Last year’s unplanned riderless Preakness star, Bodexpress, started in Race 7 on the Kentucky Derby undercard today, an Allowance Optional Claimer. He gave a game effort but came up a length and a half short to winner Aurelius Maximus.
On a fast/firm track Mr. Quality took a half length lead with Aurelius Maximus piloted by Ricardo Santana, Jr. stalking in an opening quarter of 24.16. Under Javier Castellano the 4-year-old son of Bodemeister stayed on the pace in third up the backstretch. Aurelius Maximus took command around the far turn.
As the field hit the top of the stretch Bodexpress, Mr. Quality and Signalman, coming up on the outside, accelerated and battled for second down the stretch with 100 yards to go. Bodexpress, trained by Gustavo Delgado, edged out No. 8 Mr. Quality, along the rail, who placed third by a head.
Final time was 1:42:75 with fractions of 47.96, 1:11.85 and 1:36.24.
Aurelius Maximus was making his second start of the year and first start since Jan. 4 which he won with an Equibase Speed Figure of 113. The 4-year-old Steve Asmussen trainee placed fourth in the Champagne Stake G1 at Belmont last October.
The son of Pioneerof The Nile out of A.P. Indy mare La Reina, Aurelius Maximus was bred in Kentucky by Martell Bloodstock and is campaigned by Stonestreet Stables LLC, Bolton, George and Leidel, Peter.
Bodexpress won twice after his DNF in the Preakness – a Maiden Special Weight and an Allowance at Gulfstream Park West – followed by a third place finish in the Harlan’s Holiday G3 and a fifth place finish in the Pegasus World Cup, both at Gulfstream Park and both with triple digit ESFs.
He followed those starts with a very disappointing 11th in the Gulfstream Park Mile G2 bouncing back in the Hal’s Hope G3 in March at Gulfstream and the Alydar Stakes in August at Saratoga, both with third place finishes.
Out of City Zip mare Pied A Terre, Bodexpress, was bred in Kentucky by Martha Jane Mulholland. The bay colt is owned by Top Racing, LLC, Global Thoroughbred and GDS Racing Stable.
Mr. Quality comes off a win at Indiana Grand. The 3-years-old colt, trained by Tim Glyshaw with Colby J. Hernandez in the irons, was unraced as a 2-year-old. He has had 11 starts in 2020 with a record of two wins, one second and three thirds. The son of Quality Road out of Harlan’s Holiday mare Felisa was bred in Kentucky by W. S. Farish & Bowling Farm. He is campaigned by Spalding, Wayne and McCubbins, Faron.
Signalman, Casino Star, Locally Owned, Savvy, Chess Chief, All West, Sagaponak, Award Winner and Tank Commander completed the order of finish.
Churchill Downs/Coady Photography