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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
FALLS CITY HANDICAP QUOTES
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.”
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.”
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.”
“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.”
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.”
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.