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Beethoven and jockey Calvin Borel after winning the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes
Saturday closed out the 2008 racing season at historic Churchill Downs in Louisville, with their "Stars of Tomorrow" promotion, consisting of 12 races all restricted to 2-year-olds. The final stakes race of the year is the $150,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) for juveniles at 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Capt. Candyman Can was sent off as the 11-10 favorite in the field of 9, exiting a 3-length win in the Iroquois Stakes. In to challenge him included 9-2 second choice Stormalory, second in an allowance last out, and 6-1 third choice Beethoven, who defeated Stormalory in the same allowance race in his last start.
Beethoven (inside) takes the lead over Giant Oak with Capt. Candyman Can behind them
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 3 Beethoven Borel 14.00 6.00 3.40 10 Giant Oak Razo 8.40 4.80 8 Capt. Candyman Can Leparoux 2.20 Winning Time: 1:44.14 $2 Exacta 3-10 141.80 $2 Trifecta 3-10-8 490.60 $2 Superfecta 3-10-8-6 2,629.80
Left: Beethoven in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Calvin Borel said, "He broke fair and I put him on the fence and I stayed there the whole way. I just stayed where I was and bided my time. When I turned for home, since I didn't see anything coming I thought I had a heck of a chance to win. About 40 yards from the wire, he tried to pull up a little bit. He hung in there; he run a big race. I've got to give the credit to the owner (John Oxley) and the trainer (John Ward) for the opportunity."
Right: Beethoven heads back to the barn after the race. Winning trainer John Ward said, "I told racing secretary Ben Huffman before this race, one thing they'll have to say about him is that he has had 3 different races over this race track and there is no other horse in the country who is going to get another try before the Derby. He seems to handle it, ran well and Calvin rode well, as usual. It was a good day. The neat thing about this horse is 5 riders have ridden him and they have all done well on him and that is really hard. Now we have to figure out who is going to stay with him. (The Derby) is always on my mind and Mr. Oxley's mind."
Left: Second place finisher Giant Oak in the post parade. His jockey Eusebio Razo Jr. said, "I've always loved this horse from the first time I got on him. Every time I ride him, he improves. Chris (Block) told me that the way he's been working, he's improving. I think this horse has still got more to give." His trainer Chris Block said, "He ran huge. He ran real big. Maybe we'll head to New Orleans with him. We'll sit back and see how things develop."
Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Capt. Candyman Can returns after the race. His jockey Julien Leparoux said, "He was a little rank, but he didn't run off, he wasn't crazy. But it was just a little too much for a 2-turn race. He's technically a very fast, fast horse and we've got some work to do to help him relax at this distance. He'll just have to learn." His trainer Ian Wilkes said, "He ran an unbelievable race. But we made too many mistakes. I thought we would relax a little more when we got the lead. We didn't. He just didn't switch leads when he should be doing it. It was little things, he was just trying to run too hard. But he showed me that I've got a lot of horse in how he fought on. He should have gotten beat 5 or 6 lengths today, but he fought all the way down the lane, he even headed Calvin down the stretch. I'm very proud of him."
The fillies break from the gate for the Golden Rod Stakes
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 4 Rachel Alexandra Borel 8.20 4.00 2.80 1 Sara Louise Albarado 3.00 2.40 7 War Echo Bridgmohan 3.40 Winning Time: 1:44.08 $2 Exacta 4-1 20.20 $2 Trifecta 4-1-7 77.20 $2 Superfecta 4-1-7-3 124.40
Left: Rachel Alexandra heads to the winner's circle with her trainer Hal Wiggins by her hip. Wiggins said, "I told Calvin in the paddock that you might find yourself on the lead. I told him, 'If you're on the lead, don't worry about it. Just sit there and let her relax.' He rode a really, really nice race. We don't want to dance every dance because we want to be ready for the (Kentucky) Oaks and maybe the Ashland (at Keeneland) before that. That's what we're planning. We'll give her a little bit of time and get her ready for the spring." Her owner-breeder Dolphus Morrison said, "We knew she could run. And she's not the end of the story. We've got an Empire Maker out of this mare (Lotta Kim) that's just getting started. If she can earn her way to (the Oaks) we'll certainly be there."
Right: Rachel Alexandra returns after the race. Winning jockey Calvin Borel said, "I think the farther she goes the better she'll get."
Left: Second place finisher Sara Louise returns after the race. Her jockey Robby Albarado said, "I had no problems. Rachel Alexandra got bottled up last time or she might have been a little closer. But she ran big today, take nothing from her." Her trainer Dale Romans said, "There's not much to say. She ran her race. We just couldn't catch Rachel Alexandra turning for home. We'll give her a little break and try to start doing something with her at the end of January or early February."
Right: Third place finisher War Echo in the paddock before the race. Her jockey Shaun Bridgmohan said, "She ran as well as can. It was a tough field. The horse that just ran fourth won the Alcibiades and ran second in the Breeders' Cup (Juvenile Fillies), and two top-notch fillies finished in front of her. She ran really hard."
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