Churchill Downs: Lady Radler surprises at 23-1 in Dogwood

Churchill Downs: Lady Radler surprises at 23-1 in Dogwood
Photo: Churchill Downs / Coady Photography

Lady Radler, sent off as the longest shot in field of nine 3-year-old fillies, emerged with the lead with three-sixteenths of a mile to the finish and ran away to a 2 3/4-length victory over Metaphysical on Saturday in the 48th running of the Grade 3, $299,750 Dogwood Stakes, the feature race in front of 12,744 spectators at Churchill Downs for the final night program of the year.

Campaigned by Chicago-based trainer Michael Campbell for owner George Mellon’s Mellon Patch, Lady Radler covered seven furlongs in 1:22.71 under jockey Jesús Castañón. Sent off at 23-1, she paid $48.40, $18.44 and $10.44.

The $178,800 first prize jumped Lady Radler’s earnings to $371,200 from a record of 5-2-1 in 10 starts.

Metaphysical, the 5-2 second betting choice ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr., returned $4.24 and $3.02.

Click here for Churchill Downs entries and results.

“She ran a huge race,” trainer Jeff Hiles said about Metaphysical. “She’s graded-stakes placed after this, and that’s big on her résumé.”

Yesternight, the 5-2 favorite with James Graham up, was 1 3/4 lengths back of the runner-up and paid $3.64.

Twice as Sweet, Santa Fe Gold, Alexa Lou, B G Warrior, Norah G and Flamand completed the order of finish.

Breaking from post position No. 5, Lady Radler sat just off early leaders B G Warrior and Twice as Sweet, who rattled off fractions of 22.26 and 45.48 seconds for the first quarter- and half-mile.

Under a snug hold from Castañón up the backstretch and into the turn, Lady Radler finally was let to run at the top of the stretch, where she was tipped outside of Twice as Sweet. She took over in upper stretch and drew away from a chasing Metaphysical and a closing Yesternight.

“I’ve been on her before, and she’s a really nice horse,” Castañón said. “I’ve worked her, and I always thought she would break through in graded-stakes company. Tonight she did just that, and I’m very proud of her.”

This was the second stakes victory for Lady Radler but her first against graded-stakes company. In May she won the $50,000 Goldfinch at Prairie Meadows.

Lady Radler is a daughter of Kantharos out of the South Africa-bred, London News mare Sally Bowles. She was bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings.

The Dogwood is named for the hardy, blooming tree that adds so much beauty to the spring landscape in Kentucky.

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