Totally Boss was just that in Saturday’s $684,640 Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint (G3), clinching an automatic berth to the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita in November with a 1 1/4-length tally.
Under Florent Geroux, Totally Boss sat chilly in second as 69-1 outsider Smart Remark set the pace. In mid-stretch, the winner poked his head in front and edged clear late to finish six furlongs in 1:09.21 on firm ground.
“He was loaded today,” Geroux said. “He broke sharp. Actually, to be honest, there was not a lot of speed in the race. When he broke sharp, I just took it from there. He put me closer to normal, but he was traveling great. And when I asked him turning for home, he gave me his usual kick.”
Owned by Susan and Jim Hill and trained by Rusty Arnold, Totally Boss returned $10.80. Smart Remark held second by 1 1/2 lengths over the Arnold-trained Leinster, who won a photo over 2-1 favorite Imprimis and champion Stormy Liberal.
Unplaced in two stakes appearances last season, Totally Boss entered this race with victories in three of his previous four starts, including the $100,000 Kentucky Downs Preview Turf Sprint at Ellis Park in course-record time. He’s now earned $666,658 from a line of 15-6-1-1.
Arnold said after the race Totally Boss would train up to the five-furlong Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.
“He just turned into a good horse,” Arnold said. “He’s been unfortunate not to win them all this year actually.”
Bred in Kentucky by Mike Pressley and a $190,000 Keeneland September buy, Totally Boss is a four-year-old gelded son of Street Boss. Out of Totally Tucker, by Elusive Quality, he’s a half-brother to this year’s Southwest (G3) winner Super Steed. Totally Tucker is herself a half-sister to Grade 1 scorers Majestic Harbor and Danza.
Arnold enjoyed a stakes double when Morticia led throughout in taking the $476,300 Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint (G3) by 1 3/4 lengths over 20-1 chance A Little Bit Me. Oleksandra, the 19-10 favorite, rallied for third.
Ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, Morticia paid $12. The five-year-old by Twirling Candy races for G. Watts Humphrey Jr. and covered 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.85.
Morticia was coming off two losses at Saratoga, including a fourth to Oleksandra in the $100,000 Smart N Fancy. However, she had won or placed in 18 prior stakes. Eight of those were wins and two at Grade 3 level. She also accounted for the 2017 Franklin County (G3).
“It was great to see her come back. There was a question of maybe if she had lost her edge,” Arnold said. “Her last race at Saratoga wasn’t very good. We hope we found the reasons for it.
“She was real agitated at Saratoga in the paddock, she didn’t handle it good. She’s that type of horse…some days when she loses it, she doesn’t get it back. Down here, she was very good in the paddock, probably the best I’ve ever seen her.”
Bred by Humphrey and Arnold, Morticia was produced by Halloween Party, by Mr. Greeley.