Bango (inside) digs in and notches a record victory beneath the Twin Spires (JennyPhoto/Past The Wire)
Churchill Downs Press Release
LOUISVILLE, Ky.— The popular crack sprinter Bango grabbed the lead at the top of the stretch and determinedly turned back a late bid from Gulfstream Way to win Saturday’s third running of the $300,000 Louisville Thoroughbred Society by a head and collect his 11th career victory at Churchill Downs to tie Ready’s Rocket for the most documented wins beneath the Twin Spires.
Bango ran six furlongs in 1:09.02 under jockey Tyler Gaffalione, who piloted the winner for trainer Grey Foley and owners/breeders Fred and Debbie Schwartz’s Tamaroak Partners LLC.
“Churchill Downs has been our home for a very long time,” Foley said. “It’s so special to have one of our horses go into the history books as tying the all-time win record at Churchill. These owners, Fred and Debbie Schwartz, have been with us for a very long time. They’ve stuck with me through my career and it’s special their horse is part of history. And a homebred, too. We’ve got a lot of our family here with us today and it’s great to be able to celebrate this win with all of them.”
Sent to post as the even-money favorite in a field six older horses, Bango sat just off the right hip of Strobe down the backstretch and into the turn as the leader rattled off swift early fractions of :21.55 and :44.75. Bango emerged with the lead leaving the turn with a quarter mile to run and battled gamely down the lane to hold off Gulfstream Way, who closed from the outside and inched closer with each and every step until the finish.
“This horse is very special and just loves it here at Churchill,” Gaffalione said. “I’m very thankful for the entire Foley team for letting me ride him. He’s very talented and it’s great to be a part of history. He’s such a hard-trying horse. I had plenty of horse beneath me but it got a little closer than I would’ve liked. He’s always going to try hard so I’m confident every time I ride him.”
Bango won for the 14th time in 33 career starts and the $183,450 payday jumped the Kentucky-bred’s career earnings to $1,459,261. It was his ninth career stakes win.
Eleven of his 14 victories have come at Churchill Downs. Bango’s local record of 19-11-1-2—$1,120,746 since 2019 tied Ready’s Rocket documented Churchill Downs mark of 27-11-3-3—$135,071 set between 2005-12.
Bango paid $4.32, $2.56 and $2.10. Gulfstream Way, ridden by Ricardo Santana Jr., returned $4.64 and $2.84. Necker Island, with Mitchell Murrill in the saddle, was another 3 ¾ lengths back in third and paid $3.30.
After Necker Island, it was another 2 ¼ lengths back to Awesome Aaron in fourth, who was followed by Baytown Bear and 6-5 second betting choice Strobe.
The race is named for the Louisville Thoroughbred Society, which opened for regular hours of operation in March 2021. The Louisville Thoroughbred Society is Louisville’s only on-site wagering by Churchill Downs in the heart of Louisville’s metropolitan scene. The premier club for Thoroughbred enthusiasts is open for private membership applications, and reservations for special events are being accepted. For more information, visit www.thelouisvillethoroughbredsociety.com.