Blue Prize Digs Deep For Locust Grove Triumph

Merriebelle Stable’s Blue Prize was favored at 4-5 in Saturday’s Grade 3 Locust Grove Stakes and managed to deliver on those odds, despite a three-month layoff and a strong late challenge from Champagne Problems. Ridden by Julien Leparoux for Ignacio Correas, Blue Prize led for most of the  1 1/16-mile contest at Churchill Downs, keeping her nose in front at the wire. The 5-year-old Argentine-bred daughter of Pure Prize stopped the clock in 1:43.69.

“She’s not used to running up close to the pace as she did today,” Correas said. “There really wasn’t that much pace in the race but we know one thing is for sure – she loves this track. She’s done so well in all of her starts here and it’s great the Breeders’ Cup is here. We’re going and we’re excited.”

Blue Prize, not usually a frontrunner, was challenged at the lead through most of the Locust Grove by Streamline at the rail, albeit through moderate fractions of :24.53 and :48.96. Rounding the far turn, Streamline dropped back but Champagne Problems was quick to pick up the charge on the outside. Those two drew even at the quarter pole, and it was a fierce battle to the wire with Blue Prize just prevailing. Champagne Problems finished second, and Mannerly was third.

“This was the first time I’ve been on this horse in the afternoon but she was relaxed and moving very easily the entire time,” Leparoux said. “I breezed her about a month ago at Keeneland. She’s a very classy horse.”

Bred in Argentina by Bioart S. A., Blue Prize has now won three of her five starts this season. A Group 1 winner in her native country, she has compiled an overall record of 6-7-1 from 15 starts for earnings of $660,000. Blue Prize is being aimed to the Breeders’ Cup Distaff in November at Churchill, where she has won all three of her most recent starts at the Louisville track.

The post Blue Prize Digs Deep For Locust Grove Triumph appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

DYFD Winter - 300x90

Comments are closed.