LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Natalie Baffert and Debbie Lanni’s Du Jour surged to the front at the sixteenth pole en route to a 1 1/2-length victory in the 30th running of the $500,000 American Turf presented by Derby City Gaming (GII) for 3-year-olds.
Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Flavien Prat, Du Jour covered the mile and a sixteenth on a firm Matt Winn Turf Course in 1:42.49. It is the second victory in the race for Baffert who won in 2003 with Senor Swinger.
Excellent Timing set the pace while Winfromwithin tracked in third with Du Jour right behind him. Coming off the far turn heading into the stretch, Luis Saez sent Winfromwithin through an opening and surged to the front with Du Jour following.
At the eighth pole, Prat tipped Du Jour to the outside, collared Winfromwithin at the sixteenth pole and drew clear.
The victory was worth $282,100 and increased Du Jour’s earnings to $375,220 with a record of 5-3-1-1. It is the first stakes victory for Du Jour, a Kentucky-bred son of Temple City out of the Bernardini mare Guiltless.
Du Jour returned $13.20, $7.40 and $5.40. Lucky Law (IRE) rallied for second under Florent Geroux to pay $13.60 and $8.80 while finishing 1 ¼ lengths in front of Winfromwithin who paid $5.20 to show.
Hidden Enemy (IRE) finished another half-length back in fourth and was followed in order by Palazzi, Royal Prince, Chess’s Dream, Annex, Scarlett Sky, Holy Vow, Next, Dyn O Mite, Barrister Tom and Excellent Timing.
AMERICAN TURF QUOTES
Flavien Prat (Jockey, Du Jour, winner) – “The key was getting him to relax down inside. I actually sent him quite a bit out of the gate and then it’s always a question of if they can come back to you after that. It felt like they were going a good clip up front and that helped him to relax too. He traveled well and when I asked him to split horses, he did it nicely.”
Bob Baffert (Trainer, Du Jour, winner) – “These turf horses are easier to train. You don’t have to train them very hard. We tried to make a dirt horse out of him and he wasn’t that good. Mike Smith rode him and said I think he likes the dirt. I’m really excited about it. And I’m just so happy for Jill. She has to deal with me as a trainer, and all the ups and downs. For that horse to win today, and to listen to her excitement, now she has something that’s hers.
Florent Geroux (Jockey, Lucky Law (IRE), runner-up) – “Great trip from the 12 hole. I was able to settle and save ground. Coming into the turn, I was right behind the winner. He just got the jump on me. I follow him and waited for my turn to push the gas. He ran a great race. We were just one spot behind the winner.”
Churchill Downs Press Release
Photo: Du Jour. (Churchill Downs/Coady)