LOUISVILLE, Ky.— Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ Breeders’ Cup Sprint (Grade I) winner Aloha West returned to the winner’s circle Saturday as he ran down pacesetter Kneedeepinsnow in deep stretch and turned back a late charge from Miles Ahead to win Saturday’s 12th running of the $120,350 Kelly’s Landing Overnight Stakes at Churchill Downs by a neck.
Trained by Wayne Catalano and ridden by Joel Rosario, Aloha West found a drop in class to his liking as he clocked 6 1/2 furlongs over a “fast” track in 1:15.45 to collect his second career stakes. Previously this year, Aloha West ran third behind Jackie’s Warrior and Reinvestment Risk in the $750,000 Churchill Downs (GI) on Kentucky Derby Day and fourth in the $1 million Metropolitan Handicap (GI) behind Flightline, Happy Saver and Speaker’s Corner on the Belmont Stakes undercard.
The triumph for the Maryland-bred was worth $57,722 and boosted Aloha West’s bankroll to $1,507,290 with a record of 6-2-1 in 12 starts.
“We’re glad he got his feet back underneath him today,” Catalano said. “He ran into some stiff competition in his last two starts and he was coming off the layoff. Our goal is to get him back to Keeneland for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Today, we started our way back by getting his confidence back. Joel had to ask him a little bit early in the race just to keep his position since he was inside of horses.”
Kneedeepinshow set the pace in the field of seven older horses as he clipped off fractions of :22.33, :44.80 and 1:09.07 while. Aloha West tracked from the inside. Aloha West was second leaving the turn, surged past Kneedeepinsnow at the sixteenth pole and held off the fast-closing Miles Ahead for the win.
“I had to ride him a little bit up into the pace today to keep his position,” Rosario said. “I think he got his confidence back today. He’s a very talented horse and showed his class today.”
Aloha West is a 5-year-old son of Hard Spun out of the Speightstown mare Island Bound. He was bred by Robert T. Manfuso and Katherine M. Voss.
Aloha West returned $3.80, $3 and $2.40. Miles Ahead, at odds of 15-1 under Joe Talamo, returned $8.40 and $5 and finished two lengths in front of Kneedeepinsnow who paid $4.20 to show under Ricardo Santana Jr. as the 6-1 third choice.
Defending champion and 2-1 second choice Bango was fourth and was followed by Heart Rhythm, Bob’s Edge and Startdfromdabottom. A C Expressway and Awesome Gerry were scratched.
The Kelly’s Landing honors the Summerplace Farm runner who earned $1,853,831 from a record of 10-3-2 in 27 starts for trainer Eddie Kenneally between 2004-09. The gelding won the six-furlong Aristides Handicap (Grade III) at Churchill Downs in 2005 by stopping the teletimer in a track record 1:07.55 (since eclipsed). His biggest victory came in the 2007 Dubai Golden Saheen at Nad Al Sheba in the United Arab Emirates. Kelly’s Landing also won the 2006 Phoenix (GIII) at Keeneland and 2007 Mr. Prospector Handicap (GIII) at Gulfstream Park.
KELLY’S LANDING QUOTES
Joel Rosario (jockey, Aloha West, winner) – “I had to ride him a little bit up into the pace today to keep his position. I think he got his confidence back today. He’s a very talented horse and showed his class today.”
Wayne Catalano (trainer, Aloha West, winner) – “We’re glad he got his feet back underneath him today. He ran into some stiff competition in his last two starts and he was coming off the layoff. Our goal is to get him back to Keeneland for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (GI). Today, we started our way back by getting his confidence back. Joel (Rosario) had to ask him a little bit early in the race just to keep his position since he was inside of horses.”
Churchill Downs Press Release
Photo by Coady Photography