‘Really Impressive’ Juvenile Winner County Final Switches From Turf To Dirt For Bashford Manor

John Ennis, Hayden Noriega and 47 Roses’ eye-catching debut winner County Final will switch surfaces from turf to dirt in search of graded stakes glory in Saturday’s $100,000 Bashford Manor presented by TwinSpires.com (Grade III), a six furlong-event for 2-year-olds at Churchill Downs.

“This horse should absolutely love the slight stretch out in distance,” said jockey James Graham, who was aboard for the colt’s four-length maiden victory June 5. “We opened up by three-to-four lengths mid-stretch on everyone but what was really impressive was how he extended his stride past the wire. He’s a bigger colt with a really long stride. He’s got a great mind, too, which is always nice for a younger horse.”

The six-furlong Bashford Manor will go as Race 8 of 11 with a post time of 4:43 p.m. (all times Eastern). The race shares the spotlight on Saturday with the $500,000 Stephen Foster presented by Coca-Cola (GII), $200,000 Fleur de Lis presented by Coca-Cola (GII) and $100,000 Regret presented by TwinSpires.com (GIII). First post is 1 p.m.

County Final, trained by Ennis, has been based at the Thoroughbred Training Center in Lexington. The $9,500 Keeneland September Yearling buy by Oxbow drew the outside post No. 7 in the Bashford Manor.

“I really like that we’ll be the last horse to load in the gate,” Graham said. “If he breaks well, we’ll be able to see what the other horses to our inside are doing in the early stages. He has speed and he trains well on the dirt. So, the switch from the turf to the dirt should be no problem either.”

The Bashford Manor field, which features all first-out maiden winners, from the rail out (with jockey, trainer and morning line odds): Crown and Coke (Miguel Mena, James Lawrence II, 30-1); Hulen (Corey Lanerie, Steve Asmussen, 5-1); Gatsby (Tyler Gaffalione, Juan Alvarado, 4-1); Hyperfocus (John Velazquez, Todd Pletcher, 4-1); Herd Immunity (Brian Hernandez Jr., Peter Miller, 9-2); Cazadero (Ricardo Santana Jr., Asmussen, 8-5); and County Final (Graham, Ennis, 6-1).

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