Dynamic One, the “other” horse trained by Todd Pletcher, lived up to his name with a one-length victory over a closing Proxy in Saturday’s third running of the $198,750 Blame Stakes (Listed) at Churchill, a local prep for the Louisville racetrack’s $750,000 Stephen Foster (G2) on Saturday, July 2.
Scalding was a neck back of the runner-up in third and Pletcher’s Grade 1 winner Americanrevolution, the even-money favorite, was fourth.
Ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, Dynamic One, who made amends from his 18th place finish in last year’s Kentucky Derby, covered the 1 1/8 miles on a fast track in 1:48.54 for owners Repole Stable (Mike Repole), Phipps Stable (Daisy Phipps Pulito) and St. Elias Stable (Vincent Viola).
Longshots Super Stock and Santos Dumont took turns leading the way early on through splits of :23.61, :47.42 and 1:11.73 as Dynamic One had one horse beat all the way into the final turn.
Americanrevolution, who was making his first start since winning the Grade 1 Cigar Mile in December, drew even with the tiring leaders at the top of the stretch as stablemate Dynamic One tipped out for a wide rally.
Dynamic One gained the advantage into the final furlong and inched clear soon thereafter for the win.
“I had a pretty good idea of his running style and let him settle off of the early pace,” Gaffalione said. “He took the kickback really well and had a powerful kick down the lane. It set up perfectly for him and he came rolling late.”
The victory was worth $121,330 and increased Dynamic One’s bankroll to $479,950 with a record of 3-3-1 in 11 starts.
At age 3, Dynamic One qualified to the 2021 Kentucky Derby (G1) with a narrow runner-up finish to stablemate Bourbonic in last year’s Wood Memorial (G2). He’d return in the summer to win the restricted Curlin Stakes at Saratoga.
Prior to the Blame, Dynamic One finished second to Scalding in the $300,000 Ben Ali (G3) at Keeneland on April 23.
On Saturday, Dynamic One, the 6-1 fourth betting choice, returned $14.80.
After Americanrevolution, it was Santos Dumont, Super Stock, and Militarist to complete the order of finish. Title Ready was scratched.
Dynamic One is a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Union Rags out of the Smart Strike mare Beat the Drums. He was bred by his co-owners, the Phipps Stable.
The Blame is named after the 2010 Eclipse Award-winning older horse that handed Zenyatta her lone defeat in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) at Churchill Downs.
The July 2 Stephen Foster is a “Win and You’re In” event for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (GI) at Keeneland Race Course on Nov. 5.
“He ran a heck of a race this afternoon,” said Pletcher’s assistant trainer Stu Hampson. “I thought the pace would set up pretty well for his running style coming from off of it. He’s a really nice colt and has kept showing improvement this year after coming back as a 4-year-old. We’ll leave it up to Todd and the team to see if we stay here for the Stephen Foster but we can’t be more pleased with his race today.”
Longshot She’s All Wolfe Upsets In Shawnee
Robert H. Zoellner’s homebred She’s All Wolfe, the longest shot at 20-1 in a compact field of five fillies and mares, powered past tiring leaders Ava’s Grace, Army Wife and odds-on 2-5 favorite Pauline’s Pearl in deep stretch to win Saturday’s third running of the $179,500 Shawnee Stakes (Listed).
Trained by Donnie Von Hemel, She’s All Wolfe covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.34 under jockey Francisco Arrieta, who collected his first Churchill Downs stakes victory.
She’s All Wolfe was relegated in last during the early stages as Ava’s Grace led the cast through early fractions of :23.49, :47.56 and 1:11.85 with Army Wife tracking a length back in second and Pauline’s Pearl, the winner of the $750,000 La Troienne (G1) on Kentucky Oaks Day, another length back in third.
Ava’s Grace cut the corner on the final turn determined to lead all the way and crossed the mile marker in 1:36.73 with Army Wife and Pauline’s Pearl all out to keep up. All the while, She’s All Wolfe tipped out with a wide move and came over the top of the leading trio inside the final sixteenth of a mile with a strong closing kick for the upset win.
Ava’s Grace was second, and Army Wife was third.
“In the first turn she got into trouble, but after that I was able to get her to relax up the backside,” Arrieta said. “I know (Pauline’s Pearl) was a big favorite but I thought my filly was going to be just as tough with her again. Around the turn I was able to get closer to the front and in the stretch she was able to keep running hard past those fillies. It’s amazing to win a race like this for Donnie and the owners.”
She’s All Wolfe returned $42.40.
She’s All Wolfe is a 5-year-old mare by Magna Graduate out of the Include mare She’s All In. She was bred in Oklahoma by her owner.
With her victory in Saturday’s Shawnee worth $108,500, She’s All Wolfe improved her record to 8-6-2 in 25 starts with earnings of $595,411.
This was the fifth stakes win of She’s All Wolfe’s career but first against open company. Previously, she won four stakes against Oklahoma-breds: the Cinema at Will Rogers Downs in 2020 and three consecutive runnings of the Oklahoma Classics Distaff at Remington Park in 2020-22.
