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Dundalk Dust Splashes Home in Falls City

Dundalk 5, LLC’s Dundalk Dust, the only 3-year-old in the field, rallied from last place to win the 95th running of the $161,250 Falls City Handicap (GII) for fillies and mares by three lengths over High Quail on Thanksgiving Day at Churchill Downs.


Trained by Chris Block and ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, Dundalk Dust trailed the field of six as High Quail and Garrett Gomez led the field through fractions of :25.17, :49.38 and 1:13.89 over a sloppy track with favored Distinctive Dixie in closest pursuit.


Turning for home, High Quail fended off one bid from Distinctive Dixie and then Ravi’s Song while Bridgmohan was swinging Dundalk Dust four wide and to the outside of Ravi’s Song. Dundalk Dust easily drew clear to record her fifth victory in seven starts and complete the distance in 1:53.37.


The victory was the second this meet for the Block-Bridgmohan duo, who teamed to win the Cardinal Handicap (GIII) on Nov. 7 with Askbut I Won’ttell.


Dundalk Dust is an Illinois-bred daughter of Military out of the Beau Genius mare Plus Beau. The victory was worth $98,975 and increased Dundalk Dust’s earnings to $237,105.


Dundalk Dust, who carried 115 pounds, returned $14.80, $7.80 and $4.40. High Quail, also carrying 115 pounds, returned $8 and $3.60 in finishing 1 ½ lengths in front of Striking Dancer, who paid $2.80 to show under Julien Leparoux while carrying 117 pounds. Ravi’s Song finished fourth, another 1 ¼ lengths back and was followed by Third Dawn and Distinctive Dixie.


Racing resumes Friday with a 12-race program beginning at 12:40 p.m. (all times Eastern). Highlighting the card is the 136th running of the $500,000-added Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (GI) that drew a field of 11. Post time for the Clark, the 11th race on the program, is 5:42 p.m. There’s a three-day carryover in the Pick 6, which covers races 7-12, of $13,811.




Shaun Bridgmohan (jockey, Dundalk Dust, winner): “I had a nice trip, She’s a neat filly to ride. She’s got a big stride to her and about the half-mile pole she switched leads and jumped in the bridle a little bit. All I had to do was pick her a spot and once I did she accelerated nicely. She was going along comfortably and then she jumped in the bridle and by then she knew what was going on. She ran home pretty good. I didn’t know what to expect. I have never ridden her and didn’t know much about her. Chris (Block, trainer) told me just let her get comfortable, let her then be happy and then find her somewhere to run at the end which worked out.”


Chris Block (trainer, Dundalk Dust, winner): “I felt like this filly would run real good until the rain came through, but she handles every surface we’ve given her. Her last work over the track (5 furlongs in 1:00 on Nov. 19) showed she was entering the race ready to go. I was a little concerned with her in the first turn because she dropped back and I thought she wasn’t handling the track, but you could see in the far turn she gathered momentum and I felt real good from that point on. We have been very fortunate this year at Churchill Downs; we’ve had the right horses for the right spots.”


Garrett Gomez (jockey, High Quail, second): “She ran good. She ran her last couple races toward the front end and I didn’t really send her, I just let her do what she wanted to early and she found herself on the lead. She galloped around real nice and she stayed on well. Just a better horse ran by her today.”


Dennis “Peaches” Geier (assistant trainer, High Quail, second): “This filly ran with her heart and ran great. She made the lead and Garrett (Gomez) slowed her down and rode her perfect, she just got out-kicked at the wire. She tried hard for her first time with these kind of horses and she ran a big race. This was a good effort for her.”


Robby Albarado (jockey, Distinctive Dixie, sixth as the slight 2-1 favorite): “I’m disappointed we didn’t win. She ran a huge race a few weeks ago. We will just have to evaluate her and see, but she felt great physically underneath me, she was in a great spot.”


NOTE: The last time the Falls City Handicap was contested over a “sloppy” main track was 2003 when Lead Story prevailed by 6 ½ lengths under Calvin Borel.





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