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Contested Cruises in Eight Belles

Jill Baffert’s Contested swept past Good Deed in upper stretch and romped to a 4 ¾-length victory in stakes record time to win the 57th running of the $110,000 Eight Belles Presented by Xerox (Grade III) for 3-year-old fillies on Friday afternoon at Churchill Downs.
 
Contested, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Ghostzapper out of the Arch mare Gold Vault, ran the seven furlongs on a fast main track in 1:21.19. The previous stakes record was established by Roxelana (1:21.97) in 2000.
 
Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Martin Garcia, Contested earned $66,154 for the victory and boosted her bankroll to $144,754 with her third consecutive victory. Her overall record is 4-3-1-0.
 
Contested, the favorite in the field of eight, returned $4.20, $3 and $2.80. Good deed, ridden by Corey Lanerie, returned $3.60 and $3.20 with Always Here Too rallying for third another 6 ¼ lengths back under Leandro Goncalves and paying $7.20 to show.
 
Completing the field in order were Livi Makenzie, Xunlei, My Due Process, Small Kitchen and Volcat.
 
EIGHT BELLES QUOTES


MARTIN GARCIA (Jockey, Contested, first) – “I knew I had a lot speed with my horse, and I was in perfect position. I was on the outside and that gave me a lot of big chances to do good things when I asked her run. That’s what she did. I asked her and she really ran away from them.”


BOB BAFFERT (Trainer, Contested, first) – “I could tell by the way Martin (Garcia) was riding that he had a lot of confidence in this filly. Being on the outside gave him a lot of options of what he could do and what he wanted to do.

“It was a nice win even though they didn’t have Jill’s colors on. They gave her the option of choosing some yellow and orange silks they had in the jock’s room and Mike Pegram’s silks. So she said, ‘Give me Mike’s silks, they’re pretty lucky.”


COREY LANERIE (Jockey, Good Deed, second) – “I thought I’d be just laying off the pace. I actually had the race to myself. She ran great, she just got beat by a better horse.”


STEVE MARGOLIS (Trainer, Good Deed, second) – “She got everything her own way. She ran a heck of a race. The other horse just had more.”


LEANDRO GONCALVES (Jockey, Always Here Too, third) – "She didn't break well and I was farther back than I wanted to be. I tried to follow (jockey) Rosie (Napravnik)'s horse (Small Kitchen), but I didn't have anywhere to go. She finished well. I wish we had made the break because I think she would have finished better."
 

 

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