churchill downs weekend's recap: louisville stakes

The peak of Saturday’s card at the Churchill Downs track saw several disappointing performances of the leading chances, which resulted in Cellist taking the spoils in the G3 Louisville Stakes. Neither of the anticipated runners, including Another Mystery or Shamrocket, showed anything of interest. Here is our Churchill Downs Weekend’s Recap.

Churchill Downs Weekend’s Recap: Louisville Stakes

This turf race was open to four-year-old and older horses who clashed on Saturday in this G3 event with the purse of $200,000. At the distance of a mile and a half, the set pace proved to be incredibly slow; however, some of the participants benefited from it, which was the case of Cellist (58-10), trained by George Arnold II. The four-year-old gelding spent the race in the midfield and piloted by the master of waiting tactic Julien Leparoux, Cellist attacked the leaders in the final turn, upon which he held on to the first place until the very end. Crossing the wire in 2m 32.12s, he prevailed by a head in front of Reigning Spirit (62-1) with Highest Honors (132-10) cruising home in third.

Churchill Downs Weekend’s Recap: Cellist‘s attacked in the final stretch

As the pace set by the front horses was extraordinarily slow, Cellist just relaxed in the midfield, waiting for his chance in the spotlight, which came at the end of the opposite stretch when the jockey took him outside to launch his attack. Although the son of Big Blue Kitten wasted some energy when turning wide, he still seized the lead in the final stretch and then was bravely holding on before the threatening mass of his rivals. With this success, Cellist achieved his premiere Graded victory. 

More Results Horse Racing Results

Outsider Reigning Spirit and Highest Honors both finished strongly from the utter rear of the field as the slow pace allowed them to settle properly in the initial stage. The former improved his position considerably in the final turn, and with Colby Hernandez aboard, the five-year-old gelding was in a good spot to rally forward, which he did and snatched up at least the second place.

Also, this lightly-raced bay recorded his best performance on Saturday as he scored only an Allowance race up to this point.

In more Churchill Downs Weekend’s Recap, Highest Honors had to pass most of his rivals in the final stretch to actually get into contention, and in the end, he managed to secure third place before a bunch of other participants, fighting for it unsuccessfully. From the group of four horses who crossed the line in a tight pack, Cibolian (21-1) took fourth place in front of the fifth Bama Breeze (101-10). Anticipated Shamrocket (58-10) was sixth, while Another Myster (102-10) couldn’t get past tenth place. 

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