Both stakes for 3-year-olds Friday at Turfway Park went into the win column of trainer Wesley Ward, with Invader taking the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial (listed) and Karak obliterating her competition in the $75,000 black-type Cincinnati Trophy.
Jockey Albin Jimenez contained Invader as long as he could, but once let loose the colt bore down on the leader to take the Battaglia Memorial by 6-1/4 lengths. High Holy, the pacesetting 9-5 favorite, was second, four lengths ahead of Toma Toda in third. Final time for the 1 1/16-mile test was 1:45.92.
“He's a good horse from the gate, really quick, but there were a couple of speed horses in there and I didn't want to go to the lead too early,” said Jimenez, the meet's top rider. “I wanted to wait as long as I could, but he's such a strong horse. By the three-eighths pole he was taking it by himself so I just him go.”
Behind Toma Todo came My Man Flintstone, Ryan's Cat, Artemus Eagle, Hail to the Chief and Bahama Channel. Declared, Drew, Shake Some Action and Truculent were scratched by their trainers.
Entered off a 12-3/4 length maiden special weight win at Turfway Dec. 4, Invader went off fourth choice in the Battaglia at 5-1 and paid $12.80, $5.40 and $3.80.
Invader is owned by Cheyenne Stables, Grandview Equine and LNJ Foxwoods. By War Front out of Say, by Galileo (IRE), he was bred in Kentucky by Orpendale, Chelston and Wynatt. Invader's second win from six starts and his first stakes win, the Battaglia pushed his earnings to $106,200.
Karak dominated the Cincinnati Trophy, breaking first and setting all the pace of the 6-1/2 furlong race for sophomore fillies to finish 8-1/2 lengths ahead of 37-1 shot Secretly Wicked. Fashion Code was another 3-1/4 lengths back in third.
With Gerardo Corrales aboard for the first time, Karak clocked the quarters in :22.54, :45.48 and 1:10.70 before galloping home in 1:17.40.
Kay Bee Gee was fourth, followed by Las Ramblas, Rising Seas, Snaffle, 6-5 favorite Anna's Fast, Baileston Lassie and L. A. Star. Miss Firecracker and My Good Girl were scratched by their trainers.
Sent off the 3-1 second choice behind stablemate Anna's Fast, Karak paid $8.80, $5.40 and $4.20.
The Cincinnati Trophy was Karak's second black-type win. Her record stands now at three wins and a third from six starts, with earnings of $160,175 for owner Breeze Easy LLC. Bred in Kentucky by Parrish Hill Farm, Amanda Roach Cole and Karakontie Syndicate, Karak is by Karakontie (JPN) out of Down the Well (IRE), by Mujadil.
The Battaglia Memorial is the local prep for the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3), a Kentucky Derby (G1) points race. The Cincinnati Trophy is the local prep for the Bourbonette Oaks (listed), a points race for the Kentucky Oaks (G1). Both the Jeff Ruby and the Bourbonette run Saturday, March 14.
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