July 14, 2024

Seize the Grey wins contentious Pat Day Mile

Seize the Grey winning the Pat Day Mile (G2) at Churchill Downs (Photo by Horsephotos.com)
Seize the Grey winning the Pat Day Mile (G2) at Churchill Downs (Photo by Horsephotos.com)

MyRacehorse’s Seize the Grey fought through a large pack inside the final sixteenth in Churchill Downs’ $600,000 Pat Day Mile (G2) and got past rivals to garner his first stakes score. Trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas and guided to victory by Jaime Torres, the gray son of Arrogate captured the one-turn fast track contest by 1 1/4 lengths.

The field was well bunched from word go as Vlahos and Otto the Conqueror fought it out up front and took the dozen sophomores past brisk opening fractions of :22.12 and :44.59. Vlahos was able to shake off Otto the Conqueror and still held on through six furlongs in 1:09.48 and seven in 1:22.41. All the while, Seize the Grey remained in close attendance, bearing down on his rival and collaring him in the last sixteenth. Seize the Grey crossed the line for the one-turn mile in 1:35.96.

Vlahos tired just a bit late and lost the runner-up spot by a head to the favored Nash. Following the trio to the finish were Who Dey, Top Conor, Carbone, Beeline, Guanare, Northern Flame, Otto the Conqueror, Gettysburg Address and Frosty Indulgence.

Torres knew he was sitting on a ton of horse well before the finish.

“I could tell I was loaded around the three-eighths pole,” he said. “He went back into the bridle really strong and never gave in. What an amazing atmosphere and race to win.”

It was also fitting for Lukas to win this particular race considering how many times he won major events with the race’s namesake in the irons. Those races include the Belmont (G1), Preakness (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), among countless others.

Seize the Grey earned his first stakes victory with this score. He previously had a third-place finish in the Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) at Turfway. The colt now has $619,938 in his coffers coupled with a record of 9-3-0-3.

Seize the Grey, a $300,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling purchase, is the third foal produced from the stakes-placed Smart Strike mare Smart Shopping. The 11-year-old mare has a reported 2024 filly by Life is Good.