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Market Rumor runs down stablemate Undisturbed to win Ellis Park Turf

Ellis Park stakes recap by Megan Devine (Coady Photography photos)

HENDERSON, Ky. (Sunday, July 17, 2022) — As he watched the final furlong unfold in the $75,000 Ellis Park Turf Stakes Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance, trainer Ian Wilkes had the best kind of problem on his hands.

His allegiance was split between both the determined distaffers on the front end but he knew no matter who prevailed, he was going to have some celebrating to do.

“It’s always great when you come into the straight and your two are 1-2 in a stakes, you know,” Wilkes laughed. “It doesn’t matter where it’s at, you’re always happy to see that.”

The Pea Patch faithful got to watch both Wilkes trainees own the spotlight on July 17 as the 5-year-old Market Rumor ran down her stablemate Undisturbed in late stretch to capture the 1 1/16-miles Ellis Park Turf by half a length and earn the first stakes victory of her 20-race career.

The Ellis Park Turf was the lone race to remain on the grass Sunday as weather continues to wreak havoc with the track’s turf lineup. Fortunately for Market Rumor, the bay mare is accustomed to handling whatever surface she is asked to run over as she has earned top three placings at seven of the eight tracks she has visited. 

What the daughter of Afleet Alex hadn’t yet earned was a stakes victory, something she took care of in professional fashion on Sunday. With Undisturbed winging away on the lead through fractions of :24.82 and :48.88, Market Rumor rated patiently in sixth over the yielding ground, waiting for regular rider Chris Landeros to give her the cue to go on. 

“I kind of just break and let her dictate where she needs to be,” Landeros said. “She’s versatile. You don’t want to get in a hurry with her but you also don’t want to take anything away from her. She’s as cool as they come. She’s just a cool filly. She’s grown up a lot.”

Chris Landeros guided Market Rumor to her first stakes victory in the Ellis Park Turf. Coady Photography

Market Rumor may not have owned a stakes win prior to Sunday but she had the back class of defeating stakes-quality horses. When she won an allowance race at Keeneland on April 23, she toppled Gam’s Mission, who returned to take the Old Forester Mint Julep Stakes (G3) at Churchill Downs on June 5. 

That top-quality turn of foot came through as the seven-horse field reached the final turn in the Ellis Park Turf. As Undisturbed worked to fend off a challenge from Joy of Painting to her outside, Market Rumor advanced five-wide and kept her momentum down the lane despite being well out in the middle of the track.

“It’s very satisfying. She needed a stakes win,” Wilkes said of Market Rumor. “She’s been second in a stakes so this is huge for her and the owners as she’s a homebred. I’m very proud of the other filly too (Undisturbed), she ran game. I was happy to see her bounce back to form, because she’s been in and out of form.  I’m just so proud of them both.”

Final time for the distance was 1:43.42.

Sent off as the 6-5 favorite, Market Rumor paid $4.52, $2.72, and $2.30 to her backers while improving her overall record to five wins from 20 starts with $397,563 in earnings. Undisturbed – whose two career wins both came at Ellis Park – was 3 1/2 lengths clear of third-place finisher Demodog with Fair Game and Caroline’s Story rounding out the top five. 

Owned and co-bred by Randall Bloch, Six Column Stables, LLC, et al, Market Rumor was bred in Kentucky out of the Street Sense mare Taylor Street.

“I’d love to try and separate them going forward because I’d love to get a stakes win on Undisturbed,” Wilkes said when asked what might be next for his duo. “She deserves to win a stakes somewhere so I’m going to separate them some way.”

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.