Robert T. Manfuso’s Island Bound, ridden by Leandro Goncalves,
rallied from the outside and edged clear late to win the ninth running of the
Grade III, $110,100 Winning Colors by 1 ¼ lengths over Beat the Blues on
Friday night at Churchill Downs.
The Winning Colors – named in honor of the filly that
prevailed against colts in the 1988 Kentucky Derby – was the first of three
graded stakes races run under the lights as part of Churchill Downs’ special “Downs
After Dark Presented by Stella Artois and Finlandia Vodka” nighttime racing
Island Bound sprinted six furlongs on a main track rated fast
in 1:09.89 for trainer Ian Wilkes.
The 5-year-old mare was allowed to settle as Honey Chile,
Page Springs and 2-1 favorite Good Deed disputed the pace in the
early stages through fractions of :21.61 and :45.05. Goncalves swung Island
Bound six-wide entering the stretch, wore down the leaders and held off a late
run by Beat the Blues, who was unable to match strides with the winner.
Island Bound paid $21.40, $6.40 and $4.40 at odds of 9-1 in
the field of eight fillies and mares. Beat the Blues returned $3.60 and $2.80. Speedacious,
who loomed a danger but flattened out during the stretch drive, was another 1 ¾
lengths back in third and paid $3.20. Gleaming, Good Deed, Fortune
Play, Honey Chile and Page Springs completed the order of finish.
Island Bound, a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of
Speightstown out of the A.P. Indy mare Indy Mood, won for the fifth time in 20
career starts. The Winning Colors was her first try against graded stakes
company. The $66,215 winner’s share of the purse jumped her career earnings to
$213,238. She has finished first or second in each of her six starts this year,
with three victories.
Ian Wilkes, trainer of Island Bound, winner: “This filly has really improved
over the year. Her last race was very good and she had been training well since
then. I’m very happy for (owner) Bob Manfuso. He’s a tremendous guy and I’m so
happy he was able to get this graded stakes win.”
Leandro Goncalves, jockey of Island Bound, winner: “Everything worked out how Ian and
I planned before the race. There was a lot of speed in the race, so I just
rated about four or five (lengths) off the pace. We started to pick it up at
the three-eighths (pole) and then, when I really asked her, she finished
strong. I had everything my way today.”
Miguel Mena, jockey of Beat the Blues, second: “She had a good break and it was a
perfect trip for me. We were behind a hot pace, they went in :21, and I thought
I was in a great spot. Turning for home I got through in the middle and split
horses perfectly and thought I’d be a winner from there. But the outside
(Island Bound) was the best horse today. But she ran a great race, like she
does every time.”