Louisville Stakes: Admission Office edges Arklow by a head

Stakes recap by Churchill Downs’ publicity department (Coady Photography photos)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Saturday, June 13, 2020)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 ofFOX Sports’ “America’s Day at the Races” coverage. It also will be broadcast on MSG+ from 1-6:30 p.m.


Jennie Rees is a communications and advocacy specialist in the horse industry who spent 32 years covering horse racing for The (Louisville) Courier-Journal before taking a corporate buyout. In addition to handling communications for the Kentucky HBPA, Rees is Kentucky Downs’ publicity director, manages in-season racing publicity for Ellis Park and serves as a consultant to the National HBPA. Other projects include the Preakness Stakes, Indiana Grand’s Indiana Derby Week and work for various HBPA affiliates and horsemen’s associations.