Brad Grady’s Triple Chelsea displayed a powerful late kick in deep stretch to collar Morticia by a head and win Saturday’s eighth running of the $70,865 Unbridled Sidney Overnight Stakes for fillies and mares at Churchill Downs. Longshot Excessivespending was another head back in third.
Trained by Joe Sharp and ridden by Adam Beschizza, Triple Chelsea covered five furlongs on a firm Matt Winn Turf Course in :56.23, which narrowly eclipsed Wild About Marie’s 2012 stakes record of :56.24, to collect her fourth turf sprint stakes win of the year. Previously, she won the $50,000 Pan Zareta and $50,000 Nelson J. Menard at Fair Grounds and last month’s $100,000 Giant’s Causeway at Keeneland.
Justa Lady broke fastest from the gate in the field of nine fillies and mares, but Morticia assumed command entering the turn while clocking the first quarter mile in :21.79 and the half in :44.44. Morticia held 22-1 outsider Excessivespending at bay in deep stretch but Triple Chelsea, who had just two horses beat at the quarter pole, uncorked an explosive fast finish inside the final three-sixteenths of a mile and rallied from the outside to get up in time.
“She’s typically an aggressive mare from the gate and we got into a good stalking position, just like she likes,” said Beschizza, a native of England who collected his first Churchill Downs stakes win. “She has run some very good races sprinting on the turf so I knew we would be very competitive. She does her best running late and even though the trip didn’t entirely go to plan, her class followed through. Joe and his team did a great job training her and thankfully they went a bit quick early and came back to us.”
Triple Chelsea, who carried 125 pounds (four more pounds than her rivals), paid $4, $2.40 and $2.40 as the even-money betting favorite. Morticia, the 8-5 second choice under Brian Hernandez Jr., returned $2.80 and $2.40. Excessivespending, ridden by Robby Albarado, paid $4.80 to show.
Justa Lady, Natural Wonder, Ruby Notion, Moon River (IRE), There’syourtrouble and Our Valor completed the order of finish.
The victory was worth $42,600 and boosted Triple Chelsea’s bankroll to $411,389 with a record of 21-9-2-6. She has banked $189,070 from four wins, a second and two thirds in seven starts since Grady and Sharp claimed her for $62,500 at Kentucky Downs last September.
Sharp wasn’t presented for Saturday’s stakes triumph because he was attending his daughter Aiyana’s cheerleading competition at Disney World in Florida.
Triple Chelsea, who avenged a one-length loss to Nobody’s Fault in last year’s Unbridled Sidney, is a 5-year-old daughter of Hat Trick (JPN) out of the Ocean of Wisdom mare Oceane Music (FR). She was bred in Kentucky by Liberty Road Stables.
The stakes event is named for Unbridled Sidney, who won four of her seven starts at five furlongs over Churchill Downs’ Matt Winn Turf Course in 2005-07 for owners Douglas and Norrine Devenport and trainer Ronny Werner. She won the 2005 Zenobia Empress Handicap by 6 ¾ lengths in a course record :55.54 (since broken). In 2006, she won the Mamzelle on Kentucky Oaks Day and defeated males in the Cherokee Run Handicap on the day before the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The daughter of Unbridled’s Song was retired in the summer of 2007 with eight wins and $680,380 in 23 starts.
Earlier on the 11-race card, Corey Lanerie won five races aboard Sheikh of Sheikhs ($3.20) in Race 1, Brave Soul ($7.60) in Race 2, Hint of Roses ($4.80) in Race 4, Lookin for a Kiss ($4.60) in Race 5 and Fort Peck ($7.40) in Race 8.