Becoming only the third repeat winner in Churchill Downs' Grade 1, $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic earned Gunpowder Farms' 5-year-old horse Divisidero honors as Fasig-Tipton Turf Horse of the Month for May on the all-things grass-racing website TurfTalk360.com.
A son of Ramsey Farm's popular stallion Kitten's Joy, Divisidero joins two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan (2013-14) and the Brazilian-bred Einstein (2008-09) as the only two-time as well as consecutive winners in the stakes first run in 1987. Divisidero closed from last of 11 to post the half-length victory over pacesetting Beach Patrol.
“I was pretty excited after the Keeneland race, because we knew he was back on form,” trainer Buff Bradley said of a nose defeat April 9 that followed a third and a sixth in Gulfstream Park stakes after a seven-month layoff. “That was a very tough race for it to be an allowance race, but that's Keeneland. We felt really good coming into the Woodford, knowing he loves the track and loves it here. I was talking with Jada (exercise rider Jada Schlenk) and we don't think he's any better than he is right now. He's out there bucking and playing ever day. So we're really happy his attitude is good, and he's going into this next race really well.”
Divisidero, who is out of the Lemon Drop Kid mare Madame Du Lac, shoots for another Grade 1 victory in Saturday's $1 million Woodford Reserve Manhattan at 1 1/4 miles, with Bradley quipping that he wants to work on being June's Turf Horse of the Month. The ultimate goal is the Breeders' Cup Turf at Del Mar, with stops on the way possibly including the Arlington Million.
The Turf Horse of the Month award recognizes outstanding grass performers and is sponsored by the internationally prominent Fasig-Tipton sales company, which this Sept. 10 will stage its first Turf Showcase auction consisting of selected yearlings suited for grass racing at its Newtown Paddocks in Lexington, Ky.
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