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A Diehl closes out Churchill Downs fall meet

G. Watts Humphrey Jr.'s A Diehl rallied in-between horses at the top of the stretch, took the lead prior to the eighth pole and held off a late rally from Color Me Blue to win the $51,470 Sunday afternoon closing-day feature at Churchill Downs by 1 ¼ lengths.

Trained by Rusty Arnold and ridden by Freddie Lenclud, A Diehl covered the mile on the sloppy main track in 1:36.72.

A Diehl broke alertly and led the field of five through an opening quarter mile in :24.12. Shortly after the quarter pole, Lenclud allowed Modern Cowboy to take the lead and the 4-year-old son of Tiznow recorded a half mile in :47.71. A Diehl moved for the lead entering the stretch, gained an advantage a few moments later and was kept to task by Lenclud until he crossed the wire in front to record his first victory in 11 tries over the main track beneath the Twin Spires.

Breaking from the gate at odds of 5-1, A Diehl returned mutuels of $13, $5.80 and $2.80. Russell L. Reineman Stable Inc.'s Color Me Blue finished second and returned $4.80 and $2.40 with Green Hills Farm Inc.'s Modern Cowboy another half-length back in third returning $2.60.

The victory was worth $32,400 and increased the 6-year-old gelded son of Aldebaran's bankroll to $288,206 with a record of 5-6-9 from 29 lifetime starts.

Sunday was the final day of Churchill Downs' 21-day Fall Meet. Jockey Julien Leparoux won his fifth consecutive Fall Meet riding title with 34 victories and ninth overall beneath the Twin Spires. Corey Lanerie finished second with 27 wins.

Trainers Steve Asmussen and Mike Maker shared the training title with 15 wins apiece. Asmussen won Sunday's eighth race with Eyeseeyou to tie Maker. For Asmussen, it was his sixth consecutive Churchill Downs title and 11th local crown. Maker was the track's leading trainer during the 2008 Fall Meet with a record 31 victories. Both had a chance to win the title outright in Race 10 but Maker finished second with Twinspired and Asmussen was fourth with Joes Blazing Aaron.

Ken and Sarah Ramsey sent out 12 winners to claim their record 10th Fall Meet leading owner title and 18th overall at Churchill Downs. Billy, Donna and Justin Hays were second with five wins.

Racing returns to Churchill Downs on Saturday, April 28, 2012. The 138th Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands will be run a week later on Saturday, May 5.


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