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2023 Kentucky Derby Undercard Results


Irad Ortiz Jr. celebrates aboard Up to the Mark after winning the Old Forrester Bourbon Turf Classic (G1).
Date: 5/06/2023

Kentucky Derby Day is the biggest card of racing at Churchill Downs. Before the main event, there were 8 stakes races (7 graded) contested over the fast main track and firm Matt Winn turf course on Saturday. Conditions were excellent on Saturday for the 150,335 fans in attendance, with cloudy skies and temperatures in the mid 70's. Wagering from all sources on the Kentucky Derby Day program set a new record of $288.7 million, beating last year's record of $273.8 million. All-sources handle for Derby Week rose to a new record of $412.0 million, beating last year's record of $391.8 million.

Bill Carstanjen, CEO of Churchill Downs Inc. said, "We were thrilled to debut our new First Turn Experience, a one-of-a-kind premium accommodation with exclusive views of the horses and the racetrack from the rail of the first turn, as we commemorated the 50th anniversary of Secretariat's victory in the Run for the Roses. We expect the Kentucky Derby Week Adjusted EBITDA to reflect a new record with $14 to $16 million of growth over the prior record set last year. We will now accelerate our focus on our year-long celebration in preparation for the 150th Kentucky Derby in May 2024."



The final stakes of the undercard was the $1 million Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (G1), a 1 1/8 mile trip over the Matt Winn Turf Course for older horses. A field of 8 went to post with Up to the Mark sent off as the 5-2 favorite off his third place finish in the Maker's Mark Mile (G1). In to challenge him included 3-1 second choice and last year's winner Santin of his 4th place finish in the Kentucky Cup Classic, and 7-2 third choice Hong Kong Harry, fourth in the Frank Kilroe Mile (G1) after winning the Seabiscuit Handicap.

Jockey Manny Franco sent 12-1 Bye Bye Melvin to the lead first time by through fractions of 23.91, 48.03, and 1:11.65 while pressed by Santin and stalked by 7-1 Wolfie's Dynaghost. Turning for home, Bye Bye Melvin tired badly while Up to the Mark, 6th early, came out 7 wide to sweep to the lead through 1 mile in 1:35.44. Kept to task by Irad Ortiz Jr., Up to the Mark drew off to win by 3 3/4 lengths over late-running Hong Kong Harry in 1:47.31. It was another 1 1/4 lengths back to 4-1 fourth choice Spooky Channel third.
Results chart from DRF

Left: Up to the Mark in the winner's circle. Winning owner Mike Repole, who owns Forte who was the morning line favorite for the Derby but was scratched by the vets, said, "I separate the stings from the successes. This win on a really tough day for me and my family is always going to be special and always going to be remembered. We thought he was really, really talented on the dirt so we didn't want to give up on him (there), but then eventually we said, 'Let's go to the turf, let's go to Plan B,' which is the turf. I think he's going to be one of the top turf horses this year."

Right: Up to the Mark heads back to the barn. Winning trainer Todd Pletcher said, "He got a really good trip and was able to relax. He showed a nice turn of foot when called upon. I just had a gut feeling he would handle the turf. In that second allowance race, he had a pretty rough trip and he really showed when he got up that day that he's a pretty nice horse."

Left: Second place finisher Hong Kong Harry in the post parade. The Phil D'Amato trainee improved his record to 9 wins, 3 seconds, and 1 third in 15 starts, earning $789,097 for owners Scott Anastasi, Jimmy Ukegawa, and Tony Valazza.

Right: Third place finisher Spooky Channel returns to be unsaddled. Jockey Joel Rosario said, "He put in a run at the end. The horse who won just kept moving forward and we couldn't catch him. I feel like you need to be closer with the way the track is playing. I let him put himself wherever he wanted to be — as long as he's happy, it's good. He did everything I asked to do, they just kept pulling away up front, but he put in a nice run."



The $500,000 Longines Churchill Distaff Turf Mile Stakes (G2) featured a field of 6 older fillies and mares going 1 mile on the turf. Del Mar Oaks (G1) winner Spendarella was sent off as the 4-5 favorite over 9-2 second choice Fluffy Socks, 4th in the Rodeo Drive (G1), and 5-1 third choice Wakanaka, 5th in the Pegasus World Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G3).

Jockey Jose Ortiz sent 6-1 Haughty to the lead first time by through fractions of 23.62, 47.84, and 1:11.68 while pressed by Spendarella and stalked by 20-1 longest shot Sharp Hero. Into the lane Haughty tired as Fluffy Socks, 5th early under Irad Ortiz Jr., came through between horses to lead after 7f in 1:23.55 and outfinished Spendarella to win by 1 length in 1:35.53. It was another length back to 11-2 fourth choice Speak of the Devil third.
Results chart from DRF

Left: Fluffy Socks in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Chad Brown said, "It was a very big effort. I'm very proud of her. Flavien (Prat) did a really good job of getting her into position. There were some really good fillies in there." Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. added, "We really liked our (post) position. That was a key to it. She broke sharp and I was able to get her right in the race."

