Heiligbrodt Racing Stable’s Skipadate caught longtime leader Baryshnikov
in the final 20 yards to give trainer Dale Romans his 500th victory
at Churchill Downs in winning the $49,701 Metro Medical Employee Appreciation
Day Classic for 3-year-olds and up by a neck on Thursday.
a 43-year-old Louisville
native, saddled his first Churchill Downs winner, Final Destroyer, on
Nov. 12, 1987. Romans has won five training titles outright at Churchill Downs
– three spring and two fall – and shared three other spring titles. Romans
trails only Bill Mott (631) in Churchill Downs victories.
led the field of eight through fractions of :24.29 and :48.44 while Francisco
Torres was giving Skipadate of ground-saving trip in the run down the
backstretch. Torres kept Skipadate on the inside to midstretch, when he swung
out into the three path and gradually wore down Baryshnikov.
covered the mile on a firm Matt Winn Turf Course in 1:37.04. The victory, the
third in 14 career starts for the 4-year-old Florida-bred son of Skip Away, was
worth $27,480 and increased Skipadate’s earnings to $189,202.
the favorite, Skipadate returned $6, $3.40 and $2.60, Baryshnikov, ridden by Rex
Stokes III, returned $7.20 and $4.40 and finished a neck in front of Au
Moon, ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan, who paid $3.40 to show.
resumes Friday with the second “Downs After Dark” program of the Spring Meet.
First post time for the 11-race program is 6 p.m. (EDT). There will be a
two-day Pick 6 carryover of $6,056 on races six through 11 with approximate
post time for the sixth race at 8:32 p.m. Also, there is a $22,525 carryover in
the Super Hi-5 in which the first five finishers in the 11th race
(post time 11:20 p.m.) must be selected in order.