June 24, 2024

Everland surprises in Bourbonette Oaks; Cellist best in Kentucky Cup Classic

Everland wins the Bourbonette Oaks at Turfway Park (Photo by Coady Photography / Credit to Paige West)

Kentucky Oaks (G1) hopefuls were in action on Saturday’s Jeff Ruby Steaks Day program at Turfway Park, with 10 sophomore fillies squaring off in the $295,000 Bourbonette Oaks, and Everland stamped her ticket by surging up the rail to score by 1 1/4 lengths.

Overlooked at 11-1, the Eric Foster-trained filly had to wait in traffic leaving the far turn and was guided through tight quarters by Abel Cedillo to overhaul Winnable, who looked formidable when seizing control on the far turn but came up a little short in deep stretch. Everland turned 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.36 on the Tapeta track.

The Road to Kentucky Oaks qualifier offered points on 50-25-15-10-5 scale to the top five finishers.

Everland recorded her first stakes victory for Foster Family Racing, William Wargel, R.K. Edrich Racing, and Maxis Stable, who claimed the gray daughter of Arrogate from a $30,000 maiden claiming win at Turfway in late December. She’s made her last five starts locally, winning a starter allowance before rallying for fourth in her stakes debut, the Feb. 10 Cincinnati Trophy at Turfway, and Everland now shows a 7-3-0-1 career line.

After racing exclusively on turf and synthetics, Everland will need to switch to dirt for the 150th Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs on May 3.

Winnable held second at 9.24-1, a half-length better than 3.09 second choice Alpine Princess, who rallied into a threatening position in upper stretch but lacked the necessary late kick. Next came Youknownothing, Movin’ On Up, Band of Gold, Trial, pacesetter Maxisuperfly, Saratoga Secret, and 2.32-1 favorite Pink Polkadots.

One prior to the Bourbonette Oaks, Calumet Farm’s homebred Cellist drew off to win the $292,000 Kentucky Cup Classic (G3) by 2 3/4 lengths. A two-time stakes winner on turf, the six-year-old gelding notched his second Grade 3 triumph and Luis Saez was up for Rusty Arnold on the son of Big Blue Kitten.

Cellist, the 6.39-1 fourth choice among 11 runners, cut back to nine furlongs following a fourth in the 1 1/2-mile W.L. McKnight (G3) on Gulfstream’s turf in late January, and the long-distance specialist had shown affinity for Turfway’s Tapeta, finishing second in the last two editions of December’s Prairie Bayou S. He stalked a couple of lengths back in the clear before making his move into the stretch, dueling briefly with Funtastic Again before drawing clear in deep stretch.

Timed in 1:49.33, Cellist has now earned $838,582 from a 21-4-6-3 record. Atone got up late for second at 8.51-1, edging 3.88-1 second choice Funtastic Again by a head. Tio Magico, Harlan Estate, Surly Furious, 9-5 favorite Wolfie’s Dynaghost, Kitodan, Verstappen, Wentru, and Curlin’s Malibu followed under the wire.

Three other stakes were offered on Turfway’s Tapeta.

Dana’s Beauty sprinted to the fore at the break and sprung a 20-1 upset in in the $249,200 Latonia S., scoring by nearly three lengths in the 1 1/16-mile event for fillies and mares. Jose Ortiz delivered a heady ride, slowing the pace down through fractions in :24.69, :49.56, and 1:13.92, and the Joe Sharp-trained mare had plenty left for the stretch as rolled home in 1:43.96.

It marked the first stakes win for the five-year-old, who was claimed for $25,000 from a win on Presque Isle Downs’ Tapeta last fall, and the Kentucky-bred daughter of Not This Time is campaigned by Magic Oaks. Dana’s Beauty has now bankrolled more than $425,000 from a 37-8-4-8 ledger.

Chop Chop, the 1.94-1 second choice, left herself too much to do from well off the pace, charging late to be a clear second. Forever After All and Sister Lou Ann came next, and even-money favorite Botanical wound up fifth after coming up empty in the stretch.

Trikari made his stakes debut a winning one in the $249,670 Rushaway S. for three-year-olds, gamely prevailing over Footprint by a neck. The Graham Motion-trained Oscar Performance colt stalked within a couple of lengths of the pace before making his move with Umberto Rispoli off the far turn, striking the front in midstretch and going on to complete 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.79.

Owned by Ameran Racing, Tikari left the starting gate at 4.41-1 following a neck second in an entry-level turf allowance at Gulfstream on Feb. 10. The Kentucky-bred broke his maiden the second time out on Gulfstream’s Tapeta in late December, and his career line now reads 4-2-1-0.

Footprint was off at 5.57-1 for Kenny McPeek following a third in an Oaklawn allowance. Twirling Point, the 2.21-1 favorite, closed belatedly for third. Blue Eyed George, who finished third in a Louisiana-bred stakes at Fair Grounds Saturday, was scratched along with Neat and Tennessee.

In the $235,000 Animal Kingdom for three-year-olds, Okiro rallied boldly to earn his first stakes victory, winning going away by 2 1/4 lengths in the six-furlong test. Julien Leparoux was up for Jose Garoffalo on the 8.91-1 fifth choice, and the Kentucky-bred son of Yoshida stopped the teletimer in 1:09.80.

Okiro improved his record to 7-3-2-1 for Yutaka Enterprises. Runner-up in a juvenile stakes on Gulfstream’s Tapeta, the dark bay colt rebounded from an unplaced finish in the Colonel Liam on turf in his 2023 opener. Smokey Smokey held second at 20-1 after chasing the pace, and Shards rallied for third in his seasonal debut. Valentine Candy, the 1.32-1 favorite after three consecutive sprint stakes wins at Oaklawn, came next in fourth.