Steve Landers' Leofric was sent off as the even-money favorite in Saturday's Grade 3 West Virginia Governor's Stakes at Mountaineer, and delivered a game front-running victory to hold on and win by a head over stablemate Term of Art at the wire. The 5-year-old son of Candy Ride, ridden by Florent Geroux for Brad Cox in their third stakes win on the card, covered 1 1/16 miles over the fast main track in 1:42.72.
“He's just a solid horse,” said Ricky Giannini, an assistant to Cox who handled the duties on a busy day at Mountaineer. “I didn't think he'd be that sharp out the gate, but Florent and I had talked before the race. There wasn't a lot of speed, and it set up really well for him.”
Leofric broke sharply and went straight to the lead, pressured immediately by Term of Art. Those two went through fractions of :24.25, :48.14, and 1:11.82, while tracked by Imperative, and three lengths farther back, Matrooh.
Rounding the far turn, both Term of Art and a four-wide Matrooh were making up a bit of ground on Leofric. Down the lane, Leofric just refused to let either of those rivals pass him, and crossed the wire a head in front. Term of Art held second over Matrooh.
Bred in Kentucky by Peter Blum, Leofric was a $100,000 purchase at the 2016 Keeneland November sale. Out of a daughter of Unbridled's Song, the horse has now won six of his 11 starts, earning nearly $450,000.
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