September 29, 2022

Admission Office edges Arklow to win first stakes in Louisville

Admission Office holds off Arklow (inside) in the Louisville at Churchill Downs (Coady Photography)

A campaign of longer turf races looks in the cards for Admission Office after the 5-year-old’s luck took a turn for the better in the $100,000 Louisville (G3) at Churchill Downs on Saturday.

Beaten by a half-length in four separate graded stakes last season at distances shorter than the Louisville’s 1 1/2 miles, Admission Office perhaps tipped his hat that longer is better when finishing only a length behind division leader Zulu Alpha in the 1 3/8-mile Mac Diarmida (G2) two back. The 7-2 second choice in the Louisville under Julien Leparoux, he also enjoyed a better trip than 13-10 favorite Arklow.

Racing midpack and in the clear most of the way, Admission Office made a four-wide bid for the lead entering the stretch for the final time and seized command approaching the eighth pole. Arklow, meanwhile, had saved ground most of the way and was attempting to get through along the hedge in the stretch when the tiring 2019 Louisville winner, Tiz a Slam, hampered Arklow’s progress.

Arklow eventually got clear, but the lost momentum cost him as Admission Office dug in and held on to win by a head. He paid $9.20 after completing the course in 2:27.25 on firm ground.

“Certainly he’s been crying out for some ground,” said Brian Lynch, who trains the son of Point of Entry for Amerman Racing Stables. “Big effort from him today and I think it’s opened the door to these sort of marathon races for him.”

Lynch said the $175,000 Elkhorn (G2) at Keeneland on July 12 and the $1 million Kentucky Turf Cup (G3) at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 12 are potential goals over the next few months.

The Louisville was the first stakes win for Admission Office, who ran second in the 2018 Bald Eagle Derby at Laurel in his last attempt over 12 furlongs. Shortening up last year, the Kentucky-bred ran strongly but fell short in the Dixie (G2), Wise Dan (G2), River City (G3), and Ft. Lauderdale (G2). His record now stands at 14-4-5-2, $432,957.

Produced by Miss Chapin, by Royal Academy, Admission Office is a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Coffee Clique.