon drafts, food trucks, lawn games, one-on-one expert betting advice and live music on the Plaza Stage by band Joslyn and The Sweet Compression. There also is a $288,744 jackpot carryover for the 20-cent minimum Single 6 Jackpot on Races 3-8 and a $3,769 carryover in the $1 Super Hi-5 in Race 8.

In celebration of Memorial Day on Monday, all active and retired members of the United States armed forces will be admitted free of charge. Also, Churchill Downs’ bugler Steve Buttleman will perform patriotic melodies following the “Call to the Post” for each race.

 

GROUP III WINNER GAINING (GB) HEADS KEERTANA

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Wednesday, May 22, 2019)Juddmonte Farms’ Group III winner Gaining (GB) leads a field of six fillies and mares that were entered in Churchill Downs’ seventh running of the $100,000-added Keertana Overnight Stakes at 1 ½ miles on the Matt Winn Turf Course.

The Keertana is named for Barbara Hunter’s homebred Keertana, who won four of her nine starts at Churchill Downs, including a nose triumph over males in the $111,200 Louisville Handicap (Grade III) in 2011.

Carded as Race 4 at approximately 2:13 p.m. (all times Eastern), the Keertana is the first of two stakes events on Churchill Downs’ 11-race program Saturday. The 16th running of the $100,000 Winning Colors (GIII) will complete Saturday’s stakes action as Race 10 at approximately 5:26 p.m.

Trained by Brad Cox, Gaining (13-3-1-1—$162,347) most recently finished second in the April 26 Bewitch (GIII) at Keeneland. The three-time winner will be ridden by Florent Geroux from post No. 2.

Among the top competitors to Gaining in the Keertana are Morsches Stable’s Gentle Ruler andTrtiton Stable, G. Chris Coleman and Thomas Keenan’s Lacustre (GB) – the 1-2 finishers, respectively, in a first-level allowance race at Keeneland on April 24. Gentle Ruler (13-2-3-5—$158,650) drew post 6 withChris Landeros while Lacustre (6-1-2-0—$30,350) landed post 4 with Corey Lanerie.

The Keertana field from the rail out (with jockeys and assigned weights): Over Thinking (Stewart Elliott, Vicki Oliver); Gaining (GB) (Geroux, Cox); Room to Finish (Channing Hill, Wayne Catalano); Lacustre (GB) (Lanerie, Roger Attfield); Peru (GB) (Julien Leparoux, Mike Maker); and Gentle Ruler (Landeros, Ian Wilkes). All horses will tote 121 pounds.

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Jennie Rees