Godolphin’s homebred Cody’s Wish returned to the races an emphatic winner in Saturday’s $750,000 Churchill Downs S. (G1), running in last for a portion of the race, and then inhaling all eight opponents under Junior Alvarado. Off since a win in last November’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Keeneland, the five-year-old bay son of Curlin prevailed in the end by 4 ¾ widening lengths. It was his fifth win under the Twin Spires in as many tries.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Cody’s Wish was off slowly as Here Mi Song took the field past a quarter in :22.70 and a half in :45.19. Cody’s Wish reached the lead in upper stretch, recording six furlongs in 1:09.04. While his margin then wasn’t large, it was apparent that it would only widen from there. Under a hand ride from Alvarado, Cody’s Wish pulled away effortlessly and completed seven furlongs in a time of 1:21.17 over a fast track.
Hoist the Gold was second, a half-length up on Tejano Twist, and completing the order of finish were Here Mi Song, Sir Alfred James, Get Her Number, Steal Sunshine, Endorsed, and Fortin Hill. C Z Rocket and White Abarrio were scratched.
It may be worth noting that the aforementioned Endorsed is a half-brother to Cody’s Wish and a multiple graded stakes winner in his own right. Endorsed is two years senior to his illustrious half-sibling.
Mott, no stranger to winning big races, knew this one had more significance than most.
“With this horse winning, it’s really way more than a horse race,” he said. “For us, I mean, Cody Dorman, and Cody’s Wish, make it something special. When this horse came back after the race, and hearing the crowd, they were just going crazy up there, more than they normally cheer for any other race.”
Cody’s Wish is named after Cody Dorman, who was born with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome. Dorman visited Gainsborough Farm near Versailles, Kentucky, and met Cody’s Wish was he was a foal.
Cody’s Wish and Endorsed were produced by the Grade 1-winning Tapit mare Dance Card, who earned more than $500,000 in two years of racing. Curlin has nicked notoriously well with Seattle Slew-line mares, a fact Cody’s Wish enhances even more. In addition to Cody’s Wish and Endorsed, Dance Card also has a two-year-old colt named Hunt Ball (by Into Mischief) and a 2022 filly by Street Sense.
With Saturday’s triumph, Cody’s Wish now has a record of 12-8-1-3 and $1,778,530 in his coffers. Along with today’s win and the Dirt Mile, Cody’s Wish also owns a score in the Forego (G1) at Saratoga.