“I think going into the race we all knew Pauline’s Pearl was the one to beat,” Von Hemel said. “We ran against her the last couple of starts but my filly was training really well out of the (La Troienne) and I was willing to give her another chance. She got into a little trouble in that first turn but she kept battling all the way to the wire. We’re very proud of her and thrilled to win this race.
The Shawnee Stakes, named after the neighborhood in western Louisville, is the local prep race for the $350,000 Fleur de Lis (GII) on Saturday, July 2.
Defending Winner Bango Repeats in Aristides
Tamaroak Partners’ Bango split rivals in deep stretch to win Saturday’s 34th running of the $199,833 Aristides (Listed) for the second year in a row, this time by 2 ½ lengths over Necker Island.
Trained by Greg Foley and ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, Bango completed the six-furlong Aristides in 1:08.54.
“He loves this track and is a super nice horse,” Gaffalione said. “We got away a bit slow but sat in a good position off the pace. He kept finding more with every stride.”
Long Range Toddy set a swift early quarter-mile fraction in :21.97 with Top Gunner in close pursuit as Necker Island and Bango rated in fourth and fifth, respectively. Around the turn, Top Gunner poked his head in front after a half-mile in :44.74 and briefly kicked clear. As Top Gunner wearily drifted out in the stretch, the closing Bango came through the opening and was able to easily prevail over Necker Island, who rallied along to rail to win a three-way photo for the place with Top Gunner and Long Range Toddy.
Bango is the third horse to win the Aristides in successive years, joining Bet On Sunshine (2000-01) and Alsvid (2015-16).
Despite winning the race a year ago along with two other stakes events, Bango was the 10-1 sixth betting choice in the eight-horse Aristides and paid $22.20.
Long Range Toddy, Miles Ahead, 2-1 favorite Bob’s Edge who never got involved, Jalen Journey and Pyron completed the running order.
Bango, who banked $120,245, improved his record to 9-1-2 with purse earnings of $675,545 in 23 starts. He’s 7-1-2 in 13 starts at Churchill Downs.
In his first start of 2022, Bango finished fourth and was beaten 9 ¾ lengths in the St Matthews Overnight Stakes on May 4.
“What a nice horse,” said Foley, who also won the 2004 Aristides (GIII) with Champali. “He loves this track and that’s home for us. He needed that last race off the layoff and I guess they (bettors) forgot how much he loves it here. He’s 7-for-13 now. That speaks for itself. He got off a bit slow from the rail today and he’s shown he can be a multi-dimensional horse. Tyler gave him a great ride and was able to get him to relax.”
Bango is a 5-year-old son of Congrats out of the Smart Strike mare Josaka. He was bred in Kentucky by his owners Fred and Debbie Schwartz.
The Aristides is named in honor of the inaugural Kentucky Derby winner of 1875.
Kitodan Hangs A Head On Smokin’ T At 40-1 In Audubon
Kitodan, the longest shot in the field of 11 3-year-olds at odds of 40-1, went from claim to fame with a narrow head victory over Smokin’ T in Saturday’s third running of the $200,000 Audubon Stakes for 3-year-olds.
Kitodan, ridden by Gerardo Corrales and trained by Eric Foster, ran 1 1/8 miles over firm turf in 1:49.85.
In his previous start, a third-place finish in a first-level allowance/optional claiming event on May 15 at Churchill Downs, owners Foster Family Racing (Brooklyn N. Foster), Douglas E. Miller and William J. Wargel claimed Kitodan for $80,000 off Paradise Farms Corp. and David Staudacher and trainer Mike Maker.
The shrewd claim reaped immediate returns as Kitodan earned $116,990 for the win and improved his career record to 5-1-3 in 12 starts with earnings of $334,610.
“We claimed him for $80,000 and just wanted to try and win a race,” Foster said. “This race came up and thought we’d give him a shot. What an absolute thrill for our team and these guys behind me. This is so amazing. Gerardo rode a phenomenal race and gave it everything he had and Kitodan responded. What an amazing feeling.”
Breaking from post five, Kitodan settled near the back of the pack as Summer Anthem set the pace through fractions of :23.22, :48.32 and 1:13.94.
Both Smokin’ T and Kitodan commenced their moves around the final turn and emerged into the stretch as the two clear leaders. Kitodan, on the far outside, battled with Smokin’ T shoulder-to-shoulder and emerged as the slim winner.
Kitodan paid $82.
Play Action Pass, Red Run, Major General, James Jones, Speaking Scout, Summer Anthem, Spin Wheel, and Tallahatchiebridge completed the order of finish.
Kitodan, a son of Point of Entry out of the A.P. Indy mare Divine Presence, was bred in Kentucky by Flaxman Holdings Limited.
The Audubon, named after the nearby Louisville neighborhood, serves as a prelude to the $200,000 American Derby (Listed) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on turf on Saturday, July 2.