Bridgmohan Notches First Churchill Spring Meet Riding Title
Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Awesome Flower took the lead approaching the stretch of the Matt Winn Turf Course, kicked away to lead by as many as four lengths and was hand-ridden inside the sixteenth-pole to win the $46,871 feature at Churchill Downs by 2 ½ lengths on closing day of the 38-day Spring Meet.
Trained by Mike Maker and ridden by Rosie Napravnik, Awesome Flower completed the one-mile event on the yielding turf course in 1:39.46.
A 4-year-old chestnut daughter of Flower Alley, Awesome Flower collected $25,560 for Sunday’s win. Her record now stands at four wins, three seconds and two thirds from 14 starts with earnings of $116,538.
Awesome Flower was the third-choice in the field of eight and returned $9.80, $4.60 and $3.80. Street of Gold, under Shaun Bridgmohan, and Moonwalk, under Jesus Castanon, finished in a dead-heat for the place. Street of Gold returned $3 and $4 and favored Moonwalk returned $2.60 and $3.60.
The Ramseys, winners of a single-season record 32 races at the meet, collected their record-extending 19th leading owners’ title. It is their ninth Spring Meet title and first since 2009. Bert, Elaine and Richard Klein finished second in the owner standings with eight wins.
Bridgmohan led all jockeys in wins with 53 and collected his first Spring Meet title. He finished in a tie with Calvin Borel for the lead at the 2006 Fall Meet. A 34-year-old native of Spanish Town, Jamaica, Bridgmohan is ranked 11th in all-time wins beneath the Twin Spires with 489.
Napravnik’s runner-up finish in the jockey standings is the highest for a female rider at Churchill Downs. Her 45 wins also are more than any female rider at a single Churchill Downs meet.
The race for leading trainer came down to the final race of the Spring Meet and 4-5 favorite Buzzin At Midnight won for Maker to give him a share of the title with Steve Asmussen with 35 wins each.
It was the record 12th training title at the home of the Kentucky Derby for Asmussen, who is ranked fourth in all-time wins at Churchill Downs with 480, and his sixth at a Spring Meet. He previously was tied with D. Wayne Lukas with 11 titles each.
It was the first Spring Meet title for Maker, who led all trainers at the 2008 Fall Meet and tied with Asmussen at the Fall Meet in 2011.
The wins-per-day rate of 0.92 for Maker and Asmussen over the 38-day meet was the fourth highest at a Spring Meet in Churchill Downs history and the highest since William Huntley Baker won 15 races over the course of a 13-day Spring Meet (1.15 wins per day) in 1916.
Racing will return to Churchill Downs with the inaugural Homecoming Meet. The first September racing meet in the history of Churchill Downs Racetrack will open on Friday, Sept. 6 and continue through Sunday, Sept. 29. Racing will be conducted on a Friday-through-Sunday schedule during each of its four weeks and “Downs After Dark” night racing celebrations are scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 7 and Saturday, Sept. 28.