Bridgetown a popular Woodford winner
|Bridgetown (left) got the best of Great Mills in the Woodford
Eugene Melnyk's homebred Bridgetown made a rare off-the-pace rally to land
Saturday's Grade 3, $150,000
going 5 1/2 furlongs on Keeneland's firm turf. Favored at 3-5 in the field of
six, the five-year-old son of Speightsown wore down long-time leader Great Mills
inside the final furlong to post a one-length win in a time of 1:02 2/5.
Settled by jockey Javier Castellano three lengths behind Great Mills through
an opening quarter of :21 3/5, Bridgetown cut into that deficit around the far
turn as Great Mills turned back longshot Ginplay. Attempting to open up in the
lane after setting a half-mile split of :44 2/5, Great Mills could not separate
himself as Bridgetown swung out for the final three-sixteenths and wore down the
leader while under pressure. Bridgetown rewarded his backers with mutuels of
$3.40, $2.20 and $2.10.
"It was a beautiful trip. It worked out great for me," Castellano said. "My
horse didn't break that sharp. I took my time on the backside. They went pretty
fast in the first quarter-mile. He settled beautifully behind the leaders and
when I asked him he responded so well. He got it done."
Great Mills held second by a half-length over Chamberlain Bridge, who had
raced in tandem with Bridgetown early but failed to show the same kick as the
winner. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back to Wekiva Wachee, who was followed by
Icon Ike and Ginplay. Will's Wildcat was scratched.
The Woodford was the seventh career stakes win for the Todd Pletcher-trained Bridgetown, whose only
other Grade 3 score occurred during his juvenile season in the 2009 Summer at
Woodbine. His other black-type victories include two renewals of the Troy at
Saratoga, the Latham at Saratoga, the Turf Dash at Tampa Bay Downs, and the
Gilded Time at Monmouth Park.
Bridgetown, who has placed in other lucrative events such as the Grade 2
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, Grade 3 Twin Spires Turf Sprint and the Parx Dash,
has now earned $934,700 from a line of 19-9-5-1.
The Florida-bred Bridgetown was produced by the stakes-placed Tabasco Cat
mare Ellesmere, making him a half-brother to multiple stakes winners Carnacks
Choice and Clement Rock. Ellesmere was produced by a half-sister to 1991 Grade 1
Kentucky Derby winner Strike the Gold.
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