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
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
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
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."