Wilbo and Extravagant Kid each pulled out close victories during the “Downs After Dark” program at Churchill Downs on Saturday night.
Chris Wilkins’ Wilbo stuck his neck in front on the wire of a three-horse photo to take home the top prize in the $125,000 Aristides Stakes. Corey Lanerie guided the seven-year-old gelding as he ran down pacesetter Zipp On By and Petrov in the six-furlong contest. Wilbo just got the best of Petrov, who in turn was a head up on Zipp On By at the finish.
Trained by Chris Harman, Wilbo stopped the clock in 1:09.27 over the fast main track to return $11 as the 9-2 second choice. Petrov and Zipp On By were the two longest shots in the seven-horse field at 15-1 and 26-1, respectively, and completed a 50-cent trifecta worth $326.30.
Wilbo added a third stakes win to his resume, which now stands at 34-11-6-8, $745,980. He also finally achieved victory in the Aristides after finishing second in the 2017 edition and third in last year’s running, both of which were Grade 3s. The chestnut son of Candy Ride has placed in six stakes contests overall, including the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) last season.
Bred in Kentucky by Woodford Thoroughbreds, Wilbo is out of the Coronado’s Quest mare unraced Kokadrie, who is a half-sister to Grade 1-winning millionaire West By West.
Wilbo is himself a half-brother to Eclipse Award-winning sprinter, Canadian champion and successful sire Kodiac Kowboy.
One race earlier, Extravagant Kid pulled off a three-quarter length triumph in the $92,350 Mighty Beau Overnight Stakes under Tyler Gaffalione. The duo ran down pacesetter Jazzy Times after stalking that rival throughout the five-furlong turf affair.
Extravagant Kid finished up in :56.79 on the firm sod for trainer Brendan Walsh. The DARRS Inc. colorbearer is now a five-time stakes winner and has also placed in nine stakes contests. He entered the Mighty Beau off a runner-up effort in the Jacque Cartier Stakes (G3), the second straight time he’s filled that spot in the Woodbine affair. The Kiss the Kid six-year-old gelding improved his record to read 34-10-9-6, $542,073.
Bred in Florida by Vicino Racing Stable, Extravagant Kid is the first registered foal out of the With Distinction mare Pretty Extravagant.
Corey Lanerie, jockey Wilbo, winner
“He really showed his best stuff tonight. Sitting around the turn I looked back and could see (Jack) Gilligan (on Petrov) had a ton of horse so I couldn’t let him move first. I sat and sat until I couldn’t sit anymore. I had a ton of horse underneath me and he didn’t want to let the other horses by.”
Chris Hartman, trainer Wilbo, winner
“It was nice to finally win this race. He’s seven-years-old now but tonight he ran like he was in the prime of his career. Every time he runs he brings his best stuff.”
Jack Gilligan, jockey Petrov, runner-up
“He ran so hard and tried the entire stretch. I thought we were going to hold on to win but Corey (Lanerie on Wilbo) got us on the outside.”
Edgar Morales, jockey Zipp On By, third
“I’m so proud of my horse’s effort tonight. He really ran a big race and almost ended up getting there for the win.”
MIGHTY BEAU QUOTES
Tyler Gaffalione, jockey Extravagant, winner
“This horse is very classy. I had all the confidence riding him tonight with the great job Brendan (Walsh) and his team do. We were in a great spot all the way around there and had a ton of horse in the stretch.”
Brendan Walsh, trainer Extravagant, winner
“He’s been based and Keeneland and always tries hard when we run him. He’s the perfect type of horse to have in the barn and we’re thrilled he got the job done tonight.”
Gabriel Saez, jockey Jazzy Times, runner-up
“We were so close to stealing it on the front. He was so quick out of the gate and got the lead pretty easy. I’m very proud of his effort.”
Wes Hawley, owner/trainer Jazzy Times, runner-up
“I’m very proud of his effort tonight. He ran a great race and we almost had them.”
Miguel Mena, jockey Bobby’s Wicked One, eighth as 8-5 favorite
“He went okay on the turf the other morning when we breezed him but really didn’t show that same liking to the turf tonight.”