Limousine Liberal put his class advantage to good use Saturday in the $100,000 Aristides (G3) at Churchill Downs. The 3-5 choice against five rivals, the Ben Colebrook-trained gelding stalked an honest pace, bid for the lead three wide in upper stretch and drove past 8-1 shot Wilbo to win going away by 2 1/2 lengths under Corey Lanerie.
Winner last month of the seven-furlong Churchill Downs (G2) on the Kentucky Derby undercard at odds of 13-1, the son of Successful Appeal returned $3.20 this time after covering six furlongs in 1:09.12.
Wilbo, who pressed second choice Union Jackson into submission after early splits of :21.83 and :45.17, just staved off a late rally from The Truth Or Else to claim second by a neck. Union Jackson weakened to fourth and was followed by Schivarelli and Abbaa.
Although the May 6 Churchill Downs was his first graded win, Limousine Liberal had been routinely knocking on the door in stakes company for the prior two seasons. Placed in the King’s Bishop (G1) and Gallant Bob (G3) in 2015, Limousine Liberal had to settle for minor awards again last year in the Aristides, Smile Sprint (G2) and Phoenix (G2), the latter to multiple Grade 1 winner A. P. Indian.
Kicking off his 2017 campaign with a third in the Commonwealth (G3), Limousine Liberal now heads to Saratoga for further stakes engagements. Owned by Katherine Ball, who bred the five-year-old along with Mike Ball, Limousine Liberal has now earned $832,500 from a line of 15-5-5-1.
“It was an easy decision to stay home and run again in the Aristides,” Colebrook said. “He ran a tough race on Derby day and the race in New York (True North [G2]) was coming up tough. We’ll look at the (July 8) Belmont Sprint Championship (G2) and races at Saratoga next.”
The Kentucky-bred is out of Gift of Gab, an In Excess full sister to Grade 3 winner Uncle Denny.