The $150K Audobon Stakes was won by CELLIST, ridden by Julien Leparoux, trained by George Arnold II, owned by Calumet Farm — in a gate to wire effort.
CELLIST broke a bit awkwardly under Julien Leparoux, but hustled and secured the lead, permitted to run uncontested through early fractions of 25.54 and 51.20. He was cruising through the backstretch, with ears pricking back and forth. As the field turned for home, an onslaught of challengers appeared — PALAZZI, ROYAL PRINCE, LIKE THE KING, HIDDEN ENEMY — all with a fighting chance. But CELLIST had more in reserve, spurting away nicely in the last furlong and holding off the persistent PALAZZI by a length. Palazzi finished second, four lengths clear of ROYAL PRINCE in third. The final time for the one mile and one-eighths on turf was 1:51.53.
CELLIST paid $7.60 win, $4.80 to place, and $3.20 to show. He is by BIG BLUE KITTEN out of CELLO by ENGLISH CHANNEL. He improves his record to 2 wins from 4 tries, pushes his earnings to $131,740, while achieving a new top speed figure to shoe.
The $150K Blame Stakes was won by MIGHTY HEART, ridden by James Graham, trained by Josie Carroll, owned by Lawrence Cordes — in a three-way photo.
MIGHTY HEART was away well from the inside rail, but at the turn, switched to the three-path for jockey James Graham, pursuant to their run through the backstretch. The field ran through opening quarters in 24.32 and 49.07, led by AMERICAN DUBAI. It was a pedestrian pace for the compact field, only five lengths covering them front to back. Turning for home and into the stretch, AMERICAN DUBAI was still the one to catch, with the trio of horses behind him — MIGHTY HEART, NIGHT OPS, and SPRAWL — all plugging away. But in the final sixteenth of a mile, AMERICAN DUBAI fatigues and backs out of it, leaving the same trio to hit the wire together. It was a photo finish which revealed MIGHTY HEART getting the better of the bobs.. NIGHT OPS was a nose back in second, SPRAWL was a head back in third. The final time for the one mile and one-eighth run on dirt was 1:50.00.
MIGHT HEART paid $21.40 to win, $7.20 to place, and $3.60 to show. He is by DRAMEDY out of EMMA'S BULLSEYE by CITY PLACE. He wins his first try at Churchill Downs while pushing his earnings to $794,759.
The $150K Shawnee Stakes was won by ENVOUTANTE, ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr., trained by Kenneth McPeek, owned by Walking L Thoroughbreds, LLC and Three Chimneys Farm — in a commanding score.
ENVOUTANTE broke alertly for Brian Hernandez Jr. and took a tracking trip in second, pressing pacesetter MISS BIGLY through early fractions of 48.20 and 24.14. ENVOUTANTE makes her move leaving the backside and sticks her head out in front at the turn. The others are of no threat. When Brian Hernandez Jr. fully extended her, ENVOUTANTE responded brilliantly, kicking clear to a four length advantage and finishing first under the wire. MISS BIGLY finished second, PARIS LIGHTS got up for third. The final time for the one mile and one-sixteenth was 1:42.59.
ENVOUTANTE paid $2.80 to win, $2.20 to place, and $2.10 to show. She is by UNCLE MO and out ENCHANTE by BLUEGRASS CAT. She wins her first race of the year, improves her Churchill Downs overall record to 3 wins, 1 second, from 4 total tries, while pushing her earnings to $531,738.
The $150K Regret Stakes (G3) was won by GAM'S MISSION, ridden by Adam Beschizza, trained by Cherie DeVaux, owned by Lazy F Ranch (Corbett) — with a strong late kick.
GAM'S MISSION was bumped at the start but recovered for Adam Beschizza to take a tracking trip in mid pack, while the pacesetters pushed the opening quarters in 24.55 and 49.55. It was 16-1 shot POSTNUP and 7-5 favorite SPANISH LOVEAFFAIR dictating the terms in front. GAM'S MISSION raced patiently in fifth before being swung four-wide into the stretch, and ultimately reeling in her rivals to win by almost a length. SPANISH LOVEAFFAIR ran second, FLOWN secured third. The final time for the one mile and one-eighth on turf was 1:51.02.
GAM'S MISSION paid $14.20 to win, $5.80 to place, and $3.80 to show. She is by NOBLE MISSION out of AUNTIE MARTHA by WAR PASS. She secures her third victory in a row, pushes her earnings to $201,258, and achieves a new top speed figure.
The $150K Matt Winn Stakes (G3) was won by FULSOME, ridden by Florent Geroux, trained by Brad Cox, owned by Juddmonte Farms Inc — with a powerful come-from-behind score.
FULSOME was away slowly but content to race at the back of the pack for Florent Geroux, while HELIUM set the early pace of 23.75 and 48.69. FULSOME was loping along the backside unhurried, and began his move leaving the backstretch. Passing horses one by one, he tailed O BESOS rounding the final turn, before exploding in the stretch with tremendous energy, drawing off to win by four lengths under the wire. O BESOS ran well to be second. HELIUM hung on for third. The final time for the one mile and one-sixteenth on dirt was 1:42.88.
FULSOME paid $5.40 to win, $2.80 to place, and $2.40 to show. He is by INTO MISCHIEF out of FLOURISH by DISTORTED HUMOR. He earns his fourth victory in a row, pushes his earnings to $373,843, and achieves a new top speed figure.
Keep an eye out for O BESOS next start. He ran well in defeat — full of run entering the stretch but was still on hold. Perhaps an earlier move next time out could produce a stronger finish, as he was outrun the last two furlongs.
The $150K Aristides Stakes was won by BANGO, ridden by Marcelino Pedroza, trained by Gregory Foley, owned by Tamaroak Partners LLC — in an impressive score.
BANGO broke well with the leading group for Marcelino Pedroza, but was shuffled back to second last as the field bunched up in front, through opening quarters of 21.53 and 44.97. It was a hot pace, led by 24-1 longshot EDGEMONT ROAD. As they bunched up at the turn-for-home, BANGO was running extremely well and ranged up to be within striking range. Marcelino Pedroza switches him to the five-path for his run, and BANGO runs his rivals down while holding off a late charge from LONG RANGE TODDY to his outside. SIR ALFRED JAMES finished third. The final time for the six furlongs on dirt was 1:09.65.
BANGO paid $10.60 to win, $6.40 to place, and $4.40 to show. He is by CONGRATS out of JOSAKA by SMART STRIKE. He earns his sixth career victory and pushes his earnings to $393,557.
The $110 Douglas Park Overnight Stakes was won by SET PIECE, ridden by Florent Geroux, trained by Brad Cox, owned by Juddmonte Farms — in dominant fashion.
SET PIECE was pinched at the start and found himself at the back of the pack, while the front runners set early fractions of 24.02 and 48.47. They raced strung-out through the backside, about ten lengths covering them front to back. SET PIECE continued to race unhurried and was traveling very smoothly. Florent Geroux pushed the button with two furlongs left to go, and SET PIECE turned on the jets and flew home for the win, widening to a margin of six lengths the end. RAMSEY SOLUTION finished second, ANOTHER MYSTERY ran third. The final time for the one mile and one-sixteenth on turf was 1:37.79.
SET PIECE paid $4.40 to win, $2.60 to place, and $2.20 to show. He is by DANSILI out of PORTODORA by KINGMAMBO. He wins his third race in a row, while pushing his earnings to $257,044.