Lexington, Ky. (April 10, 2009)— Lexington, Ky. (April 10, 2009)—Mr. Sidney, a regally bred but lightly raced 5-year-old, won the $300,000, Grade 1 Maker’s Mark Mile Friday at Keeneland to give jockey Kent Desormeaux his stakes second stakes victory of the stormy afternoon. Desormeaux finished with four wins for the day.
By Storm Cat out of A.P.Indy’s daughter Tomisue’s Delight, Mr. Sidney ran one mile in 1:41.84 on the turf course made “yielding” by a series of thunderstorms throughout the day.
“Not only did he handle it (yielding turf course), but he re-engaged within the last 200 yards,” said Desormeaux. “I enjoyed that most of all.”
Mr. Sidney rallied from fourth to take the lead at the top of the stretch and then held off the on-rushing Passager (FR) by a half length in the race for 4-year-olds and upward. It was 5 ¾ lengths back to third-place Just as Well.
Thorn Song, winner of Keeneland’s Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) last fall and the 2-1 favorite, led at the halfway point of the race but faded to last in the six-horse field.
Mr. Sidney won for the fourth time in eight career starts and increased his lifetime earnings to $303,664 with the winner’s purse of $186,000. He is owned by Lee Einsidler’s Circle E Racing, who bought the colt for $3.9 million at the 2005 September Yearling Sale. He is trained by Bill Mott.
“The timing was right today, and he was doing well,” said Mott. “He was coming off a couple of races in Florida and things worked out well for him today. He’s a nice horse and a good prospect for us in the barn.”
The winner paid $8.40 as the second choice in the wagering.
In the supporting feature, Gangbuster swept to the lead with a powerful rally on the turn to win the $100,000 Fort Harrod Stakes by 10 ¾ lengths under jockey Kent Desormeaux. The winner is trained by Kent’s brother Keith.
“I’m very, very proud for Keith,” said the winning jockey. “This is a family affair at Keeneland. This is in front of the whole horse world. I’m just very proud for him.”
The Fort Harrod is a 1 5/8-mile distance test for 4-year-olds and upward on Polytrack. It is designed as a prelude to the Breeders’ Cup Marathon to be run at 1 ¾ miles at Santa Anita in November.
Kurbat (CHI) rallied along the rail from far back while Gangbuster mounted his charge on the outside. The two entered the stretch together but Gangbuster pulled away in the final three-sixteenths of a mile while Kurbat tired.
The winner, who could have been claimed in his last start for $30,000, earned $62,000 on Friday for owner Allshouse Racing Stable. He paid $34.20 as a 16-1 outsider in the eight-horse field.
Kurbat held on to be second, four lengths in front of early leader Lord Kipling. Rocket Legs, the lukewarm favorite who also led briefly in the race, finished last.