Favored Colonel Liam, Domestic Spending dead heat in Turf Classic

Favored Colonel Liam, Domestic Spending dead heat in Turf Classic
Photo: Candice Chavez/Eclipse Sportswire

In a stretch battle to the wire between favored Colonel Liam and 5-1 Domestic Spending, the result was a dead heat in the $1 million Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs on Saturday.

"I had no idea," Domestic Spending's rider Flavien Prat said after the race. "To be honest I did not know. Right past the wire I knew I was a lick in front but I had no idea if I got there on time."

Smooth Like Strait, who wound up third, shot to an early lead in the race, knocking out fractions of 23.40, 49.17, 1:12.83 and 1:36.22.

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At the top of the stretch, Smooth Like Strait held the lead, but Colonel Liam, trained by Todd Pletcher, came from the outside to grab the lead late. Domestic Spending, trained by Chad Brown, came from farther outside, catching Colonel Liam at the wire. After a review, the race was declared a dead heat.

The final time was 1:47.99.

"He was coming," Colonel Liam's jockey, Irad Ortiz Jr., said of Domestic Spending after the race. "He just got there in the last couple of jumps."

Colonel Liam came into the race off a victory in the Muniz Memorial Classic (G2) over the lawn at Fair Grounds. Domestic Spending came in after winning the Hollywood Derby (G1) at Del Mar in November.

Colonel Liam paid $2.80 for the win, and Domestic Spending paid $5.20.

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