LOUISVILLE, Ky.– G. Chris Coleman and Brad King’s Into Mystic turned the tables on Change of Control in posting a three-quarters of a length victory in the 11th running of the $150,000 Unbridled Sidney for fillies and mares.
Trained by Brendan Walsh and ridden by Florent Geroux, Into Mystic covered the 5 ½ furlongs on a Matt Winn Turf Course labeled as good in 1:05.89 to capture the Unbridled Sidney.
Elle Z and Yes It’s Ginger dueled for the early lead with Into Mystic sitting in third next to the rail. Turning into the stretch, Into Mystic shot through an opening on the inside and quickly assumed and command and held of Change of Control who had caught her late in the Giant’s Causeway at Keeneland three weeks ago.
Into Mystic is a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Into Mischief out of the Medaglia d’Oro mare Loveofalifetime. She increased her career earnings to $457,923 with Thursday’s check of $88,350 and improved her record of 20-7-5-3.
Into Mystic returned $7, $3.40 and $2.80. Change of Control, ridden by Colby Hernandez, returned $4 and $3.20 with Winning Envelope rallying for third to pay $3.80 to show under Javier Castellano.
She’sonthewarpath finished fourth and was followed in order by favored Oleksandra (AUS), Yes It’s Ginger, Foxxy Belle, Lady Grace, Elle Z and A Bit of Both.
Set Piece winning the Opening Verse Stakes. (Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)
Two races prior to the Unbridled Sidney, Juddmonte’s Set Piece (GB) won the 16th running of the $105,734 Opening Verse Overnight Stakes for 3-year-olds and up by 1 ¼ lengths.
Set Piece surged to the front in deep stretch to post his second victory at Churchill Downs in three grass starts.
Trained by Brad Cox and ridden by Florent Geroux, Set Piece covered the mile in 1:38.26 over a Matt Winn Turf Course labeled as good. It is the second victory in the Opening Verse for Geroux who took the 2015 renewal aboard The Pizza Man.
Set Piece is a 5-year-old son of Dansili (GB) out of the Kingmambo mare Portodora. The victory improved his record to 14-7-1-1 and increased his earnings to $211,474 with Thursday’s $54,126 check.
Set Piece returned $7.80, $4 and $3.60. Snapper Sinclair, who rallied for second underRicardo Santana Jr., returned $5 and $3.80 with Gray’s Fable paying $5.40 to show under John Velazquez.
Sugoi finished fourth and was followed in order by Logical Myth, Captivating Moon, Sayyaaf and Spectacular Gem.
UNBRIDLED SIDNEY QUOTES
Florent Geroux (Jockey, Into Mystic, winner) – “She broke super sharp. I was able to keep her a little bit off the pace. Perfect trip. The rail was wide open so I took advantage of it turning for home. She was waiting around at the end. I made the lead a little sooner than I wanted, but I just took advantage of my position.”
Brendan Walsh (Trainer, Into Mystic, winner) – “She always shows up and runs a hard race. This was the first time over this turf course but she’s run well over the soft going in the past. She got a great trip today.”
Colby Hernandez (Jockey, Change of Control, runner-up) – “She’s a hard trying filly every time. I had a pretty good trip, sitting right outside the one, but he (Florent Geroux) was able to get through on the rail and I had to kind of sit and wait and hop out, so he had a little bit better trip than I did. My horse ran hard and dug in and tried to battle back when she saw the winner.”
Joel Rosario (Jockey, beaten favorite Oleksandra, fifth-place) – “She gave it a good try. But it is tough for one like her with her style to make up ground on this kind of turf course.”
OPENING VERSE QUOTES
Florent Geroux (Jockey, Set Piece, winner) – “He broke a step slow but he’s never been a good gate horse, he’s always a little bit sluggish getting away from there. I just wanted to be able to save ground and take my time. It looked like on paper there was a bunch of speed horses in there, the one, two and three, so I thought they would go an honest pace. He ran a great race here last year in the spring so I was confident with him.”
Brad Cox (Trainer, Set Piece, winner) – “He’s a really nice horse that we got last year from Juddmonte after he raced in Europe to begin his career. We had a little bit of concern going into this race because of the course condition but Florent (Geroux) got him into a great spot around the turn and he ran a top effort.”
Ricardo Santana Jr. (Jockey, Snapper Sinclair, runner-up) – “I had a perfect trip and he fired his best shot. We were just second best today.”
Racing continues Friday with a 13-race program highlighted by the 147th running of the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI). First post time for the card is 10:30 a.m. (EDT).
Churchill Downs Press Release
Photo: Into Mystic. (Churchill Downs/Coady Photography)