Joel Rosario’s 13 Wins A Meet Record At Kentucky Downs

Joel Rosario won three races Thursday to bring his meet-leading total to a track-record 13 with two days left to go in the six-day FanDuel Meet at Kentucky Downs.

Rosario got his record-breaking victory in Thursday’s finale aboard the Wesley Ward-trained 2-year-old Castle Leoch. Rafael Bejarano first set the track standard with 12 wins at the 2004 meet. Florent Geroux also won a dozen in 2015 and 2016. Rosario bolted to the meet lead with a five-bagger on last Sunday’s opening card and another five on Labor Day. He won a single race Wednesday and then two Thursday. Rosario is scheduled to ride nine races apiece on Saturday and Sunday’s closing cards.

“My agent, Ron Anderson, thought we might have a good chance today, but you never know,” Rosario said. “Sometimes you have a good chance and you don’t win. So I’m glad. We’ve been blessed the days we’ve been here, great opportunities. I’m glad I have an agent like Ron.”

A $17,000 purchase as a weanling at Keeneland’s 2019 November sale, the 2-year-old colt Red Danger was the lowest-priced horse that Bonnie and Tommy Hamilton’s Silverton Hill LLC purchased that year. Now the chestnut son of 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb could be on his way to being the Hamiltons’ biggest money-earner.

With Luis Saez aboard, Red Danger wore down pacesetting favorite Kaufymaker and then held off Romancer for a three-quarters of a length victory in Thursday’s $500,000 Global Tote Juvenile Sprint at the FanDuel Meet at Kentucky Downs.

“We’re so happy about this because he was the least expensive horse we bought that year,” Bonnie Hamilton said. “Phil Hager picked him out, so anything from there is gravy. He’s done everything right, and just fun to have one. They don’t come around very often…. That’s a really great thing. I mean, we’ve bought them for more than that. But it encourages people to think, ‘I have a racehorse without spending $100,000, $200,000.’ Which we have.”

Kaufymaker, who took the lead in upper stretch after pushing a swift early pace, gave way to settle for third, another three-quarters of a length back in the field of eight 2-year-olds.

“It was perfect,” Saez said. “That was the trip we were planning to get. He’s a come-from-behind horse. He broke good today. He was right there. The main thing was try to relax, let the speed go and sit behind the speed. When we came to the top of the stretch, he made the move. He was a little confused with the turf at the three-eighths because it’s a little like dirt. But when we came to the top of the stretch he gave me that kick, so we got there on time.”

It was Saez’ second victory ever at Kentucky Downs amid limited opportunities; his first coming in the 2018 Dueling Grounds Derby on Channel Cat. Brian Lynch also became the first trainer to win the Juvenile Sprint other than Wesley Ward, who won the first three runnings of America’s richest 2-year-old turf stakes outside the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint.

Red Danger finished fifth on dirt at Saratoga in his debut, then won at 5 1/2 furlongs on turf in his next start.

“He’s really been a problem-free colt that just kept getting better,” Lynch said. “Every time we worked him leading up to his first race he just kept getting better. Never left an oat. Never had a pimple on him or a snotty nose. So we tried him on the dirt first time because he worked so well, but I always have a tendency to try my horses on the grass. So he ended up on the grass next time and won very impressively.

“We came back and had a work in between and the work was just fantastic. Mike Luzzi worked him for me up at Saratoga and he said, ‘Not only did he work good, I just couldn’t pull him up.’ That gave me hope that we could press forward here in the 6 1/2 and gave us a glimmer of hope he could be Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Mile horse. This is an undulating sort of track, so 6 1/2 plays like seven.”

Red Danger covered 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.51, paying $7.20 as the third choice.

“The one bit of confidence I had going into this race is that I always felt he’d do his best running late,” Lynch said. “So when I saw him sort of get to the outside there and I could see him digging in, I always thought he’d close ground. Whether he was good enough to beat them, he wasn’t going to back out of it. So it was great to see him prevail.”

Ward was vying to win the stakes for the third time in four years with a filly.

“She ran good. Did everything right. Just got outrun,” he said. “She ran a great race… She made the lead like she was supposed to. Maybe it’s just a distance issue. She ran great and the winner ran tremendous.”

The start was delayed when No. 7 Detroit City reared in the gate, then twisted and had his front legs over the back doors of his gate stall, tossing jockey Adam Beschizza in the process. Even as Detroit City was extricated and burst out the back, No. 6 Pure Panic bolted out the front and ultimately also was scratched. Both Detroit City and Pure Panic walked off the track on their own. Trainer Jack Sisterson said Detroit City was unscathed. Beschizza’s agent, Liz Morris, reported that the jockey also was OK.

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A loss at Saratoga Race Course last month resulted in a big win for Hendy Woods Thursday in the $400,000 One Dreamer Stakes at Kentucky Downs.

Hendy Woods, a Stonestreet Stables homebred, came from off the pace under Tyler Gaffalione to win by 4 ¼ lengths over Sweet Melania. The 4-year-old Uncle Mo filly covered the mile and 70 yards in 1:38.33 and paid $6.60 as the second choice in the field of 11 older fillies and mares. Alta’s Award was third at 25-1. Dominga, the 2-1 favorite, was fifth, a head and a nose behind Alta’s Award.

“Actually, I thought this was a tough race,” trainer Mark Casse said. “I was surprised with the ease that she won it. She was training really well. We lost a heart-breaker with her at Saratoga.”

That half-length loss in the listed De La Rose Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 8 turned out to be a timely defeat. If she had won that $120,000 race she would not have been eligible for the One Dreamer, which is restricted to horses that have not won a stakes this year. First-place money in the $120,000 De La Rose, won Regal Glory, was $66,000. Hendy Woods earned $233,120 in the One Dreamer, pushing her career earnings to $528,451.

Hendy Woods was Gaffalione’s third winner of the day and fourth of the meet. His record through the first four days of the six-day meet is 4-7-4 from 33 starts. He is second in purse money earned to Joel Rosario, the record-setting runaway leader in wins, with $923,173.

“It started off a little slow but we just kept persevering,” Gaffalione said. “Our horses are showing well today in the big races. This filly was push-button the whole way. She broke sharp, put me in a great spot. It was just hang on, really. She really stretched it out beautifully. All the credit goes to Mark and his team.”

Gaffalione was up for the De La Rose, which the 4-year-old filly led late, but was overtaken.

“Last time she ran a big race,” he said. “You never want to lose, but it actually worked out because we were able to run in this.”

Sweet Melania led the way through opening fractions of 22.74 and 45.98 seconds. She was 1 1/12 lengths in front through six furlongs ion 1:10.28. Hendy Wood was never more than about three lengths off the pace, took over at the eighth pole and extended her advantage through the stretch.

In 2019, Casse and Gaffalione and Stonestreet won the One Dreamer with Hanalei Moon.

“This has been a good race,” Casse said. “We’re going to try again next year.”

The post Joel Rosario’s 13 Wins A Meet Record At Kentucky Downs appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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