Derby Dreaming! Keepmeinmind earns first win in G2 Kentucky Jockey Club
Keepmeinmind, who finished third in the TVG Breeders' Cup Juvenile after finishing second in the Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders' Futurity, earned his first victory in Churchill Downs' Grade 2, $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club - an important 2-year-old step on the road to the 2021 Kentucky Derby. It was the first stakes win in Kentucky for jockey David Cohen and for trainer Robertino Diodoro, who recently has added the commonwealth to his regular circuit. We speak with Cohen and Diodoro afterward. Keepmeinmind now gets some time off at WInStar Farm before joining Diodoro's Oaklawn Park operation.
G2 Golden Rod goes to Travel Column, Cox & Geroux
Trainer Brad Cox, whose big 2020 included winning the Kentucky Oaks for the second time, showcased a couple of very promising 2-year-old fillies for the road to the 2021 Oaks as Travel Column carried Florent Geroux to a length victory over Clairiere in the $200,000, Grade 2 Golden Rod at Churchill Downs. The Cox-trained Coach, who had been 3 for 3, finished third, finishing ahead of odds-on favorite Simply Ravishing.
Bodexpress wins Grade 1 Clark at Churchill Downs
Bodexpress - the hard-luck horse of last year's Triple Crown, getting slammed around on the far turn of the Kentucky Derby and then unseating his rider in the Preakness -- earned his first stakes victory with a length victory over favored Code of Honor in Churchill Downs' Grade 1, $500,000 Clark Handicap. It was the first time Rafael Bejarano had ridden for Florida-based trainer Gustavo Delgado. We speak with Bejarano and Gustavo Delgado Jr., who serves as his dad's assistant. (Note: After the Derby debacle, Bodexpress did return earlier this year to Churchill Downs, finishing second in an allowance race on the delayed 2020 Derby card.)
McPeek's 'other' filly Envoutante beats elders in G2 Falls City
Envoutante has spent much of the year in the shadow of her fellow 3-year-old filly Swiss Skydiver, who beat boys in the Preakness Stakes, in Kenny McPeek's stable. But Envoutante took advantage of her chance to shine in the Grade 2, $200,000 Falls City, Churchill Downs' traditional Thanksgiving feature, rolling to a six-length victory over another 3-year-old in heavy favorite Bonny South as both beat older fillies and mares. Envoutante, with Brian Hernandez up for owners Three Chimneys Farm and Walking L Thoroughbreds, covered 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.11, one of the faster times for the stakes, which was being run for the 105th time. We speak with Hernandez and McPeek afterward.