He wasn't All Right. He was Aaalllll Riiggght!! Especially if you bet him in Saturday's $342,855 Kentucky Downs Juvenile.
At 44-1 odds, All Right, who had been a good second in his only start, pushed the pace before taking the lead in deep stretch and having enough left to hold off the late-running Parlor by a neck. The Kellyn Gorder-trained All Right, with Channing Hill aboard, paid $90.20 as the longest shot on the board in the field of 12.
The victory flattered Gemacho, who won their Aug. 14 grass maiden race at Ellis Park by three-quarters of a length. Trainer Vickie Foley has said she'll point Gemacho toward a $140,000 allowance race at Kentucky Downs. But Gorder and co-owners Bill Helwig and Brent Gasaway decided to roll the dice with their maiden, who cost $20,000 at the April OBS 2-year-old sale.
“It was sort of a last-minute decision,” said the Keeneland-based Gorder. “We looked at it and said it was only $750 to enter, 'Let's take a look.' This horse is so well-balanced that I thought he really would handle the up and down of this course. I galloped this horse about a month ago, and hadn't been back on him. I rode him three days ago. I came back into the barn and I don't usually tout horses. I said, 'It's going to be fun to win a maiden for $350,000.'
Said Helwig, who is from Owensboro, Ky.: “My partner and Kellyn and I talked about it and we all agreed it was worth a shot. He ran a big race at Ellis the first time. But the winner of the race slowed it down so much that there wasn't any way to catch him. But he had some real gas at the end of that race.”
The Eddie Kenneally-trained Parlor, who had won his debut Aug. 14 in the other division of the Ellis mile 2-year-old maiden race, came from 10th and 10 lengths back to just miss under Declan Cannon.
“It was a huge effort,” Cannon said. “My horse was a little unbalanced going down the hill. I couldn't really move on him until we straightened for home. He was eating up the ground. Another furlong, 150 yards, I was the winner. He's just a nice horse when he goes back to the mile. I know he's a nice horse.”
Hot Dad was another 4 1/2 lengths back in third in the capacity field of 12 two-year-olds after closing from 11th. Rounding out the field were Prados Way, Han Sense, Ancient Warfare, Zunino, Preemptive Strike, pacesetting Cold Snack Thirty, Raising Rumors, Capt. Grider and B Rod Maclean.
All Right, a son of the Smart Strike stallion Dominos and out of the Touch Gold mare Smart Touch, covered seven-eighths of a mile in 1:25.66.
“He surprised me how well he broke,” Hill said. “He broke super, super well and I really was expecting the pace to be a little more contentious. I really wasn't expecting him to sit close, I was really expecting him to kind of pick up some pieces because I wanted to keep him in the bridle because he was real green last time.
“And today he showed his immaturity a little bit once he made the lead, but he showed his class by staying in front. Last time was a little different. Last time, he was so green and Vickie Foley's horse (Gemacho) ran such a good race that he sprinted from the top of the lane and got separation. Then (All Right) got to looking around a little bit and at about the eighth-pole he realized that's who he was supposed to be chasing down. He really put it all together today.”
Gorder said he didn't know what was next, but probably something at Keeneland. He said the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf is something on their radar.
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