Arzak Rallies to 11-1 Upset in G2 Woodford 

October 7, 2023

Arzak gets the upset victory in the Woodford (Courtney Snow/Past The Wire)

Keeneland Press Release

LEXINGTON, Ky.— In the 27th running of the Woodford Presented by FanDuel, Sonata Stable’s Arzak rallied from off a rapid pace to post a 2-length victory over Our Shot. 

Trained by Mike Trombetta and ridden by Joel Rosario, Arzak completed the 5½ furlongs over a firm turf course in 1:01.65. It is the second victory in the race for Rosario, who won in 2019 aboard Stubbins. 

Favored Live In The Dream (IRE) shot to the front and produced fractions of :20.97 and :43.67 under Sean Kirrane until midstretch when Arzak thundered past and quickly opened up to post his seventh career victory. 

A Keeneland sales graduate, Arzak is a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Not This Time out of the Tapit mare Delightful Melody. It is the second graded stakes victory for Arzak, who has a record of 23-7-3-1 and a bankroll of $606,006 that includes Saturday’s $201,810 check. 

Arzak returned $25.66, $11.42 and $7.40. Our Shot, ridden by Tyler Gaffalione, returned $5.82 and $4.56 and finished a nose in front of Beer Can Man, who paid $4.66 to show with Flavien Prat aboard. 

It was another 1¼ lengths back to Live In The Dream with Bad Beat Brian, Let My People Go, Olympic Runner, Coppola, Kaufymaker, Kavod, Eye Witness and Foxtrotanna following in order. 

Quotes from the $350,000 Woodford (G2) Presented by FanDuel

A jovial Joel after the Woodford win (Courtney Snow/Past The Wire)

Joel Rosario (winning rider of Arzak)

“It looked like (they were going very fast up front). (Arzak) also has a little speed. On the backside I was farther back than I wanted to be, but it looked like they were really putting a good pace in front of him so I just stayed there and then kicked him on to finish. It was very easy for him (after he kicked into high gear coming down the stretch). I rode him before, and he always tries really, really hard. He’s a good horse.”

Tyler Gaffalione (rider of runner-up Our Shot)

“He broke alertly, put me in a good spot. They were rolling up front so I just tried to sit and wait. The 5 (Arzak) looked like he got the jump on us today but nothing to hang out heads down about that horse. My horse really finished up well today.”

Adam West (trainer of fourth-place finisher Live In The Dream-IRE)

“Incredibly fast. Very strong headwind today. For me anyway, that (performance) would paint the target on him. When we get to Santa Anita (for the Breeders’ Cup Turf Spring-G1), (he’s) going to be hard to catch. We trained at Keeneland, and I’m very appreciative of (the experience). Everyone’s been fantastic, and that’s (race from Live In The Dream is) kind of exactly what I wanted to see.” 

Fall Stars Weekend continues Sunday with a 10-race program that begins at 1 p.m. ET. Three stakes are on the program highlighted by the $600,000 Juddmonte Spinster (G1) for fillies and mares that features the Keeneland return of champion Nest. 

@jonathanstettin I for one can still actually feel the pall cast over the crowd and game that day. It was palpable. Kudos 2/2

William G. Gotimer (@WilliamGotimer) View testimonials