July 14, 2024

Search Results makes all in Locust Grove; Bango ties Churchill wins mark

Search Results in the Locust Grove (G3) at Churchill Downs
Search Results in the Locust Grove (G3) at Churchill Downs (Photo by Coady Photography)

Search Results put her back class on full display at Churchill Downs on Saturday with a wire-to-wire victory in the $397,000 Locust Grove (G3) under Tyler Gaffalione.

Favored at 1.87-1 against eight filly-and-mare rivals in the 1 1/16-mile Locust Grove, the Grade 1 veteran set a measured pace with Hidden Connection in close pursuit, and then kicked kicked clear of that rival in upper stretch.

“She ran a great race today,” Gaffalione said. “I just sort of inherited the lead and she settled really well. In the stretch when I asked her to quicken, I had a lot of horse beneath me.”

Search Results crossed the wire 3 1/4 lengths in front, covering the course in 1:42.40 over a fast track. Hidden Connection finished second, 4 1/4 lengths ahead of 38-1 longshot Misty Veil.

Owned by Klaravich Stables and trained by Chad Brown, Search Results paid $5.74.

The Locust Grove was the first victory by Search Results since the Molly Pitcher (G3) in July 2022. Among her four other stakes wins was the 2021 Acorn (G1). Search Results has six other placings at Grade 1 level, including narrow losses in the 2021 Kentucky Oaks and in the La Troienne this past May in two previous visits to Louisville.

Search Results, who has now bankrolled more than $1.9 million from a 7-for-16 record, is by Flatter and out of the Grade 3-place Co Cola, by Candy Ride. Bred in Kentucky by Machmer Hall, the five-year-old was a $310,000 Keeneland September purchase.

Earlier in the card, Bango tied the modern day record for most wins by a horse at Churchill Downs with a gutsy success in the $300,000 Louisville Thoroughbred Society S.

Heavily favored in the six-furlong dash for older horses, Bango seized command around the far turn and just staved off a challenge from Gulfstream Way inside the final furlong to win by a head under Tyler Gaffalione. Necker Island finished 3 3/4 lengths behind in third.

Owned by Tamaroak Partners and trained by Greg Foley, Bango sped the distance in 1:09.02 and paid $4.32.

The Louisville Thoroughbred Society was Bango’s 11th victory under the Twin Spires, tying a record set by Ready’s Rocket in 2012. It was also his ninth career stakes win and sixth at Churchill.

Bred in Kentucky by his owner, Bango is a six-year-old son of Congrats and the Smart Strike mare Josaka. He has now won 14 of 33 starts and earned nearly $1.46 million.

Yuugiri toppled odds-on favorite Wicked Halo and three others in the $299,000 Open Mind S. for fillies and mares over six furlongs.

Overtaking long-time pacesetter Fire On Time inside the final furlong, Yuugiri drew off to score by three lengths under Flavien Prat. Fire On Time finished 5 3/4 lengths clear of a flat Wicked Halo, who was sent off at approximately 2-5.

Owned by Tsunebumi and Sekie Yoshihara and trained by Rodolphe Brisset, Yuugiri paid $8.74 after speeding in 1:09.43.

Bred in Kentucky by her owners, Yuugiri has now won six of 13 starts and more than $979,000. The Open Mind was her third stakes win this season, following the Carousel S. at Oaklawn Park and the Saylorville S. at Prairie Meadows. She earned her signature win in the 2022 Fantasy (G3).

Yuugiri is a four-year-old by Shackleford and out of the stakes-winning Yuzuru, by Medaglia d’Oro.