Favored Watchyourownbobber won his third stakes race in eight weeks while cruising to a geared-down, 4 1/2-length victory under Julien Leparoux in Saturday’s $ 400,000 More Than Ready Mile at Kentucky Downs in Franklin, Ky.
The first of four stakes races on the meet’s showcase day was delayed about 20 minutes by a severe downpour. As the horses warmed up, Leparoux was spotted jogging around the sweeping turn of this European-style course, near the half-mile pole, to test the going.
Out of the gate Songsational and jockey Florent Geroux assumed a lone lead from a tentative bunch, showing the way through an opening quarter-mile in :27.21 while well off the rail and maintaining that lead through a half-mile in :49.87 and six furlongs in 1:14.05, with Watchyourownbobber and Leparoux tracking in second throughout.
“It was a good trip, as expected,” Leparoux said. “I was hoping to lay second behind Florent and that’s how he went and after that he travelled good and won very easily. It went perfect.”
When Watchyourownbobber moved to the lead entering the straight, the top two were 11 lengths clear of the rest of the field and Leparoux.
The even-money winner completed one mile over the undulating turf course officially rated “good” in a hand-timed 1:38.94 and paid $ 4, $ 2.80 and $ 2.20. Although stewards labeled the course “good,” Equibase listed it as “yielding” for the sake of the official chart.
Songsational stayed on to finish second, 5 1/2 lengths ahead of Thatcher Street in third. The order was completed by Power Ped, Goats Town and Dimension.
A 4-year-old Hard Spun colt out of Boodles (Mr. Greeley), Watchyourownbobber will be pointed to the $ 1 million Shadwell Turf Mile (G1), Oct. 8 at Keeneland Race Course.
“He’s earned his chance,” said Mike Maker, who trains the winner for Ken and Sarah Ramsey. “He ran big. He shows up every time.”
The More Than Ready was the first leg of an all-stakes Pick Four on Kentucky Turf Cup Day.
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