It's nice to finally have a few stakes races to report on. The normalcy of weekend horse racing is starting to make its way across the country! Fans or no fans, it’s great to see them running again.
$150,000 Matt Winn Stakes (G3) - Churchill Downs
Off a lengthy layoff, MAXFIELD broke from post 8 with speed. PNEUMATIC and NY TRAFFIC battled with CELTIC STRIKER, the 168-1 longshot, for the lead. MAXFIELD held back smartly. After six furlongs, NY TRAFFIC and PNEUMATIC overtook CELTIC STRIKER. NY TRAFFIC held a slight lead. In the final furlong, MAXFIELD took the lead and the win by a length over NY TRAFFIC.
MAXFIELD picked up 50 qualifying points to the Road to the Kentucky Derby. NY TRAFFIC earned 20 and third place PNEUMATIC picked up 10 points.
$100,000 Tepin Stakes - Churchill Downs
IN GOOD SPIRITS went to the lead at the break and set fractions of :24.16 and :48.39. OUTBURST followe press the pace while gaining on the filly. Meanwhile, SHARING and WALK IN MARRAKESH dueled along the backstretch, working her way into third bechind OUTBURST. Deep in the stretch, Tyler Gaffalione moved ABSCOND out five wide making a move. Exiting the turn, SHARING took a half-length lead and pressed to the wire. ABSCOND tried to steal the win, but ran out of ground at the wire. PASS THE PLATE came from the back of the field to take third.
$100,000 War Chant Stakes - Churchill Downs
SMOOTH LIKE STRAIT went to the front after the break and dueled ISLAND COMMISH for the lead. ISLAND COMMISH set fractions of :23.90 and :48.24. SMOOTH LIKE STRAIT stayed strong, slowly gaining and the pair ran unchallenged at the turn for home. Five lengths back was HIERONYMUS. Running three wide at the top of the stretch, SMOOTH LIKE STRAIT kicked home by three and a half lengths. ISLAND COMMISH faded quickly to twelfth. PIXELATE challenged SMOOTH LIKE STRAIT in the final strides, but was too late. SMOOTH LIKE STRAIT crossed wire by a length and three quarters. PIXELATE held on for second followed by FIELD PASS in third.
$100,000 Shawnee Stakes - Churchill Downs
DUNBAR ROAD ran seventh through the first quarter-mile, which was led by 74-1 longshot, FLOWER PARTY.DUNBAR ROAD steadily knocked out her rivals as CHOCOLATE KISSES and AWE EMMA pressed the pace. SHE'S A JULIE tracked in fifth. DUNBAR ROAD went three wide as the field turned for home and burst to the lead. CHOCOLATE KISSES held on to second, one and a quarter lengths ahead of VAULT, who rallied from last.
$101,000 Daytona Stakes (G3T) - Santa Anita Park
Breaing from post 6, WILDMAN JACK sat off the pace behind SPARKY VILLE, who gunned for the lead after breaking from the rail. CISTRON bobbled at the start but vied for the lead, running a first quarter-mile in :21.07. SPARKY VILLE took the lead at the half, running it in :43.54. Moving to the three path, WILDMAN JACK took his position for the drive as horses drifted out down the stretch. Despite the traffic, WILDMAN JACK continued the chase for the lead and got his nose out just in time at the wire ahead of the 70-1 SPARKY VILLE. STUBBINS held on for third a half-length back.