Three Diamonds Farm and Deuce Greathouse’s Stolen Base outkicked a game Balnikhov in the final sixteenth to win Saturday’s $500,000 American Turf Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs. Under Flavien Prat, who won his third race of the day with this triumph, Stolen Base defeated his nearest rival by 1 1/4 lengths and completed the 1 1/16-mile firm turf test in 1:44.57.
Conditioned by Mike Maker, Stolen Base ran in mid pack early and wide throughout, as Dowagiac Chief paced the 10 sophomores past a quarter-mile in :23.97 and a half-mile in :49.27. By the time six furlongs was hit in 1:14.61, however, the front-runner began to get leg weary as Red Danger assumed a head lead and took a brief advantage. Red Danger couldn’t hold on either and, as the field entered the stretch, Stolen Base and Balnikhov were in full gear. Balnikhov gained a slight lead past a mile in 1:38.56 and looked briefly like it may be his day, but under Prat’s left-handed urging, Stolen Base showed considerable resilience and regained the edge from his rival to win pulling away.
Balnikhov was a length clear of the late-rallying 2-1 favorite Sy Dog, who was in turn followed by Smokin’ T, Portfolio Company, Red Run, Red Danger, Coinage, Main Event and Dowagiac Chief. Royal Spirit was withdrawn.
Stolen Base originally sold as an OBS two-year-old for $45,000 and then for $335,000 last fall at Keeneland November. He was bred in the Bluegrass State by Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds and is out of the winning Indian Charlie mare Running Wild, who also has an unnamed 2022 filly by Honor A. P.
Stolen Base, a son of Bodemeister, adds the American Turf to previous placings in the Bourbon S. (G2), John Battaglia Memorial S. and the Bob Bork Texas Turf Mile S. Saturday’s triumph raised his bankroll to $468,700 and record to 9-2-3-1.
Maker didn’t indicate when or where Stolen Base would make his next start.