FRANKLIN, Ky. — Pixelate sprung a mild upset in Monday’s WinStar Mint Million (G3) on Monday, but in truth the star of the show, indeed of the first two days of the Kentucky Downs meet, was jockey Joel Rosario.
After riding five winners on Sunday’s 11-race opener, Rosario pulled off another five-bagger on Labor Day, building what is likely an insurmountable lead in the jockeys race at the six-day meet that runs through Sept. 12.
“To have an agent like Ron Anderson really helps,” Rosario said. “I’m really blessed to have him.”
Pixelate, a Godolphin homebred, swooped late to pass both tiring favorite Flavius and second choice Somelikeithotbrown and won by 2 1/2 lengths, covering the mile on firm ground in 1:34.04. Trained by Mike Stidham, the colt paid $11.20.
“Certainly when I looked up at the time and saw 21 and change and 44 and change and we were sitting back about nine or 10 off of it, I thought, ‘Well, that’s the perfect spot to be in.’ And I think that helped us,” Stidham said.
Somelikeithotbrown, who turned back a bid from 7-5 favorite Flavius in upper stretch, held second by two lengths over Monarchs Glen. Completing the order of finish was Argentello, Flavius, Renaissance Frolic, Vintage Print, pacestter Bizzee Channel, Betwithbothhands, and Mutakatif.
The 2020 Del Mar Derby (G2) was Pixelate’s signature win from a grade perspective, but the Mint Million is the four-year-old’s most lucrative success to date. The $589,000 winner’s check here more than doubled his career earnings to $1,098,850 from a line of 20-6-6-4.
In addition to those two events, he’s registered wins in the 2019 Central Park S. at Aqueduct, the 2020 Woodchopper S. at Fair Grounds, and the June 13 Prince George’s County S. at Pimlico. He has eight other stakes-placings to his credit.
By City Zip, the Kentucky-bred Pixelate was produced by the stakes-winning Speckled, a Street Cry half-sister to multiple Grade 2 winner Skylighter. His third dam was multiple Grade 1 winner Nastique, and he hails from the family of 1972 champion sprinter Chou Croute.
Kentucky Downs Juvenile Mile
Tiz the Bomb, a son of 2015 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) winner Hit It a Bomb, made it two in a row when rallying inside of foes to take the $497,500 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Mile under Brian Hernandez Jr.
Owned by Phoenix Thoroughbred and trained by Kenny McPeek, Tiz the Bomb took command approaching the eighth pole and won by three parts of a length over 2-1 favorite Kiss the Sky. Play Action Pass, who led for much of the opening six furlongs, held third.
“They’ve been bragging on him over at the barn about how well he’s been working, and they were kinda tipping their hand about this performance,” Hernandez said.
Kentucky Downs Juvenile Mile Stakes— WR1 (@WorldRacing1) September 7, 2021
1600 m, $500,000, for 2yo
Tiz The Bomb (USA)
(2C Hit It A Bomb – Tiz The Key, by Tiznow)
J :Brian Joseph Hernandez, Jr.
T : Kenneth G. McPeek
O : Phoenix Thoroughbred
B :Spendthrift Farm, LLC
Seventh in his debut, a five-furlong dirt race in mid-May, Tiz the Bomb coasted in his July 2 comeback at Ellis Park, winning by more than 14 lengths in an off-the-turf event going a mile. He’s now bankrolled $326,291.
“He’s got a license to be a good one. We’re thrilled with the way he ran. (He) may return to dirt at Keeneland in the Breeders’ Futurity (G1).”
Bred in Kentucky by Spendthrift Farm, Tiz the Bomb was a $330,000 Fasig-Tipton Select yearling. He was produced by Tiz the Key, by Tiznow.
Juvenile Fillies S.
Turnerloose seized the lead around the far turn and galloped home much the best in the $500,000 Juvenile Fillies S. under Florent Geroux as the 2-1 favorite in a field of eight.
Owned by Dawn and Ike Thrash, Turnerloose is trained by Brad Cox, who also trains the runner-up Yin Yang, who finished 7 1/4 lengths clear of pacesetter Verylittlecents.
Aristocrat Juvenile Fillies Stakes— WR1 (@WorldRacing1) September 6, 2021
1600m, $500,000, for 2yo fillies
(Nyquist – Goaltending, by A. P INDY)
J : @flothejock
T : @bradcoxracing
O : Dawn and Ike Thrash
B:William Humphries & Altair Farms LLC pic.twitter.com/3rqJ20l7Pz
Victorious in her July 16 debut at Ellis Park by a length, Turnerloose is now undefeated after two starts, both over a mile on turf. The dark bay covered the distance in 1:36.19 and paid $6. She’s now earned $331,300.
“This was big for her. Now she’s a stakes winner,” assistant trainer Jorje Abrego said “Now is the time to look for a graded stakes. We’ll see how she is tomorrow, and if everything is good, maybe get her ready for Keeneland.”
Keeneland will host the Jessamine (G2) on Oct. 13, a Breeders’ Cup Challenge race for the Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) at Del Mar.
Bred in Kentucky by William Humphries and Altair Farms, Turnerloose was sold for $50,000 at Keeneland September. By Nyquist, she was produced by Goaltending, a daughter of A.P. Indy and Princess Rooney H. (G1) winner Game Face.