Giving Robby Albarado his second stakes victory on Saturday’s opening card at Kentucky Downs, Successful Native led all the way for a neck victory over Hogy, who had applied the closest pressure throughout the $ 309,997 Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint.
“He broke really well so I took advantage of the inside,” Albarado said. “He came home fast; he’s a nice horse. This place is getting a lot of hype lately. It’s a great quality horses that are coming here, and I congratulate (track president) Corey Johnson and the whole crew for putting on a great show. It’s only going to get better here in Kentucky.”
Almasty finished another 1 3/4 lengths back in third, a half-length in front of favored Undrafted, the Group 1 winner who now has a second and two thirds in three starts over the course. The rest of the field in order: Divine Warrior, Western Elegance, Toowindytohaulrox, the 9-year-old former Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Regally Ready, Commute, Wilbo, Island Town and Barbados.
The Gulfstream Park-based Successful Native was coming off a runner-up finish in Saratoga’s $ 100,000 Lucky Coin Stakes and before that was third in Gulfstream Park’s Summit of Speed Turf Sprint. Successful Native, a son of Successful Appeal out of the Street Cry mare Picketline, now is 7-2-2 in 18 starts, earning $ 454,390 with the $ $ 206,490 payday.
“It was a big win for us, he ran really big,” said trainer Aubrey Maragh. “Coming into the race, I thought he was going to run a big one. He just beat the favorite, and this was the first time he ran against such a big group. So I was happy with the race.”
Maragh said Successful Native could run next in Keeneland’s $ 150,000, Grade 3 Woodford on Oct. 8.
Successful Native covered 6 1/2 furlongs in a hand-time 1:17.51 and paid $ 22.80 after beating the 15-1 Hogy.
“He broke well; there was a lot of bumping going on around the hill,” said Joe Rocco Jr., who rode the Scott Becker-trained Hogy. “On paper, there wasn’t much speed in there and I thought he’d be closer than he has been. He put me right there and didn’t have enough to get by the 1-horse (Successful Native).”
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