Racing Stables’ Coffee Clique squeezed through an opening along the
hedge to surge past longshot Dame Marie to score a half-length victory
in the 29th running
of the $336,900 Churchill Distaff Turf Mile (Grade II) Presented by
Longines for fillies and mares, the first of six graded stakes on
Kentucky Derby Day.
Trained by Brian
Lynch and ridden by Javier Castellano, Coffee Clique covered the mile on
a firm Matt Winn Turf Course in 1:34.66.
Coffee Clique is a
4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Medaglia d’Oro out of the Royal
Academy mare Miss Chapin. The victory was worth $200,523 and boosted her
earnings to $17,488 with a record of 10-5-1-1.
Already Sexy opened a clear advantage and led the field of nine through
fractions of :24.00, :46.98 and 1:10.48. At the head of the stretch,
Dame Marie and Effie Trinket swept past I’m Already
Sexy with Coffee Clique on the move to their inside.
Dame Marie was in command at midstretch but Castellano and Coffee Clique surged by in the final 100 yards to get the victory.
Coffee Clique returned $13.80, $8.80 and $5.80. Dame Marie, ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr.,
paid $31.60 and $13.40 with Effie Trinket finishing 1 3/4 lengths back in third under Luis Saez and paying $5.40 to show.
Finishing fourth a
neck back was Ready Signal, who was followed in order by favored Centre
Court, I’m Already Sexy, Miz Ida, Tapicat and Absolute Crackers (IRE).
CHURCHILL DISTAFF TURF QUOTES
Javier Castellano, rider of Coffee Clique (winner)
– “I saw the way two or three horses have the speed in the race. I
wanted to just stay off the pace a little bit. My horse is very brave.
Turning for home,
she split horses and kept on the rail. I saved all the ground. The most
important thing on the grass is to save some ground and I think it paid
Brian Lynch, trainer of Coffee Clique (winner)
– “I thought she settled lovely. It was a good decision on the first
turn to take back a bit. He (Jockey Javier Castellano) said she was game
down on the inside
the last part of it and he didn’t really have to get after her. He could
feel she was getting into a rhythm. We’ll be taking her up to Canada
this summer for the grass program up there. This spring she has really
come to herself.”
Irad Ortiz Jr., rider of Dame Marie (second)
– “I had a very good trip today. I followed the instructions of the
trainer (Eddie Kenneally) so I would not be too far from the lead. My
filly just pulled me
to the front and I could not stop her. I was happy with her effort and
she ran pretty good.”
Luis Saez, rider of Effie Trinket (third)
– “She had a good trip. She was clear on the outside. At the
three-eighths pole I thought she had a chance to win, but the other
horses came running past her. She
ran a good race.”
Julien Leparoux, rider of
favored Centre Court (fifth) -- “She missed a little bit at the start.
It’s not really an excuse. She always did get out, but around the turn
today, she was just getting out pretty bad,
both turns, and I kept losing ground because of that. I lost two or
three lengths each turn and it costs us.”