Neck 'N Neck rolls to convincing tally in Matt Winn
Neck 'N Neck proved much the best in Saturday's Grade 3, $107,100 Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs, registering his first stakes success with a 7 1/4-length decision. The Flower Alley colt has now recorded all three of his career wins under the Twin Spires, entering the 1 1/16-mile test for three-year-olds off a dominant 6 1/2-length score over entry-level allowance rivals on May 10.
Trained by Ian Wilkes, the A. Stevens Miles Jr. homebred was ridden by Leandro Goncalves.
Neck 'N Neck broke well and settled just off the pace in third as Right to Vote showed the way on a short lead, with Master Rick tracking him in second. The pacesetter established early splits in :24 1/5, :48 4/5 and 1:13. Stealcase was under a tight hold in behind horses during the early stages and Macho Macho also raced within striking range in the short field of five.
The pack bunched up midway through the far turn as Neck 'N Neck circled four wide with plenty of horse, and the dark bay colt stormed into the stretch with a head of steam, quickly opening up on his rivals. He continued to stride away impressively to the wire, stopping the teletimer in 1:43 3/5.
Off as the 4-1 fourth choice, Neck 'N Neck paid $10 to win. Stealcase, the 2-1 second favorite, edged the 3-1 Macho Macho by a neck for second, and it was a 6 1/2-length gap back to the 9-5 Right to Vote in fourth. Master Rick trailed.
With the $66,402 payday, Neck 'N Neck has now earned $196,772 from a 10-3-1-0 line. He was unplaced in his first three stakes attempts earlier this year, his best finish coming as a fourth in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth. The Kentucky-bred is the first foal out of the winning Storm Boot mare Bootery, a close relative to stakes winners Bendecida, Pleasantly Blessed and Fedra Gulch.
Send this article to a friend