Right: Second place finisher and beaten favorite Spendarella returns to be unsaddled. Jockey Tyler Gaffalione said, "I came to the (top) of the stretch very comfortably. I thought I had a lot of horse but she just didn't quicken today. She might have just needed the tightening but she pulled up good." Trainer Graham Motion added, "It looked like he had a lot of horse at the top of the stretch, she just didn't quicken like she normally does, maybe just being a little rusty. I thought she'd win today."



Kicking off the Derby Day stakes action just after noon Saturday was the $750,000 Derby City Distaff Stakes (G1) presented by Kendall-Jackson Winery featuring 6 older fillies and mares sprinting 7 furlongs on the main track. Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) and Madison (G1) winner Goodnight Olive was sent off as the 1-2 favorite over 7-2 second choice Wicked Halo, winner of the Matron at Oaklawn, and 5-1 third choice Matareya, second in the Matron.

Jockey Gerardo Corrales sent 23-1 longest shot Travel Column to the lead out of the chute through fractions of 22.07 and 44.50 while pressed by Matareya and stalked by Wicked Halo and Goodnight Olive. Into the lane Travel Column tired allowing Matareya to take over through 3/4 in 1:08.88. Kept to task by Flavien Prat, Matareya held off Wicked Halo to win by a length in 1:21.87. It was another length back to favorite Goodnight Olive third.
Results chart from DRF

Left: Matareya in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Brad Cox said, "We had been pointing for this race for a while. Flavien (Prat) did a great job today getting her in a good early position. She was fast from the gate and then they kind of got away from her but Flavien did well to hold his position and get the jump on two very, very good fillies."

Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Goodnight Olive returns to be unsaddled. Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. said, "I was stuck the entire way. I had no place to go. I couldn't get out of there. I had tons of horse, just no place to go."



The $500,000 Pat Day Mile (G2) presented by TwinSpires featured a field of 13 three-year-olds going the one-turn mile on the main track. Echo Eddie Stakes winner Kangaroo Court was sent off as the 4-1 favorite over 5-1 General Jim, winner of the Swale (G3), and 21-4 Echo Again, an allowance winner last out.

Jockey Gabriel Saez sent 14-1 Damon's Mound to the lead out of the chute through fractions of 22.41 and 45.00 while pressed by 29-1 Lugan Knight and stalked by Kangaroo Court. On the far turn 11-2 fourth choice Fort Bragg moved up to lead through 3/4 in 1:09.27 and 7f in 1:21.61. General Jim, 7th early under Luis Saez, came out 6 wide for room and rallied to win by a neck in 1:34.43. It was a long 3 1/2 lengths back to late-running 15-1 Gilmore third, while favorite Kangaroo Court tired late to finish 11th beaten 19 lengths.
Results chart from DRF

Left: General Jim in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Luis Saez said, "When he got a good spot at the half mile pole, we knew we had a chance to win the race. He has plenty of talent. It was an existing stretch duel and Joel (Rosario) is a pretty tough to ride against but we finally got the jump. We decided to make a change after his last couple of races (and add blinkers) and I don't think he would have won without (wearing) blinkers. It makes a big difference."

Right: Beaten favorite Kangaroo Court crossing the finish line 19 lengths back in 11th place. The Tim Yakteen trainee has a record of 3 wins, 1 second, and 0 thirds in 5 starts, earning $202,200 fro owner George Sharp.



Stolen Base wins the American Turf (G2)
The $500,000 American Turf Stakes (G2) presented by BMW featured a field of 14 three-year-olds going 1 1/16 miles on the turf. Maiden winner Carl Spackler was sent off as the 9-4 favorite over 7-2 second choice Major Dude, second in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3), and 11-2 second choice Johannes, winner of the Pasadena Stakes.

Jockey Luis Saez sent 15-2 Mo Stash to the lead first time by through fractions of 23.81, 47.91, and 1:11.52 while pressed by 24-1 Desert Duke and stalked by Carl Spackler. Turning for home Mo Stash continued to lead through 1 mile in 1:35.45 but tired late. 23-1 Webslinger, 6th early under Javier Castellano, came out 4 wide and ralied to win by a nose over 13-2 fourth choice Far Bridge in 1:41.54. It was another 1/2 lengths back to Major Dude third.

Full results chart

Left: Webslinger in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Javier Castellano said, "I'm so grateful that Mark (Casse) gave me the opportunity to ride this horse today. At Keeneland, he learned a lot when he finished third, and he broke so well coming out of the gate today. That allowed me to save ground, which we needed coming out of 14. I let the race develop on the first turn, and I really liked the way he did it today, and the way he finished the race."

Right: Webslinger gets hosed off by trainer Mark Casse. David Carroll, assistant to Casse said, "We didn't get any advantages coming out of the 14 hole. The he had to make a long, sustained run. He's a heckuva horse and this was a heckuva race for him."



The $750,000 Churchill Downs Stakes (G1) presented by Ford featured a field of 9 older horses sprinting 7 furlongs on the main track. Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile (G1) winner Cody's Wish was sent off as the 7-10 favorite over 5-1 second choice Endorsed, winner of the Gulfstream Park Mile (G2), and 10-1 third choice Hoist the Gold, second in the Commonwealth (G3).

