Saturday, Churchill Downs
WOODFORD RESERVE TURF CLASSIC S.-GI
, $561,500, CDX, 5-5, 4yo/up, 1 1/8mT, 1:48 4/5, gd.
1--LITTLE MIKE, 120, g, 5, by Spanish Steps
1st Dam: Hay Jude, by Wavering Monarch
2nd Dam: Double Norm, by Relaunch
3rd Dam: T. V. Spot, by Explodent
O-Priscilla Vaccarezza; B-Carlo E Vaccarezza (FL); T-Dale L Romans; J-Joe Bravo; $327,242. Lifetime Record: 17-10-2-0, $830,412. *1/2 to Little Nick (Tiger Ridge), MSW & GSP, $467,493. Werk Nick Rating: A+. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2--Slim Shadey (GB)
, 122, g, 4, Val Royal (Fr)--Vino Veritas, by Chief's Crown. O-Phil Cunningham; B-P M Cunningham (GB); T-Simon Callaghan; $105,562.
, 120, c, 4, Dynaformer
--Speed Succeeds, by Gone West. O-Live Oak Plantation; B-Live Oak Stud (FL); T-Thomas Albertrani; $52,781.
Margins: 2HF, HF, NO. Odds: 12.20, 10.90, 7.90.
Also Ran: Doubles Partner, Data Link, Papaw Bodie, Turallure, Turbo Compressor, Get Stormy, Boxeur des Rues, Al Khali.Click for the brisnet.com chart, the brisnet.com PPs, the free brisnet.com catalogue-style pedigree or the video, sponsored by Taylor Made Sales.
Little Mike has developed a cult following at Gulfstream Park after scoring front-running victories in last year's GIII Ft. Lauderdale S., GIII Canadian Turf S. and GIII Appleton S. The bay gelding returned from eight months on the sidelines to take a Dec. 22 optional claimer in Hallandale before a 3/4-length victory in the Jan. 28 Sunshine Millions Turf. He tired to fourth in the Mar. 3 GIII Canadian Turf last time out. Little Mike broke from the inside, but drifted out to the center of the track while assuming the early lead. He tugged his way through fractions of :23.78 and :48.27 before sneaking clear on the final bend after three-quarters in in 1:12.81 and continued to open up in upper stretch before holding sway for his first Grade I victory. "I thought he was the fastest horse in the race, period," commented trainer Dale Romans, who was winning his second graded stakes of the afternoon. "I didn't know if he could go as far as he needed to, but we weren't going to take back. We weren't going to give Get Stormy an easy race. We decided to take it to him." Of his long absence, Romans explained, "He had a condylar fracture last year, so this is a pretty sweet victory for Little Mike. He's a super horse and he deserves this Grade I." Jockey Joe Bravo has been impressed with Little Mike. "I've been riding for 24 years and I can't say a horse will stick out more in my mind than Little Mike will," Bravo admitted. "He's a horse that's overcome so much. Who says there wasn't a question [about getting 1 1/8 miles]? I had a lot of questions, but Little Mike speaks."