Bango Looks To Tie All-Time Win Mark at Churchill in $225K Aristides

May 31, 2023

Bango wins yet again under the Twin Spires, taking the St. Matthews Overnight (Coady Photography)

Churchill Downs Press Release

LOUISVILLE, Ky.— Tamaroak Partners’ 10-time local winner Bango will attempt to tie the all-time win mark at Churchill Downs in Saturday’s 35th running of the $225,000 Aristides Stakes (Listed) while facing off against two of the top sprinters in North America – Jun Park and Delia Nash’s Sibelius and Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Gunite.

The Aristides Stakes, which will go as Race 6 of 11, has a post time of 3:18 p.m. Dubbed as “Stephen Foster Preview Day,” the Aristides is one of six stakes events on the program. The others are the $225,000 Arlington Stakes (GIII), $225,000 Blame Stakes (GIII), $225,000 Regret Stakes (GIII), $225,000 Shawnee (GIII) and $225,000 Audubon (Listed). First post is 12:45 p.m.

Bango, trained by Greg Foley, has won the last two editions of the Aristides. The speedy homebred son of Congrats enters the Aristides following a five-length score in the St. Matthews Stakes on Thurby. If Bango prevails in the Aristides, he’d tie Ready’s Rocket for the all-time win leader at Churchill Downs. Hall of Famer John Velazquez will have the call from post No. 4.

Sibelius is slated to make his return to North American racing following his victory in the Dubai Golden Shaheen (GI) on March 25. Trained by Jeremiah O’Dwyer, Sibelius defeated fellow Aristides rival Gunite in the Dubai Golden Shaheen by a half-length. The 5-year-old gelded son of Not This Time has won seven races in his 19-race campaign. In last year’s Bet On Sunshine Stakes at Churchill Downs, Sibelius was defeated three-quarters of a length to Bango. Junior Alvarado will have the mount from the rail.

Grade II winner Gunite has been regularly preparing for the Aristides at Churchill Downs. The well-traveled son of Gun Runner began his 4-year-old stand with a victory in the King Cotton Stakes at Oaklawn prior to his runner-up effort in the Riyadh Dirt Sprint (GIII) in Saudi Arabia and his narrow third-place effort in the Dubai Golden Shaheen. Gunite will be piloted by Tyler Gaffalione from post 3.

Here is the complete field for the Aristides from the rail out (with jockey and trainer): Sibelius (Alvarado, O’Dwyer); Tejano Twist (Chris Landeros, Chris Hartman); Gunite (Gaffalione, Asmussen); Bango (Velazquez, Foley); and Strava (Luis Saez, Dallas Stewart).

The Aristides Stakes will be run one month in advance of the $225,000 Kelly’s Landing (Listed) on the July 1 Stephen Foster Day at Churchill Downs.

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