Jockey Alex Achard sent 17-1 Here Mi Song to the lead out of the chute through fractions of 22.70 and 45.19 while pressed by Hoist the Gold and stalked by 24-1 Sir Alfred James. Turning for home, Cody's Wish, 7th early, circled the field to lead through 3/4 in 1:09.04. Kept to task by Junior Alvarado, Cody's Wish drew off to win by 4 3/4 lengths over Hoist the Gold in 1:21.17. It was another 1/2 length back to 12-1 Tejano Twist third. Pacesetter Here Mi Song checked in 4th but was vanned off after being pulled up.
Results chart from DRF

Left: Cody's Wish in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Junior Alvarado said, "I don't even know how to describe how much better he got today. What I felt today, is what you want to feel when you ride horses in big races, to feel the whole machine underneath you. Today, he was just a lovely animal to ride. He was there with me every step of the way. When I asked him, he didn't hold anything back, he just went right by those horses. This is what I love to do with this horse. I just want to keep the story going."

Right: Cody's Wish heads back to the barn. Winning trainer Bill Mott said, "With this horse winning, it's really way more than a horse race. For us, I mean, Cody Dorman, and Cody's Wish, make it something special. When this horse came back after the race, and hearing the crowd, they were going crazy up there, more than they normally cheer for any other race. And the horse is just so great. He's been showing up every time. He's been off since the Breeders' Cup, but it sure looked like he was ready today. I get choked up easily, but when he was walking over, my assistant Kenny said he paused, and he looked, and said it was almost like there is a connection there. Usually we don't see that in horses. For what reason, the horse knows something is special."



The $175,000 Knicks Go Overnight Stakes presented by L&N Federal Credit Union featured a field of 11 older horses going 1 mile on the main track. Alydar Stakes runner-up Masqueparade was sent off as the 3-1 favorite over 7-2 Zozos, an allowance winner last out, and 4-1 Baby Yoda, second in the Kelso Handicap (G2).

Jockey Florent Geroux sent Zozos to the lead out of the chute through fractions of 22.66 and 45.15 while pressed by 11-1 Kneedeepinthesnow and 13-2 Kupuna. In the stretch Kupuna moved up to lead through 7f in 1:21.61 but Zozos fought back to win by 3/4 length in 1:34.42. It was a long 4 3/4 lengths back to 13-1 Three Technique third, while favorite Masqueparade failed to rally finishing sixth beaten 10 3/4 lengths.
Results chart from DRF

Left: Zozos in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Brad Cox said, "This has been one of the better races he has run. I was a little concerned about cutting him back in distance to the one turn mile. He's a great horse but I did tell Florent (Geroux) before the race ‘break very aggressive with intent' because there were a lot of horses that looked like they wanted to do the same thing. Fortunately he showed up and ran a great race."

Right: Sixth place finisher and beaten favorite Masqueparade returns to be unsaddled. The Al Stall Jr. trainee has a record of 4 wins, 2 seconds, and 2 thirds in 12 starts, earning $667,073 for owner FTGGG Racing.



Arrest Me Red wins the Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G3)
The $500,000 Twin Spires Turf Sprint (G2) presented by Cohere Health featured a field of 11 older horses sprinting 5 1/2 furlongs on the Matt Winn Turf Course. Last year's winner and Shakertown (G2) third place finisher Arrest Me Red was sent off as the 5-2 favorite over 11-4 second choice Big Invasion, winner of the Silks Run Stakes, and 4-1 third choice Motorious, winner of the San Simeon (G3).

Jockey Gerardo Corrales sent 38-1 longest shot Nobals to the lead through fractions of 22.03 and 44.48 while pressed by 13-1 Noble Reflection and stalked by 11-1 Bad Beat Brian. In the stretch Nobals opened up by 2 1/2 lengths through 5f in 56.24. Motorious put in a strong late rally from 9th but Nobals held him off to win by 3/4 length in 1:02.45. It was another 1 1/2 lengths back to 10-1 Go Bears Go third, while favorite Arrest Me Red failed to rally and finished 5th beaten 4 lengths.
Results chart from DRF

Left: Nobals heads to the winner's circle. Winning trainer Larry Rivelli said, "We were all coming down, and figured that we would throw him into a race, and see how he'd do. I thought he was going to run good, I wasn't sure if he was going to win.  His last race (at Keeneland) was a throwout. He was acting up in the gate and got off to a bad start. I schooled him all week, he didn't act up in the gate all, so I told (Gerardo Corrales), ‘Let's go.' That's the way the horse likes to run. I knew he was going to show up, but I wasn't sure if he could beat this quality. I told the jockey, go no matter what. You go out there and make the lead, and he said, ‘Yes, sir'."

Right: Fifth place finisher and beaten favorite Arrest Me Red in the post parade. The Wesley Ward trainee has a record of 6 wins, 1 second, and 3 thirds in 14 starts, earning $868,538 for owner-breeder Lael Stables.

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