Grandview Equine, Cheyenne Stables, and LNJ Foxwoods’ Olympiad pulled away from top rival Happy Saver to secure victory in Friday’s $500,000 Alysheba S. (G2) beneath the Twin Spires at Churchill Downs. With Junior Alvarado in the irons, the four-year-old Bill Mott-trained son of Speightstown posted a 2 1/ 2-length victory.
Olympiad rated in second while pacesetter Weyburn took the field of seven past modest splits of :24.21, :48.43 and 1:12.15. Soon after, however, the eventual winner and Happy Saver accelerated toward Weyburn, who was tiring too much to keep pace and faded a bit. Happy Saver led past a mile in 1:35.51 but couldn’t withstand the furious finish of Olympiad, who completed the 1 1/16-mile fast main track test in 1:41.60.
Happy Saver was followed past the wire by Title Ready, Weyburn, Soy Tapatio, Fulsome and Max Player. Militarist was scratched.
There was an anxious moment when Weyburn hit the rail in midstretch a couple of times, but the colt fortunately maintained his balance and held on well. Alvarado wasn’t concerned afterward.
“I knew there was a horse in there (Weyburn) but I tried to help a little bit, to keep my momentum going forward, but like I said I wasn’t doing anything, it was the horse on the outside (Happy Saver) putting the pressure on me,” the winning pilot said. “Worse case I wasn’t getting taken down, it would be the horse on the outside.”
Bred in Kentucky by Emory A. Hamilton, Olympiad is the second foal out of the Grade 3-placed Medaglia d’Oro mare Tokyo Time and was sold for $700,000 as a 2019 Keeneland September yearling. Friday’s triumph adds to his previous scores in the New Orleans Classic S. (G2) and the Mineshaft S. (G3), both at Fair Grounds and his last two starts prior to Friday’s victory.
Olympiad has now amassed earnings of $952,240 to go along with a record of 9-6-1-1.
Mott didn’t say afterward where or when Olympiad would make his next start.