A change in tactics paid dividends for Prado’s Sweet Ride in the $200,000 Falls City H. (G2) as the six-year-old dominated the Thanksgiving Day feature on the lead. Known more for her stalking run style, the Illinois-bred mare sped to the lead at the start under new jockey Florent Geroux and expanded her advantage at every point of call, drawing away in the stretch to a 4 ¾-length decision.
“I really didn’t expect to be on the lead but I thought we would be close to the pace,” Geroux said.
“Things worked out well. We had a perfect pace up front when (Divine Miss Grey) didn’t break that sharply. She dug in well down the lane and was very impressive this afternoon.”
Off as the 5-1 second choice among seven rivals, Prado’s Sweet Ride established splits in :23.93, :48.60 and 1:13.17 before stopping the teletimer in 1:50.50 on the fast track.
Divine Miss Grey, the 3-5 favorite, didn’t show her expected speed from the break but raced up close in a threatening position through the opening three-quarters of a mile. But unfortunately for her supporters, she came up empty in the latter stages and had to settle for a second. It was a length back to Dutch Parrot in third. Red Dane, Dreamcall, Skeptic and Mannerly completed the order.
Chris Block trains the Darrell & Sadie Brommer homebred and Prado’s Sweet Ride’s previous graded win had come in the grassy Regret (G3) at Churchill Downs in 2015. She captured the 1 1/8-mile Falls City on the main track under the Twin Spires, registering her first victory from six starts this season. Her last triumph came in the off-the-turf restricted Illini Princess at Hawthorne last year.
By Fort Prado, the Illinois-bred Prado’s Sweet Ride hails from the General Meeting mare Excellent Idea. She’s now earned $548,914 from a 30-8-5-7 scorecard.
“This has been a very good Thanksgiving for us thanks to this filly,” Block’s assistant trainer Martin Martinez said. “She ran so big this afternoon and trained so well all season. She really handled the dirt well this afternoon and she has in the past. She’s been very versatile and was very impressive today.”