December 2, 2023

By My Standards best in Alysheba

By My Standards
By My Standards wins the Alysheba Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs (Jamie Newell/TwinSpires)

By My Standards sat a good trip just off a moderate pace, made his move on the far turn, and held all challengers at bay through the stretch to win Friday’s $400,000 Alysheba (G2) at Churchill Downs. Owned by Chester Thomas’ Allied Racing Stable and trained by Bret Calhoun, the 4-year-old colt notched his third graded stakes victory this year.

After non-threatening seconds to Tom’s d’Etat and Improbable in the Stephen Foster (G1) and Whitney (G1), respectively, By My Standards appreciated getting away from those powerhouse rivals. He rebounded nicely while cutting back to 1 1/16 miles, stopping the teletimer in 1:42.24, and Gabe Saez was up on the 3-2 second choice.

By My Standards rated about half-length back in second as Mr Freeze established pokey opening splits in :25.71 and :49.93. The bay son of Goldencents overhauled the pacesetter leaving the far turn, turned back a bid from Owendale in midstretch, and edged away under the wire to score by 1 3/4 lengths.

“Winning a race like this at Churchill is always special for our entire team,” Calhoun said. “This horse got in some interesting pace scenarios in the last two starts and today Gabe gave him the perfect ride and sat a perfect trip the entire way around there. It’s kind of weird to think the Alysheba is a prep for the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), but we’re going to go with it and hope to get there in November.”

“It was not really fast on the front end, but when it was time to get running around the half-mile pole, he picked up an extra gear,” Saez said. “Each time I asked him to give me that acceleration, he did. I was really confident in him today. I was expecting him to run a huge race today, and here we are. I’m glad we got the job done. I’m looking forward to the Breeders’ Cup. Fingers crossed and hope for the best.”

Owendale, who raced up closer than usual in third during the early stages, held on for second at 11-1, a head better than late-running Silver Dust in third. It was another three-quarters of a length back to 1.30-1 favorite McKinzie in fourth. Title Ready and Mr Freeze completed the order.

Bred in Kentucky by Don Ladd, By My Standards was purchased for $150,000 at the OBS April 2-year-old sale. He is the first stakes scorer out of a multiple stakes-winning Muqtarib mare. By My Standards needed four starts to break his maiden, and captured the Louisiana Derby (G2) in his first start against winners in the spring of 2019.

A rough start doomed his chances in the Kentucky Derby and after finishing 13th, By My Standards took the rest of his 3-year-old season off. He returned in February with a romping allowance win at Fair Grounds, and followed with convincing victories in the New Orleans Classic (G2) and Oaklawn H. (G2).

With the Alysheba payday, By My Standards has now earned $1,764,430 from a 12-6-4-1 record.